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    Roofing In The Winter: Is It A Good Idea? (Pro Advice)

    When winter comes, it always comes with force. As a roofer and a homeowner, you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to work on your home in those cold temperatures. You’ll also have to weigh some of the risks and rewards of pushing to complete a project when cold weather hits.

    As a resource for the roofing community, we’re here to answer some of your winter roofing questions. Here’s what we have to say about getting up on the roof and nailing shingles in the cold.

    Can A Roof Be Replaced in the Winter?

    The short answer to this question is yes. A roof can definitely be replaced in the winter. In fact, you can replace a roof at any time during the year. But, that being said, there are both some pros and cons to roofing in the winter. And, many roofing companies don’t fancy climbing roofing in 10-degree weather. Roofing in the winter is especially difficult if the roofer has to deal with snow and ice on the roof.

    You’ll likely be surprised by some of the advantages of roofing in the winter, and some of them will be slightly dependent on the company’s preferences. But you’ll find that a lot of them are true throughout the industry.

    Pros and Perks to Winter Roofing

    Depending on who you ask, there are a few perks to roofing in the winter.

    You’ll Fix the Problem Quickly

    Have a leak that you noticed during the winter? Waiting to fix it could actually cause more problems with your roof. A leak or crack in your shingles will only grow over time and lead to more problems with your roofing and the home’s interior.

    Roofers are More Available

    It’s no secret; that construction work slows down a bit during the winter. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any work. It just means that most roofers will have more availability and be able to start and finish your project sooner than they might be able to otherwise.

    men installing new roof during winter; winter roofing

    Cheaper Rates from some Roofers

    Some winter roofing companies will offer incentives to homeowners who are willing to wait until winter for a project. These roofers are still going to do a great job with your roof, but they’ll be able to budge on their price points because there’s less work overall.

    Downsides to Winter Roofing

    Most roofers would say there are more disadvantages than advantages to roofing in the winter. But don’t let that fool you. The advantages we mentioned above are real too.

    Too Cold for Adhesives to be Effective

    When temperatures fall below freezing, everything gets a little bit harder. That’s also true in roofing. The adhesives used to stick shingles together don’t work in freezing temperatures because it takes heat to warm it to a sticky state. Thankfully, sunny days can help heat your roof even if the temperature doesn’t rise quite as much as you’d like.

    men painting a flat roof gray; winter roofing

    Some Materials Can’t Be Installed

    Fiberglass shingles and rubber roofs are two materials that just can’t be successfully installed at a high enough probability of success. There are contractors that specialize in installing these materials no matter the air temperature, but that’s not the norm.

    Materials Can Become Fragile

    Some roofing materials will become too fragile to be installed. When dealing with fragile materials, you’ll need to either wait to install them until the temperature rises or choose a different material. No matter what you decide, be aware that some materials won’t like the cold weather.

    Tips for Winter Roofing

    Knowing the best practices for roofing in the winter can make all the difference between a job well done and a total failure.

    Stay Warm

    Working up on the roof in winter weather can be miserable. Make sure your crew is well equipped with warm gear to keep them safe and happy throughout the project. Gloves and insulated boots are two critical things to consider.

    roofing gloves

    Be Aware of Ice and Water

    Ice makes everything more difficult, especially when you have a high-level roofing project. You’ll have to be extra careful when walking on the ice, not only for safety reasons but also, so you don’t damage your roof with skid marks from boots or tools. Try to remove the snow and ice from the roof and give it a few days in the warm sun to dry off.

    Seal the Shingles

    In winter, when temperatures are colder and the sun isn’t as strong, there is a chance that asphalt shingles won’t seal properly. So make sure your crew seals them to protect against winter weather damage in case an unexpected cold snap or winter storm comes through. To seal properly, the shingles will need a few days with direct sunlight after being installed.

    Store Materials in a Warm Area

    There’s a good chance your winter roofing materials are going to be stored in a garage or outdoor shed. But instead of leaving materials out in the cold, place them in a warmed garage before installing them. You’ll find the materials are easier to work with when they’re not frozen solid.

    Choose a Different Material

    If you’re up for something new, a different material might be the right choice for your roofing. Metal roofing, slate roofing, and other premium materials install just as well in the cold.

    Ideal Temperature for Roofing

    The ideal temperature and condition for roofing are between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder, and you run into some of the winter roofing problems that we mentioned above. Any warmer, and you might melt onto the roof! Of course, we’re just kidding, but the heat can cause problems and should generally be avoided when possible.

    two men on a roof during winter; winter roofing

    If you’re looking for a premium roofing contractor, then look no further than the Roofing Insights Directorii. We’ll help you find a contractor that can get the job done right. If you’re a roofing contractor and you want to join the Directorii to help gain more exposure to customers you can find that information here.

    Quentin Super
    Senior Copywriter at Roofing Insights, author of the internationally-selling book The Long Road North, founder of quentinsuper.com

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    1. Great information! I’d also add not to attempt any DIY roof work in the winter, even if it’s just a small job, it’s best left to the professionals!

    2. My parents have been postponing their roof replacement for too long, and I’m afraid that it’d fall on their heads, so I want to help make up their minds. It’s great that you explained how winter’s a good time to hire roofing contractors since they’ll be more available, so I’ll make sure my parents know about this now. I appreciate your insight on how we’d get our roofing project done in less time.

    3. Preparing for ice and water is definitely something I feel like I haven’t done yet. Our home is quite old, so if we don’t do anything, we could end up having a home that’s extremely susceptible to problems like these. I’ll definitely look for a roofer in the area that can inspect our home and do what needs to be done to prevent ice problems.

    4. You made a good point that the materials should also be considered properly when planning to get some roofing services done. I’d like to get my roof repaired soon because the rainy season last year was a bit harsh. It would be best to make use of the summer to get some improvements for my roof.

    5. Being aware of things like ice and water when roofing close to the winter season could really be important. Since the winter season around here is particularly harsh, it could be worth it for us to try and fix any problems with our roof beforehand. I’ll call over a roof expert for some repairs so that we’re prepared for any snow and ice issues that may come our way.

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