What Is The Best Tile Roof Underlayment In Arizona?

What Is The Best Tile Roof Underlayment To Use In Arizona?

Tile roofs can last up to 50 years in Arizona. However, the tile underlayment (felt/ tar paper) typically lasts 20 to 30 years. The tile underlayment will start rotting out when water gets under the roof tiles. The most common ways water can get under roof tiles are: clogged valleys/ roof flashing, broken tiles, or the roof tiles were not laid properly. Roof tiles are mainly aesthetic and act as a barrier between the tile underlayment and the roof tile.

The Arizona sun will destroy tile underlayment if it is exposed. Most tile underlayments cannot withstand the UV rays and start deteriorating rapidly. There are some tile underlayments that are designed for heat and sunny climates such as Arizona’s. So, let’s explore what is the best tile roof underlayment in Arizona!

The Different Type of Tile Underlayments Available

There are many different types of underlayments that can be used under concrete tile in Arizona. Here are are the most common: felt (SBS modified bitumen), synthetic, and self-adhering underlayments. We will talk about each type of concrete tile underlayment and determine what is best based on several factors: price, waterproofing, durability, and UV resistance.

Synthetic Tile Underlayment

Synthetic tile underlayments have been increasing in popularity in Arizona. However, in our opinion, they are not the best for material to use. In fact, we will recommend homeowners not to choose synthetic concrete tile underlayments. Let’s talk about why we don’t recommend synthetic concrete tile underlayments.


Some synthetic underlayments are more expensive than the felt type of concrete tile underlayments while other synthetics are cheaper. In fact, the material price can be double than of a felt type of underlayment. It would be cheaper to do two layers of felt than a single layer of synthetic.


Synthetic is the king of waterproofing capabilities and is 100% waterproof. How ever synthetics don’t self-seal around fasteners well (nails, staples, etc). This is the biggest issue when it comes to installing synthetic underlayment under concrete tile roofs. A concrete tile roof is comprised of

The underlayment is rolled out to cover the decks surface (keeping it waterproof) and nailed in place.
Batten strips (4 ft sections of 1×2 wood strip) are then nailed or stapled on top of the underlayment. They provide rows for the roof tile cleats to rest on and prevent them from sliding down the roof.
Then the roof tiles themselves.

Example of what is underneath a concrete tile roof
Installing a tile roof requires both the batten strips and underlayment to be fastened to the deck. So, with a synthetic underlayment that doesn’t automatically seal around the fastener’s penetrations, your roof is vulnerable.

The number one reason your concrete tile roof leaks is from water getting under the batten strips and going through the fasteners penetrations. Rubber modified felt papers will automatically seal these penetrations while synthetics will not.

So even though synthetics have a 50 years product warranty they are not the best tile underlayment for sealing the around the roof fasteners.


As far as durability, synthetic roof material is quite durable. However, when synthetic tears it tends to tear in big sections. Synthetic concrete tile underlayments have a durable surface for foot traffic and have an excellent non-slip surface

UV Resistance:

Synthetic underlayment has very strong UV resistant qualities. When exposed to the direct sun, the underlayment can maintain a UV resistance from 6 to 12 months

Self Adhering Tile Underlayment

This underlayment is different from both the synthetic and felt underlayment because it has a self-adhering bottom. When installing a thin film is pulled away and the self-adhering bottom adheres to the roofs deck. The gives the advantage of leaving no roof fasteners (cap nails) exposed.

As you can see there are no exposed nails
Another benefit is most of the self-adhering concrete tile underlayments are rubber-modified and automatically self-seal around any nails pounded through its surface.


Self-adhering concrete tile underlayments are generally very expensive. It is usually around the same price to use synthetic underlayment.


This concrete tile underlayment is excellent at waterproofing. It has a lot of rubber inside of it and lasts a very long time. The seams are adhered together providing a waterproof surface.


Self-adhering concrete tile underlayment is the most durable underlayment available in Arizona. Specifically, the brand, Boral Tile Secure, is the best concrete tile underlayment in Arizona for the durability factor. It can be used under metal roofs so it has a very high melting point. The surface is a non-slip and can handle high foot traffic which is good for the installers!

UV Resistance:

This material can handle a lot of UV exposure and lasts up to 6-12 months of direct Arizona sun! For UV Resistance, self adhering underlayment is the best underlayment for tile roofs in Arizona

Felt Type Tile Underlayment

Felt style underlayments have been around the longest out of the other two types. The are different class and types of felt that is used under concrete tiles in Arizona. Felts thickness are organized by weight classes ranging from 30# to 90#. Some felts are better than others.

Organic felt tile underlayment was used a lot 20 to 30 years ago. However organic felt is the cheap option. It tends to dry up and curl on the seam edges with age. Also, there have been incidences where roof rats have chewed up all the organic felt paper under tile roofs causing the roof to leak severely.

The better felts are the SBS Rubber modified bitumen. They are fortified with rubber which helps the underlayment lay flat on installation. The rubber also helps the material to self-seal around the roof fasteners.


The price for SBS rubber modified bitumen is the cheapest out of the other two options. In many cases, it is costs less to apply two layers SBS rubber modified felt than one layer of synthetic or self-adhering underlayment. For prices, felt is the best underlayment for tile roofs in Arizona.


Organic felt is not 100% water proof but the SBS modified version has more rubber in it allowing it to be superior at being waterproof. In Arizona, we have a very dry climate so SBS modified felt papers are more than enough to keep your roof dry. The composition of the SBS prevents it from rotting and deteriorating like its organic cousin.


Felts are quite durable and can handle foot traffic quite well. The organic felts are less durable than the SBS modified felts. However, if the felt is installed in high temperatures the asphalt becomes pliable and the tar paper can slide when being installed. This is a hazard for the roofers since the tile roofs have a pitch.

UV Resistance:

Both the self-adhering and synthetic concrete tile underlayments have better UV resistance than felt. If a tile breaks on your tile roof and exposes the surface of the underlayment it is advised to get the tile replaced as soon as possible. The SBS modified felts are generally more UV resistant than the organic felts. Felt does not win the UV resistance test for underlayments in Arizona.

So, what is the best underlayment for tile roofs in Arizona?

The synthetics are out ruled out being that they are not self-sealing when a nail is pounded through their surface. In fact, we would NOT recommend synthetics under tile at all for Arizona. It is the best underlayment for under shingle roofs in cold climates.

One of the biggest faults synthetics have is not being repairable. One of the other two options if there is a premature leak then they can easily be repaired with more felt and tar. Many times a tile roof while start leaking in a high water flow area years before the rest of the underlayment needs to be changed. In our opinion synthetics are one of the worst underlayments for tile roofs in Arizona.

While self-adhering underlayment is the best tile underlayment in Arizona for durability, length of life, and UV resistance; an SBS rubber modified felt is our pick. A particular brand that we like the most is TU-43. Tu-43 lasts a long time, it can easily be repaired, has a rubber and fiberglass core, and it is has a reasonable price tag. Installing two layers would be cheaper than one layer of the self-adhering underlayment and last around the same time (some cases even longer).

So, if you need the underlayment replaced under your tiles in Arizona then we would recommend TU-43 as the choice of tile underlayment material. In our opinion, TU-43 is the best underlayment for tile roofs in Arizona!

Emergency Roof Repair Contractors

Mikku and Sons Roofing has been helping residents throughout Phoenix since 2001. Our experienced and friendly crew members can inspect your roof and help you get it ready for the monsoon season to help you reduce the risk of damage. But, if your roof does have damage due to monsoon storms, we are ready to help you with quick and complete roof repair. We have experience in all types of roofs, including tile, shingle and flat roofs on both personal residences and commercial property. We are fully licensed and insured and make it our mission to provide quality workmanships and exceptional service.

Call us today at (623) 465-1068 to find out how we can help you prepare your roof for the coming monsoon season or to repair it after a storm.

Request Your Free Estimate

By |2020-08-25T23:07:46+00:00August 5th, 2020|Phoenix Roof Repair|0 Comments

Replacing Concrete Tile Underlayment

Replacing Concrete Tile Underlayment

Leaky Concrete Tile Roof?

The chances are if you are reading this blog you either have a concrete tile roof that is leaking or that is old and liable to leak soon. In this blog, we are going to talk about replacing the underlayment of a concrete tile roof. We will discuss the importance of replacing concrete tile underlayment when it goes bad. Also, we will give tips on how to detect leaks on concrete tile roofs.

Signs Your Underlayment May Need Replacement

Underlayment Longevity

The underlayment on concrete tile roofs typically last 20-30 years. This greatly depends on the quality of the material. For instance, most of the track style homes in the valley have a 30# underlayment which lasts 20 to 25 years ( 30# is the thinnest underlayment under concrete tile roofs allowed by roofing code)

So, if your roof is 20 to 30 years old and you have a concrete tile roof then your roof may be leaking already is liable to. Many times a leak can go undetected if it occurs on the eves or gable edges of a roof.

Be Proactive

PRO TIP: walk around the edges of your roof and look upwards. If you see water staining, as you can see in this photo, then the underlayment on your tile roof needs to be replaced.

Being proactive instead of reactive with maintaining your tile roof and replacing the underlayment when it goes bad will save you lots of money in the long run (This helps you avoid: Dry wall repairs, repainting water stained ceilings, possible mold removal and not to mention all the other water sensitive items inside your house) Another PRO TIP: walk around the inside of your house room to room and inspect the ceiling for any water stains.

This is what a simplified process of replacing the underlayment of a concrete tile roof looks like (note: the pictures are from a small repair). It should be done before it is to late!!

1.  Concrete roof tiles are removed:

2.  Remove Battens strips , clean surface free of debris and install tile underlayment:

3.  Install new Batten Strips:

4.  Reinstall roof tiles and replace any broken ones:

Emergency Roof Repair Contractors

Mikku and Sons Roofing has been helping residents throughout Phoenix since 2001. Our experienced and friendly crew members can inspect your roof and help you get it ready for the monsoon season to help you reduce the risk of damage. But, if your roof does have damage due to monsoon storms, we are ready to help you with quick and complete roof repair. We have experience in all types of roofs, including tile, shingle and flat roofs on both personal residences and commercial property. We are fully licensed and insured and make it our mission to provide quality workmanships and exceptional service.

Call us today at (623) 465-1068 to find out how we can help you prepare your roof for the coming monsoon season or to repair it after a storm.

Request Your Free Estimate

By |2020-08-26T21:29:01+00:00June 27th, 2020|Phoenix Roof Repair|0 Comments

Tips For Tile Roof Maintenance

Tips For Tile Roof Maintenance

Schedule Annual Preventative Maintenance

Its great to own your own home, but when you own a property you have to perform the dreaded word, maintenance.  However, if you schedule time annually for preventative maintenance, it won’t to be such a burdensome task. This means you’ll need to give equal importance to both the interior of your property and the exterior. Take your roof as an example. Roofs get more abuse from weather and the elements than any other part of your property. Preventative maintenance is a major factor to your roof providing the longest service life possible.

Whether it’s a commercial or residential roof, all roofing systems need some scheduled maintenance during the year. Concrete or clay tile roofs, under normal situations, don’t require much upkeep. Twice-yearly inspections should take place to findand fix issues as they occur.  The best time to perform these inspections would be in the spring, before the monsoon storm season begins, and in the fall, after its over.

When Having Your Roof Inspected

A lot of roof damage happens before anyone at ground level notices it. Finding ponding, gaps around penetrations, loose flashings or other roof damage should be promptly reported to a professional, properly licensed, roofing company.  If your property has any leaks, it’s critical to get a comprehensive leak inspection completed as soon as possible. A visible interior leak could mean there’s an outside entryway for water to enter your roof structure, which could cause significant and more expensive damage.  Here’s some important tile maintenance tips to consider when having your roof and the surrounding areas inspected.

  • Check any downspout exits to make sure they haven’t been crushed or crumpled, which could restrict proper drainage.
  • Inspect and clear any and all debris from your rooftop gutters and header boxes.
  • Remove leaves and debris from trees or vegetation from the rooftop. Don’tt try to remove the debris with a hose because that could cause any downspouts you have to become clogged.
  • Take note if any areas of the roof appears unusually sunken or if water is ponding anywhere.
  • Clean before visually inspecting the roof for signs of weathering.
  • Check your landscaping surrounding the property for tall trees that have dead or briken branches. Trim trees and bushes away from your property to minimize the chance of vegetation falling and gathering on your roof.
  • Inside, check interior walls and ceilings for water damage.

When Hiring A Roofing Contractor

A good tip to having the best kept tile roof in the neighborhood is to have it cleaned and inspected by a licensed and insured tile roof repair contractor while these semi-annual dates are being scheduled. In monsoon seasons, its especially important to check your roof visually after each storm, in case tiles have been misplaced by high winds or flying broken branches.

  • Make sure the roofing contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Request that the prospective contractor provide copies of their manufacturer certifications and warranties for their proposed system.
  • Ensure you have the necessary building permits.
  • Keep a file of all records and inspection reports that are related to your roof.
  • Establish a rooftop control policy. Advise equipment service personnel to be careful and observe safety precautions when handling tools and heavy equipment on the roof. Keep a log of all such trips to the roof.

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