Can a Roof be Installed or Replaced in the Winter?

Friday, January 8 2016 1:50 PM

Most homeowners who need a new roof or have damage that needs to be fixed want it done before cold weather sets in. While this is understandable, there are times when replacing or repairing a roof during the colder months is a necessity. For most homes, it’s possible to install a new asphalt shingle roof during the winter, as long as proper precautions are taken. Here are some things to consider:

Get the best prices and use the best contractors

One benefit of replacing your roof during the winter is that roofers are typically busiest in spring, summer and fall, so you can typically get a roof installed for a lower price during colder months when there’s less work to go around. And because there’s less demand, even the top contractors should be able to get you into their schedule quickly.

Prevent further damage to your home and roof

If you’re fixing or replacing your roof in the winter, it’s most likely because there’s a problem that’s either causing your roof to leak now, or could lead to leaks once ice and snow get piled on. In such a case, the longer to you wait to repair your roof, the worse the damage could become.

Hire a reliable contractor

If roofers cut corners when working in the winter, it can create a dangerous situation. The crew will have to clear any ice and snow off the roof before they can begin work, and if the surface is slippery, they’ll have to slow down for safety. Temperature is another consideration. Roofers can’t wear heavy gloves or boots because they won’t be able to grasp nails or bend their toes to maintain their footing, so working in cold temperatures gets uncomfortable and can be hazardous. Roofing is already physically demanding, and heavy winter clothing adds more weight that can make it difficult to climb up and down and around the roof. It’s important to hire a roofing contractor who will evaluate the weather conditions and make a fair determination of whether it’s safe to work that day or not, to protect both your home and the roofing crew.

Some roofing equipment is affected by cold temperatures

The compressors and nail guns used to install shingles can develop ice inside if the temperature is below freezing. When the airflow is reduced, the nail gun won’t drive the nails to the correct depth. As a result, your roofer will have to constantly monitor and adjust the depth of the gun, slowing down the process.

Special consideration for installing shingles in cold weather

Asphalt shingles can become brittle in the cold, making them difficult to bend and cut. The installer will also need to take extra care to make sure the nails aren’t overdriven. After installation, the heat from the sun should activate the glue on the shingles’ self-sealing strip, causing them to stick or “tab” together. This keeps the edges of the shingles from getting lifted in the wind, which can lead to blown-off shingles. Another possible issue with installing shingles in cold weather is “cold curl”, which is when the edges of the shingles curl up because of the cold. To combat these problems, it’s possible to hand seal them. Hand sealing shingles means the roofers apply roofing cement under each shingle to hold it down until the roof heats up enough for the shingles to self-seal.

If you need your roof replaced in the winter months, we recommend GAF shingles, because they’re high-quality and made to withstand harsh weather conditions. All Seasons Construction is experienced in safe and reliable winter roof repair and installation. Call us today for an estimate at 316-685-1700.

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