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Tile Roofs Can Last 300 Years. What About the Underlayment?

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A new underlayment from Systems Components may help close the gap in durability.

About a decade ago, I wrote about some of the “missing links” in modern building systems. One of the most glaring gaps could be found in roofing assemblies. Tile and metal roofs, for example, have extreme durability. But 30-lb felt or hot-mop asphalt has a limited lifespan.

So you end up tearing off that perfectly sound tile roof every 20 or 30 years to replace the underlayment.

A new product called QuickSilver , brings modern technology up to speed with some of these ancient, time tested materials. It’s specifically designed for extreme durability, to go under metal and tile roofs. Quicksilver

Quicksilver is mechanically fastened, making it appealing to contractors, but has a sophisticated “hybrid” composition that includes a rubberized polymer on its underside. That means that nail or staple holes will self-seal, and stay that way.

The product has numerous durability enhancements, which help explain its lifetime warranty. For example, it can be left exposed for up to 180 days, and is rated to resist temperatures up to 240°F.  That level of resistance might have seemed like overkill a few years ago, but with seasonal extreme heat waves on the rise, it may play a major role in expected roof longevity.

Quicksilver is walkable, with an integral mesh to prevent tears and damage. It weighs much less than typical roll-out self adhesive underlayments, and offers rapid coverage. We’ll be using the project on our VISION House Seattle Cascades project over the coming months, and will follow up with a report on how it installs and performs.