How Long Does Roofing Felt Last Under Tiles?

Roofing is an integral part of any building structure, offering the vital role of shielding your home from the ravages of weather and external conditions. A significant component of your roofing system is the humble but crucial roofing felt.

The purpose of this blog is to examine the longevity of roofing felt beneath your tiles, exploring what impacts its lifespan and how it interacts with the overall performance of your roof.

The importance of roofing felt cannot be overstated. It serves as a secondary barrier, supplementing your tiles in their protection against the elements.

Recognising and understanding the lifespan of roofing felt can help prevent damage, saving you significant costs and ensuring the integrity of your home is maintained.

At Blackpool Roofers, we are experts in the roofing industry and we are here to assist you with your needs.

What is Roofing Felt?

Roofing felt is a heavy-duty material imbued with asphalt or bitumen, laid down under roof tiles to form an additional protective layer.

This type of material is typically black, available in rolls, and comes in various weights and thicknesses to suit different roofing requirements. This weight often affects the durability of the roofing felt, with heavier ones generally providing better longevity.

The role of roofing felt is multifaceted. Its primary function is to act as a waterproof barrier, preventing leaks and water damage to the interior of your home.

Additionally, roofing felt aids in preventing wind uplift and provides an extra layer of insulation to your roof. It also provides a clean, even surface for roof tiles to rest on, ensuring a smooth finish.

Factors that Influence the Lifespan of Roofing Felt Under Tiles

The lifespan of roofing felt under tiles can vary significantly depending on several factors. Firstly, the quality of the material used can greatly impact its durability.

As previously mentioned, heavier-weight roofing felts often last longer due to their increased resistance to weathering and mechanical damage.

Climate and weather conditions also play a crucial role in determining the lifespan of your roofing felt. In areas with harsh weather conditions, like heavy rainfall, high winds, or extreme temperature fluctuations, roofing felt may degrade more quickly.

In contrast, in milder climates, it could potentially last longer. Installation method and quality also impact the lifespan. Properly installed roofing felt by a professional can provide many years of protection. Lastly, regular maintenance and inspection can catch minor issues before they become major, extending the life of the felt.

Average Lifespan of Roofing Felt Under Tiles

Typically, good quality roofing felt under tiles can last anywhere between 20 to 30 years. However, this lifespan isn’t set in stone. It’s subject to the variables discussed earlier, meaning it could be shorter or longer depending on those individual circumstances.

Moreover, it is essential to watch for signs that the roofing felt needs replacement. These could include visible sagging, signs of water leakage, or physical damage to the felt.

Early detection and replacement of degraded felt can help prevent extensive roof and interior damage.

Advantages of Using Roofing Felt

One of the primary benefits of using roofing felt is the added protection it provides against harsh weather elements.

By creating an additional waterproof barrier, it helps to ensure water doesn’t seep into your home, potentially causing damp, mould, or structural issues.

Further, roofing felt aids in providing added insulation, contributing to the energy efficiency of your home.

It helps maintain a steady indoor temperature, reducing heating and cooling costs. Additionally, it helps prevent wood rot in your roof structure by keeping it dry and protected from moisture.

Furthermore, roofing felt can significantly enhance the longevity of roof tiles by providing a protective layer between the tiles and the roof deck.

The Role of Roofing Felt in the Longevity of Roof Tiles

Roofing felt plays an essential role in prolonging the lifespan of your roof tiles. Acting as a protective barrier, it helps to guard the tiles against the adverse effects of direct contact with the wooden roof deck. Over time, this can lead to wear and tear on the tiles, reducing their lifespan.

There’s a clear correlation between the degradation of roofing felt and roof tile damage. If the felt starts to degrade and fail, it can lead to issues like leaks and moisture buildup, which can, in turn, cause roof tiles to become loose or damaged.

How to Prolong the Lifespan of Roofing Felt Under Tiles

Prolonging the lifespan of roofing felt begins with proper installation. Hiring professional roofers can ensure that the felt is laid correctly, reducing the risk of premature failure.

They will ensure that the felt is smooth, without any ripples that could lead to water pooling.

Regular roof maintenance is equally crucial. This includes periodic inspections, especially after harsh weather, and quickly addressing any signs of damage.

Maintenance may involve cleaning the roof, ensuring that gutters and downspouts are clear, and preventing overhanging tree branches from rubbing against the roof.

Professional roof inspections can also be beneficial, as a trained eye may catch early signs of degradation or damage that you might miss.

Alternatives to Roofing Felt

While roofing felt is widely used and reliable, there are other alternatives to consider.

Synthetic underlayment, such as those made from polypropylene or polyester, has gained popularity in recent years. They are lightweight, have excellent tear resistance, and can be more durable than traditional felt.

However, these alternatives are typically more expensive than roofing felt. Moreover, they may not be suitable for all types of roofs, and their performance may vary depending on the climate and the specific product used.

Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a roofing professional before deciding to deviate from traditional roofing felt.


In conclusion, the importance of roofing felt in maintaining the health and longevity of your roof cannot be understated.

With a potential lifespan of 20 to 30 years, or even longer, investing in good quality roofing felt and ensuring proper installation can provide decades of added protection for your home.

Understanding the lifespan of your roofing felt and recognising signs of degradation are essential aspects of home maintenance. Regular inspections and addressing minor issues promptly can prevent more severe problems down the line, saving you both time and money.

As always, professional advice is invaluable in ensuring your home remains a safe, dry, and comfortable place for years to come.