Roofing Felt Buyer’s Guide

Roofing felt is one of the most common materials used to cover lightweight garden buildings or even large industrial premises. A felt roof is cost-effective, watertight, and can last for decades. Most commonly made from bituminous fibres, with several different ways to install it, roofing felt is a solid choice for many projects.

What Is Roofing Felt?

Roofing felt is generally composed of a base, made from natural materials such as wood cellulose or synthetic fibreglass or polyester, which is then saturated in bitumen, which will repel water and add greater durability. These materials are chosen for their combination of low cost and high tensile strength, being highly resistant to tears and thermal movement. This construction makes a felt roof an economical, yet reliable choice.

Types of Roofing Felt

Roofing felt comes in three main varieties, and the right one for you depends on the size of your project, and whether or not you’re installing it yourself.

Torch-On Roofing Felt

Torch-on roofing felt consists of three layers bonded to the roof with a blow torch, for a highly-effective waterproof seal. Generally, these three layers are a vapour control layer, reinforced felt, and a cap sheet with a mineral finish. All three are usually required, however smaller projects may only require the first two. However, torch-on felt should only be installed by professionals, due to the danger posed when using naked flames.

Self-Adhesive Roofing Felt

If you’re going to be installing your felt roof yourself, then choosing self-adhesive roofing felt could be perfect for you. Instead of using naked flames or specialist equipment like torch-on felt, self-adhesive felt is simply laid down and bonded to the substrate. This makes it ideal for homeowners working on smaller structures like sheds, garages, or porches. Self-adhesive felt is also cost-effective, tough, and long-lasting, with a fifteen-year lifespan.

Shed Felt

Shed felt refers to roofing felt options which have been specially designed for use on sheds and other garden outbuildings. Easy to install, lightweight, and durable, shed felt is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to protect your garden shed. What’s more, shed felt doesn’t compromise on aesthetics. So your smart new felt shed roof won’t look out of place amongst your perfectly curated garden space.

Advantages of Roofing Felt

  • Low cost
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to repair and replace
  • Simple installation
  • Easy to maintain
  • Waterproof
  • Recyclable
  • 10-30 year lifespan

Disadvantages of Roofing Felt

  • Prone to minor damage
  • Patch repairs can be unsightly
  • Vulnerable to thermal movement
  • Lower lifespan than other products

Where Can Roofing Felt Be Used?

  • Garden sheds and other outbuildings
  • Garages or flat roof extensions
  • Porches and door canopies
  • As a waterproofing layer beneath roof tiles or shingles
  • Large flat roof commercial or industrial premises

What If My Felt Roof Leaks?

If your felt roof has sprung a leak, it’s vital to get it fixed as soon as possible. Your roof could be leaking for a number of reasons, from split felt to broken flashings. Due to their low cost, it’s often best to simply replace a felt roof rather than attempt a repair, but it all depends on your situation. For a temporary fix, you can often use acrylic-based waterproofing paint to seal any cracks, or for a more permanent solution, look at patching or replacing your roof. Read our guide to dealing with flat roof leaks for more info.

How to Felt a Roof

Now that you’ve made your decision, it’s time to get that felt onto your roof! Felting a roof is actually rather simple, especially for common projects such as re-roofing a shed. Read our Mega Guide to Felting a Roof for step-by-step guides to many felt roofing projects.

In Closing

If you’ve still got any more questions about roofing felt, or our range, get in touch with our award-winning customer service team. With decades of experience in all things DIY and roofing, they’re sure to be able to help. Call them on 01295 565 565, email [email protected], or use the handy livechat below.