Regarding the Jan. 17 "Ask The Inspector" column headlined "Roofing Felt Isn't Always Necessary When Using Shingles":
The Uniform Building Code may not require a layer of felt, which is asphalt saturated, not "tar paper." That is the minimum standard, but generally in a given city the standard set by International Conference of Building Officials is the one used. Further, the shingle manufacturer will require the layer of underlayment if they are going to warrant the product for 20, 25, 30 or 40 years.
It is my opinion that a lack of underlayment is a major issue and can only result in premature failure of the shingles.
Massie Roofing Co.
As an architect and forensic expert, I believe the answer to the question was incomplete and potentially incorrect. The Uniform Building Code (UBC) is a minimum standard, and does not address re-roofing from a complete problem analysis.
The problem may lie in the original underlayment, which may be damaged or may have been incorrectly installed. Before the home buyers make a final decision, they should have the original roof underlayment checked. Otherwise, a new underlayment between the existing and new shingle roof would be recommended.
HERB KATZ JR., AIA