Can I Replace My Roof In The Winter?

Published November 25th, 2020 in Roof Replacement, Seasonal Roofing
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It’s completely possible for a successful roof replacement to take place during the winter months. In fact, when a significant leak or roof damage is discovered during the winter, we recommend replacing your roof as soon as possible in order to minimize the risk of further damage.

While winter may not be your idea of the ideal season for a new roof, our team works hard to make sure that every necessary cold-weather precaution is taken. Unpredictable weather conditions and colder temperatures do impact the roof replacement process in small ways, but being prepared for these situations will help the process go more smoothly for you. 

Safety Precautions for Slippery Conditions

Since roof installations during the winter months can be more dangerous than other times of the year due to slippery rooftop conditions caused by rain, snow, and ice, crews must take extra precautions to make sure they are able to safely walk on the roof without risk of falling. Fall protection equipment ensures that if a slip does happen, no one will be seriously injured. In many cases, crews simply need to wait until the morning frost melts to get started, but extreme snow or ice may result in a necessary postponement of work until it melts.

Cold Weather Affects Nail Guns

The pneumatic nail guns used during the roofing process can also be affected by freezing temperatures. This is because nail guns are powered by compressed air, and when releasing air into the system, any present humidity can turn to water. When the temperature is below freezing, water may freeze in the airlines, reducing the airflow that drives the nails.

This results in a higher risk of underdriven or overdriven nails. When this happens, roofers must pay extra attention to the placement and depth of the nails they are driving to make sure the depth adjustment is correct and the shingles are securely installed. 

How Shingles Are Affected By Cold Weather

Most shingles are manufactured with a sealant that is activated through direct exposure to heat and energy from the sun. If the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the shingles may not seal until the temperature rises. In this case, they should be hand sealed with asphalt roof cement along the steep sloped sides of gable roofs to ensure additional fastening strength and wind resistance. Shingles are also more brittle and susceptible to cracking in cold weather.  Extra care must be taken when cutting and nailing them during the installation process, as well as in walking on them on top of the roof. 

Unlike asphalt shingles, metal and slate roofing materials aren’t nearly as affected by colder temperatures. Roofs made of these materials have fewer, if any, challenges associated with the installation process in winter months. 

The Precautions We Take

During cold-weather shingle installations our crews take many precautions to protect the shingles and leave you with a sturdy new roof to protect your home. 

  • Fall protection equipment: Our crews have harness and other fall protection equipment that keeps them safe in the event that they slip on the roof in icy or snowy conditions. 
  • Snips: When the weather is colder, our crews use snips or shears instead of utility knives in order to protect the more brittle shingles from breaking. 
  • Warm materials: On cold mornings, the ice and water shield and caulking materials are placed inside the warm trucks before they are installed to ensure they don’t freeze and can be installed effectively. 
  • Good judgment: If a day is too cold, wet, or slippery to work, our project managers will recognize it, and postpone the work until a safer time. This protects our crews, and your roof, from the negative effects of cold weather. 

Replace Your Roof This Winter With Cenvar Roofing

From pre-warming the caulking, to changing the way they handle shingles in cold weather, our team takes every necessary precaution for a successful winter roof installation. As a company, we value customer satisfaction above all else, and take pride in delivering flawless roofs all year long. Schedule your free consultation today and let us help you start the process!