The winter months tend to be the slow season for roofing companies and many other trades alike. Many homeowners are often too scared to ask or even consider having their roofs replaced during the winter. Is it even possible to have your roof replaced in the winter? This is a question roofers get asked a lot and we are here to clear it up for you. By the end of this article, you will have the answer to this question along with additional information regarding roof replacement and installation in the winter months.
Is roof replacement possible in the winter?
The answer to this question is yes, you can have a new roof installed in the winter. Well, actually it can depend on where you live and what the winters look like there. Different parts of the country experience winters differently. Southern and western North America tend to have warmer winters where roofs can be replaced at almost anytime during the year. Even if you live in the northern areas where snow is more prevalent, a roofing replacement can still be done as long as it is dry outside. It is especially important to have an experienced and trustworthy roofing company replace your roof in the winter since they know what to look for regarding potential weather issues. While yes it is more than possible to have a new roof installed during the winter, the summer and warmer months are always preferred as there are fewer obstacles.
If you notice damage to your roof during the winter, we strongly recommend getting it checked by a reputable roofing company and fixed right away. Failure to repair or replace a damaged roof highly increases the chances of the damage worsening, especially in the cold winter months when there is snow and ice involved. These types of weather conditions have a higher chance of leading to issues such as excess moisture, gutter damage, and mold growth.
Installing asphalt shingles in the winter
Asphalt shingles used to be rather difficult to install during the winter due to their 40 degree or warmer requirement. Thankfully this has changed now thanks to modern technology and the minimum temperature requirements were dropped. The shingle mats are now able to function in colder temperatures much better than before. Shingle mats are what hold all of the shingles together. It is important to note that while the minimum temperature requirement was dropped, super cold temperatures can still brittle and affect the new shingles. Shingles have a much higher chance of cracking or breaking when it is cold outside. This can be avoided as long as your contractor is sure to warm up the shingles prior to installing them.
At Liberty Roofworks we do our best to replace your asphalt shingle roof when it’s sunny outside. When installing a roof, the sooner you can spread out the shingles and have them begin to absorb the sun, the better. When the sun comes in contact with the shingles they function better and overall make the installation process go much faster. Doing an asphalt roof replacement during the winter is one of the more challenging options when it comes to the winter cold, but it is not impossible.
Sealing shingles in the winter
When installing an asphalt roof in the winter, one important step to remember is to properly seal the shingles. While keeping the shingles warm and thawed out is important to help avoid damage from the cold, the way the shingles are sealed is just as important. Most roof shingles contain a heat-activated asphalt sealant which binds the shingles to the roof upon contact with the sun. Typically it can take a few weeks until the sealant is completely activated and the shingles are stuck. In the wintertime, it can be hard to guarantee sunshine especially over the span of a couple of weeks. Some roofing companies will instead manually seal the shingles by hand to speed up the process and ensure the same quality result. In fact, as a homeowner, we suggest confirming with your roofers that they will use hand-sealant instead as it is preferred for winter installations.
Winter roof inspections
Whether you know it is time for a roof replacement or are suspicious of roof damage, try to avoid walking on your roof and performing your own inspection. During the warmer months, this would be completely acceptable, but the cold is a different story. We strongly recommend not walking on your roof at all during the cold as shingles tend to break much easier. If you want an inspection done during a winter month we suggest contacting a reputable and experienced roofing company to come and perform one of their own. A professional roofer will look at the forecast and know which day is the safest and will also know what to look for when on the roof and where to step to avoid damage.
Different types of roofs in the winter
When it comes to replacing a roof in the winter months, some materials are better than others. Asphalt shingles roofs are the most difficult kind to install during the winter for the reasons stated earlier. While the shingles require a bit more care than normal, it is still 100% possible to have an asphalt roof installed in the winter. Other types of roofs face fewer challenges during installation in the winter months such as metal and slate roofs. Fiberglass and synthetic shingles are also good options for colder climates. At the end of the day, don’t change your roofing material just because of the time of year your roof is replaced. Go with what you like the most and can afford and any reputable and experienced roofer will make it happen.
We have experience replacing and installing roofs in the winter months and we do so regularly. It is important that we work on a dry day and ideally when the sun is shining outside. Replacing a roof in the winter is not impossible, it just requires a bit more patience and pre-planning than a roof that is replaced in the spring or summer. We only install roofs when we know there is no snow or rain predicted for the time of the project to avoid any issues. With us, there is no need to wait till the spring to have your brand new roof installed.
We are here to help
Are you interested in having your roof replaced? At Liberty Roofworks of certified and experienced roofers are happy to do so regardless of the time of year. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or ask any questions you may have and we will happily assist you. It’s never too late for a new roof!
Here are some frequently asked questions we receive about winter roof work and installation. If you can not seem to find an answer to your question please contact us and we will happily answer it for you.
Q: Is it a bad idea to replace your roof in the winter?
A: While a warmer month is more ideal, no. Replacing your roof in the winter is not bad. While there can be additional obstacles faced, any reputable roofing company will be able to get the job done.
Q: Is it cheaper to replace a roof during the winter months?
A: Yes, it can be cheaper. The summer and warmer months are the busiest times for roofers and scheduling an appointment can be a challenge at times. The colder months are considered to be “off-season” for roofers and oftentimes cost a bit less. We recommended contacting your roofing company to confirm their off-season prices for the year.
Q: What is the best temperature to replace a roof?
A: While the minimum temperature requirement was removed for shingles, the ideal temperatures for replacing a roof fall anywhere between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer it is outside, the less chance there will be any damage done to the new shingles.
Q: Will shingles seal in cold winter weather?
A: Yes and no. The sealant that is built-in with the shingles may not be able to fully activate without the proper temperatures. However, a manual sealant is something almost all reputable roofing contractors offer and is a great sealant alternative for the winter months. We recommended confirming with your roofer ahead of time that manual sealant will be used as opposed to the sealant already in the shingle.
Q: Which type of roof is the best for colder climates?
A: While each roofing material has its own challenges, the best option for a colder climate is a metal roof. Metal roofs are light in weight and very strong. Handling snow is no hassle for these roofs and icicles are not a concern as any type of water slides directly down it. This also allows your roof to avoid the issue of ice dams which frequently cause damage to residential properties in the winter.