The Cost of Replacing Roof Felt Under Tiles in 2021 | Checkatrade
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Cost of replacing roof felt under tiles

Designed to repel water and withstand icy winds, roofing felt provides insulation and prevents your property from weather damage. While the lifespan of roofing felt is long, deterioration over time is inevitable. If you suspect this is the case, read on for an overview of the average cost of replacing roof felt under tiles.

Whether it’s a small patch repair or an entire replacement of the underlay, you can use our handy search tool to find specialists in your local area.

What is roofing felt?

Roofing felt, also known as roofing underlay, acts as a protective barrier between the roof deck and the roofing shingles. It keeps roofs watertight and has a lifespan of around 30 years depending on the material used. Although essential for flat roofs, roofing felt is also suitable for pitched roofs. Most homeowners won’t even be aware of roofing felt until a leak from the roof occurs – this can be a sign that the roofing felt has been damaged or decayed in certain areas.

What is roofing felt made from?

Roofing felt typically comprises of a base (made from wood, cellulose, fibreglass or polyester) which is coated with a layer of asphalt to repel water while promoting breathability. This final top layer protects the roof from the impact of exposure to extreme cold or bright sunlight.

ItemAverage UK cost
Labour (1 week, 2 people) £2000
Roofing felt/breather membrane £100
Roof battens£100
Roof tiles£750
Ridge tiles£100
Lead flashing£100

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Roofing felt on older properties doesn’t have the advantage of this final surface protection. After 20 years of exposure, cracks begin to appear, making your roof highly prone to leaks. While it is possible to replace small patches, replacing the felt entirely will prolong the life of your roof and prevent further damage to your property.

What is the average roofing felt cost?

The average roofing felt prices start from around £200 for a small patch repair on a residential property. If the underlay is considerably old and brittle, you might need the entire roof to be refelted.

If this is the case, you may choose to have the tiles replaced at the same time. Prices for replacing felt for a full roof range from around £2,000 through to £7,300, and it goes without saying that this is no DIY job. Quotes provided are calculated by the cost for labour, often charged at a day rate and materials.

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Factors affecting the cost of replacing roof felt under tiles

roofing felt cost

Hidden damage – Removal of tiles will be inevitable to replace roofing felt. If a roofer finds extensive damage to the underlay or the roof itself, more work will be required to protect your property from weather damage.

Battens –  Battens are the lengths of timber that are nailed to the rafters on top of the felt onto which the tiles are fixed. During roofing felt replacement, new battens will need to be added which will add to the total cost.

Felting – Roofing felt prices vary depending on the type and quality of material used. The most expensive roofing felt is rubberised asphalt. This material is highly waterproof and ideal for flat roofs where water is prone to pooling.

Tiles – Often, the process of removing tiles from a roof and carefully replacing them after repairing felt is more time-consuming than to throw them away to put new ones on. For that reason, it’s more cost-effective and proactive to replace all your tiles if the roofing felt needs to be changed.

Scaffolding – Access to the roof for a full replacement will require scaffolding to be erected and dismantled upon completion. This will add to the final cost to replace roof felt under tiles.

Skip hire – If you are replacing tiles and felt, the cost of skip hire and associated waste disposal costs will factor in to the total quote.

When to replace roofing felt?

Roofing felt is a waterproof layer tacked directly to the rafters to prevent moisture from entering the roof. While premium-grade felt is designed to last around 20 years, constant exposure to hot and cold temperatures will cause the felt to contract and expand. Over time, the felt will lose elasticity and become hard and brittle. Before long, small cracks start to form, leaving the roof space below vulnerable to weather damage.

Repatching is possible when damage is restricted to a small area, and is relatively inexpensive at around £200.

However, if you’ve noticed leaks in your home from the ceiling, it may well be the case that the entire underlay needs replacing. While most modern roofs use vapour permeable roofing felt that allows water vapour to pass through, older properties built in the 60s or 70s usually have impervious roofing felt. This type of insulation doesn’t always dry out quickly, which can eventually lead to decay in the feet of the rafters and ends of the joists.

Need a roofer to help replace the felt under your roof tiles? Use our handy search bar to find professionals in your local area.

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What others think of this article:

Olivia Scammell

Hi Roland, thanks for your feedback! I would recommend speaking to a professional roofer for expert advice. You can post a question on our Ask a Trade feature.

Roland Jaquarello

Your article is very useful and well presented. I have just one query: what kind of guarantee should I expect for a felt underlay of a roof. I'd be very grateful for an answer. Thanks.

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