Winter Roofing Replacement: What You Need to Know

Depending on the type of roof you have, it may last anywhere from 20 to over 50 years. But on average, you should aim to replace it every 30 years or so.

Perhaps your roof is looking a bit worse for wear, and now that it’s wintertime, you may even notice leaking issues that need to be addressed. The cold weather might have you considering if fixing or replacing your roof is even possible or smart right now, but not to worry, we have the answers!

In this article, you’ll learn all about winter roofing, including the issues, how to alleviate them, and other things you should be aware of.

Can You Have a Roof Replacement Done in the Winter?

In general, it’s advised that roofing replacements are completed during the warmer months when there are less wind and precipitation. This is because some roofing materials may change in functionality and composition in extremely low temperatures. Windy, wet, or stormy weather means you’re in a race against time to get the entire roofing job completed successfully.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get winter roofing replacement done. While it’s best to avoid it, that’s not always possible. Plus, in areas like Ontario, the temperatures are pretty cold for the majority of the year, which means there’s a big chance you’ve got to get that replacement job done during less than optimal weather.

The Troubles of Winter Roofing Replacement

Regular roofing replacement already presents some challenges that only professional roofing contractors can handle. Not only do they have the knowledge to do so, but they also have the experience to perform roof services safely and efficiently.

With winter roofing, there are some additional challenges that may make things more dangerous and difficult. The weather can be unpredictable; but most of all, cold and unsafe.

Below are some of the common troubles you and your contractor may run into when dealing with winter roofing.

Cracking Shingles

If you’re having asphalt shingles installed (and you probably are, considering they’re the most popular type), then these will be tough to deal with if temperatures are under 4 degrees Celsius. This is because when it’s cold, the shingles will become more rigid and won’t be as flexible as they should be.

What does this translate to?

Well, for one, it’ll be harder to cut. The contractor will need to use more force and precision, which may require more labor and time.

Also, depending on the temperature and humidity, pneumatic guns may not be able to perform in the same way as they do under milder weather circumstances. So the pressure must be adjusted, or the contractor risks either under or over-driving the fasteners on your shingles.

In addition, the rigidity of the shingles means when the contractor’s hammering into them, there’s a higher chance of them cracking. As a result, this may require more shingles on hand and longer hours at work.

Issues With Adhesives

Like with the asphalt shingles, the properties of adhesives on shingled roofing change when the temperature drops below 4 degrees Celsius.

Think about it: when you deal with any type of adhesive (such as Scotch tape), it relies on a gummy substance to stick one thing to another. If the temperature is too low, then the adhesives will fail to work. For instance, if you freeze Scotch tape, you’ll just get a plastic strip that won’t stick to anything.

The same goes for the sealants you find on roofs. These are activated through heat and sunlight, neither of which you might not have a lot of during the winter.

If a roofer tries to apply the sealants during temperatures colder than 4 degrees Celsius, they might end up experiencing issues with premature lifting or detached shingles. This is because the sealants won’t have activated and it’ll be very easy for the wind to get under and lift them away.

Other Issues

Unfortunately, during the winter, we lose a significant amount of daylight hours. This means a project that’d normally take an afternoon to finish could take much longer, as there are fewer workable hours a contracting crew can be on your property. This may mean they have to return on the following afternoon to finish the job.

How to Have a Successful Winter Roof Replacement

After reading the previous section, it may feel like a winter roof replacement is something to avoid. But truthfully, it can be done if you hire experienced roofing professionals who take the time to implement the correct measures. Here are some that we at T Simpson Roofing take to ensure successful roof replacements, even in the winter.

Keep Your Shingles Warm

One of the most important factors in having a successful winter roof replacement is to do it under the right temperature. As long as the weather’s over 4 degrees Celsius, then you can expect your asphalt shingles to retain their flexibility.

You can count on T Simpson Roofing to store your shingles in a place that’s always above 10 degrees Celsius. We also store them properly in a flat position so they remain as straight as possible.

Should you need your roofing installation to be done during colder temperatures than 4 degrees Celsius, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your shingles will stay as warm as possible before installation.

Enforce Proper Seals

In normal circumstances, roofing contractors will apply warm weather roll roofing for your eaves, vents, pipes, and valleys. But as you can guess, it may not perform so well in freezing temperatures.

Because of that, your roofing contractor will use winter weather membranes instead. These won’t buckle or wrinkle when you use them during winter.

Have Your Shingles Hand-Sealed

A good workaround around sealants that won’t activate during extreme winter conditions is to have a roofing contractor hand-seal every shingle with an asphalt roofing cement. However, do keep in mind that this is a pricey job that may not be within your budget. It isn’t always necessary, and your options should always be thoroughly discussed with your roofing contractor.

Either way, it may be best to just wait a little bit to see if the weather warms up a bit. That way, the contractor can just apply regular sealant and it’ll activate on its own.

What to Expect for Winter Roofing Services

Because it can rain, hail, or snow during the wintertime, the contractors obviously have to take precautions if you’re going to have a roof replacement done during this time.

As a result, there may only be a few contractors who are willing to take on winter jobs, especially in bad weather conditions. Not to fret though; there are a number of contractors who have experience performing winter roof replacements, and will gladly come out to your property and suggest the best course of action, such as T Simpson Roofing!

Also, because they’re working in more dangerous conditions where there’s a need for extra manpower, roofing contractors will also charge a bit more during the winter. This can be especially true if you want to have your roof hand-shingled.

You might need to work closely with your desired contractor to determine the best window of time to get the installation done. For example, you might search the weather reports for a few days where there’s no projected snowfall. Of course, weather reports are only predictions, so if the day of the project comes and it’s snowing, you may need to reschedule.

To avoid the situation of needing your roof replaced in the winter, you should make sure to stay on top of your regular roof inspections during the summer or fall. That way, if it’s determined that you do indeed need a replacement, you won’t have to go through it during the harshest times of winter. Of course, emergency situations do arise, and professionals are always prepared to handle your needs, no matter the time of year.

Winter Roofing Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Winter roofing can present additional challenges and considerations that must be accounted for. There may be more moving parts and risks to mitigate in order to avoid damage or injury.

This is why roof replacements are always best left in an expert’s hands, especially if you want to replace your roof in winter. While it may seem easier and cheaper to tackle on your own, should anything happen, you’ll be left with the extra costs and labor.

So don’t leave things to chance and do things right the first time around. Have a professional roofer come out to assess your situation and replace it properly for you, even if it’s in the dead of winter.

Do you have an old roof and feel like it’s time for a replacement? Then get in touch with us now for a quote!

T. Simpson

Originally founded by a 16-year-old Tony Simpson as a way of acquiring funds to help pay his way through university, T. Simpson Roofing, propelled by Tony’s strong work ethic and commitment to delivering quality work and unbeatable customer service, quickly grew into a thriving business.

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