If you’re embarking on a roofing project, you’ve probably heard about the importance of laying a solid foundation for your shingles.

One key component of this foundation is what goes over plywood before shingles. In this blog, we’ll simplify the process, use plain language, and provide practical examples to help you understand this crucial aspect of roofing.


Before we dive into what goes over plywood before shingles, let’s grasp the basics. Plywood is often used as the sheathing or decking material on your roof’s structure. It provides a stable base for your roofing materials. But to ensure your roof lasts and performs well, you need more than just plywood. Here’s what goes over it:

1. Roof Underlayment

Think of roof underlayment as the roof’s insurance policy. It’s a protective layer that goes over the plywood and under the shingles. Underlayment serves several essential functions:

  • Waterproofing: It prevents water from seeping through to the plywood, protecting your roof from leaks.
  • Protection from Ice and Water: In cold climates, ice and water shield underlayment provides extra protection against ice dams.
  • Moisture Control: Underlayment allows trapped moisture to escape, preventing rot and mold.

There are different types of underlayment, including asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic materials, and rubberized asphalt. Your choice depends on factors like climate and budget.

2. Drip Edge

Drip edge is a metal strip that goes along the edges of your roof, both eaves, and gables. It helps direct water away from the fascia and into the gutters. This prevents water from infiltrating the roof structure or causing rot.

3. Flashing

Flashing is installed in vulnerable areas where water could penetrate, such as roof valleys, chimneys, vents, and skylights. It’s usually made of metal or other waterproof materials. Flashing redirects water away from these critical areas.


In the world of roofing, what goes over plywood before shingles is like a protective shield for your home. The roof underlayment, drip edge, and flashing work together to ensure your roof is watertight and can withstand the elements.

Remember, a well-prepared foundation is the key to a successful roofing project. Whether you’re a seasoned roofer or a homeowner considering a DIY project, understanding these essential components will help you make informed decisions and keep your roof in top shape for years to come.

So, the next time you gaze up at your roof, you’ll know that it’s not just shingles and plywood holding it together; it’s a combination of layers designed to keep your home safe and dry.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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