Advantages and Disadvantages of Roofing in the Winter

Can a Roof be Replaced in the Winter?

Winter is upon us and those in the north will soon be covered in snow and ice for the next five or six months depending on where you live. As winter hits, you may notice some issues with your current roofing system. Issues will arise from missing shingles to leaks in your ceiling. At this point you may realize that you need to replace your roof even in the dead of winter. 

What comes to mind is the question if you can even replace your roof in winter. Short answer is yes you can. It is not always the easiest, so knowing the proper technique is very important from the beginning to end of the project. This will ensure your roof is in great condition for all seasons in the years to come.

Here is what the best professional roofing contractors are saying about winter roof installations and repairs. 

Best Temperature for Roof Installation

Asphalt roofing systems are best installed between 40 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature is one of the many factors that can affect shingles when installing. The highest quality asphalt shingles as well as TPO commercial roofing material can crack and split when being hammered in depending on the temperature. 

That being said, it is very important to wait for the right temperatures to install a new roof. Winter is generally a good time to get a good  deal on a roof. Contractors are less busy, but will need to wait for a good temperature before setting an install date. Roof repairs should be done when a problem arises in order to save the roof until it can be fully replaced or repaired. 

Issues of Roof Installation in the Winter

We now know that asphalt shingles and TPO material become brittle in the extreme cold, but there are other reasons why roofing in the winter is difficult. Another issue that arises is the adhesive becomes less sticky in the extreme cold. Whether it is the sealing strips built into the shingles, the tar used, or extra glue added, the adhesive is going to have issues in the cold. 

There are other options available for roofing that can hold up better in the winter and cold. Metal roofing and fiberglass roofing are other options, but they each have their own pros and cons. With temperature shifts, these materials expand and contract differently, so knowing those and knowing the proper techniques for install are very important.

How Can You Replace Your Roof in the Winter?

It is important to look at the obstacles that come with roofing installation in the winter. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages will help you to know the acceptable times and methods of installation. Connecting with the right contractor who knows these techniques will give you the information necessary to overcome the obstacles of winter roofing. 

Winter roofing is possible and can be done. Knowing what is wrong will help to fix issues, keep your budget low, and could save your roof a few years even before needing to be replaced. 

Repair or Replacement?

Narrow down the issue before panicking. What I mean by this is to not panic and figure out if the roof needs a small repair, or if the whole roof is bad. A good contractor will usually inspect your roof for free and then give you the best

 options to either repair, or replace your roof. 

If you need a repair, those will save time and money and can also extend the life of your roof so they do not need to replace it in the winter.

If the roof needs a full replacement, there are a few steps that are needed for this to be done in the winter. 

  1. Keep Your Materials Warm – The first step when roofing in the winter is to keep your materials warm including the shingles, TPO, adhesive and others as warm as you can in the range of 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As simple as leaving them in a heated garage or warehouse before installation. This will keep them at a crucial stage where the expanding and contracting can occur and not damage the material.
  2. Proper Shingle/Material Sealing – On top of keeping materials warm, proper sealing is important when installing in the winter. Shingles are designed to stick with the warmth of the sun by activating the sealant. In the winter, the luxury of the sun and warmth is few and far between. The proper technique for the installer is to use another form of sealant approved for the job. A liquid sealant will not only help hold the shingles in place for the winter, but give an extra piece of protection from water, snow, and ice.  
  3. Sealing Against Wind – Problem areas such as rakes, eaves, gutters, and seams are susceptible for leaks and wind. Use precaution and take extra care of these areas to prevent leaks or wind uplifting the roofing material. This can lead to shingle loss, ice dams, leaks, and other roof failures.

Winter Roof Maintenance

Roof Maintenance is important for any roofing type. Be proactive with both Fall and Spring roof inspections to prepare for the seasons. Fixing any issues ahead of time will ensure a proper roof year round. 

If maintenance is needed in the winter, be careful walking on the roof. Cold temperatures can not only create an icy slippery surface which can cause bodily harm, but can cause the materials to become brittle under the weight of your steps. Especially in places where the material may be curved or bubbled from the location. This can also put strain on any sealant under the roofing material. Places may need to be re-sealed or repaired when peeling or leaking. 

Final Thoughts

There are many advantages and disadvantages to conducting roofing in the winter. The most important part is to always be safe and dry inside and outside the home. A fault in the roof is repairable and even roof replacement is able to be done year round. Be proactive with roof inspections and always have a professional contractor who knows what to look for to inspect your roof twice a year. If not twice, always before winter. This will save you a headache in the winter having to deal with issues. Be safe, be dry, be warm, and know all the aspects of winter roofing before trouble arises. You will be happy you did your research ahead of time.

About ORB

Starting in 2018, ORB Solutions is a technology agency by contractors, for contractors. We strive to grow small businesses in the trades and the service industry with trust and legitimacy. In our blog, we share what we know about building an online presence, getting reviews, presenting your brand professionally, and more!

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