From missing shingles to ceiling leaks, you might just now be realizing that you need to replace your roof but are wondering if it can be done during the cold winter months.
The good news is that you can replace a roof in the winter, but it’s important to use proper techniques for a successful installation. Installing a roof when the temperature is below 40 degrees can cause shingles to crack. Experienced roofing contractors know what to do to ensure your new roof isn’t impacted by cold temperatures.
Advantages of Winter Roof Installation
There are several great reasons to get major roof work done in the cold weather months.
1. Better Protection Against Ice and Snow
Snow and ice are common culprits of roof damage during the winter months. Deep freezes and snow, whether a small or large amount, can cause roof damage. Refreezing and thawing of snow repeatedly cause roof shingles to expand and extract.
The benefit of getting a new roof in winter is that you can look into materials that are specifically made to withstand wet and cold conditions. Even if your roof has been holding up well until now, certain snow and ice conditions can cause major damage.
- Ice dams can hold water on your roof where it adds unnecessary weight and eventually finds a way to leak through.
- Two or more feet of old snow tends to be heavier, dirtier, and more compact than fresh snow.
- Accumulated ice is heavy and will make the roof shingles more brittle and susceptible to damage.
2. Better Prices
Many contractors offer better rates for routine work in the cooler months. The cost of home repairs depends on demand. Roofing work tends to be cheaper in winter because there are fewer customers getting work done at this time of year. Once the days get longer and warmer, most contractors will have long waiting lists and higher prices.
3. Availability Increases
It can be difficult to find a high-quality roofing contractor once the weather heats up. When the first winter frost hits, the demand is lower. Scheduling in the winter means less competition with other customers. You and your home can get undivided attention from a professional roofer. If you wait until spring or summer, the roofing contractor you prefer may just be booked through next winter.
The Drawbacks of Winter Replacement
Aside from asphalt shingles becoming brittle in the winter, there are other reasons you might choose to wait for warmer temperatures to replace your roof.
1. No Adhesion
When the temperature drops below 40 degrees, some self-adhesive shingles have a hard time sticking. Some of the sealants used in roof installation do not seal as well in extremely low temperatures. The sealing strips typically have no trouble bonding in the spring and summer, but in the winter the temperature needs to be higher.
2. Bad Weather
Heavy rains and freezing conditions can make it difficult to safely work outside, particularly on a roof. Your scheduled roof repair may have to be postponed if the forecast is cold and wet.
3. Busy Holiday Season
Winter, unfortunately, is one of the busier seasons of the year. Families have holiday travel and gatherings, work, sporting events, and other obligations. In summer, on the other hand, people tend to take things a little slower which gives them more time to replace the roof.
Common Sources of Roof Damage in the Winter
The combination of precipitation, wind, and fluctuations in weather makes winter hard on our roofs. Pay attention to your roof and call a professional if you see the following issues.
Flashing Leakage. Wear and tear or simply being installed incorrectly make you’re flashing more likely to leak. Also, heavy rains, high winds, and other violent storms can cause damage.
Condensation. When the warm air from your home meets the cold underside of your roof, condensation forms. Over time, mildew and mold can follow it, eating away at your roof from the inside.
Tree Limbs. The trees hanging over and surrounding our homes can scrape against the siding and roof to create damage over time.
Split Seams. The different parts where your roof comes together can become weak points as your roof ages. When put under stress from water, ice, or high winds, they are often the first place to fall apart.