As a homeowner, it’s best to keep up with roof inspections and maintenance so that you can catch problems before they become major issues. If you’ve been doing this, you might reach a point where you decide that it’s time to replace your roof. This scenario gives you a chance to schedule the roof replacement when it’s convenient for you.
But sometimes, your roof suffers unexpected damage. If that’s the case, waiting for the perfect time to repair or replace it could create significant damage within the home.
What if the winter is the best time to replace your roof? Maybe it’s the most suitable season according to your busy schedule. Or perhaps you have to move forward because of a structural problem.
Can roofing be done in the winter? Fortunately, it can, especially in our mild climate. However, you should make the following considerations when replacing a roof in the winter.
Avoid Slippery Surfaces
If the temperatures dip to freezing or below, you run the risk of developing a slippery surface on the roof and the ladders that you use to access it. Avoid doing work on your roof in inclement, freezing weather.
In some cases, crews will be able to work during the daytime hours even if there is frost on the roof in the morning. However, they’ll have to protect the roof overnight if the job takes more than one day.
Understand How Cold Weather Influences Nail Guns
Nail guns don’t work as well in freezing weather. Cold temperatures can make moisture in the airlines of pneumatic nail guns freeze up. This reduces the amount of air pressure that drives the nails into the roof. When installing a roof in colder weather, make sure that the fasteners are entering the surface completely, with the heads ending up flush against the shingles.
Recognize How Cold Weather Affects Shingles
Many asphalt shingles need to undergo a curing process to create a solid seal. This happens when the sealant on the shingles is activated by the sun’s heat. If the temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the curing time, the shingles may not seal promptly. If this is the case, the roofer may have to apply a sealant to vulnerable areas by hand.
However, a string of sunny days before you replace your roof can heat up the material sufficiently to seal properly. The heat that rises from the inside of your home can help too. When in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Many modern shingles are designed to seal in broader temperature ranges.
Asphalt shingles are also susceptible to breakage and cracking in cold weather. Extra care should be taken when cutting, installing and walking on shingles in the winter. For example, use snips or shears instead of a utility knife to cut the shingles.
Keep Your Materials Warm
Caulk and other roofing materials become difficult to use in cold weather. If they sit in a truck all night, they might not be ready for a morning installation. Store adhesives, equipment and roofing materials in a warm place. If they are exposed to cold temperatures, allow them to warm up before starting the installation.
This is why you’ll often see roofers start a project by laying bundles of shingles across the roof. The warmth from the sun makes them pliable by the time they’re ready to use.
Benefits of Replacing a Roof in the Winter
Not only can roofing be done in the winter, but there are also benefits to having your roof replaced during the colder months.
Easy and Immediate Scheduling
Winter is the slow season for roofers. This is an advantage for homeowners because there may be more availability to fit the job into your schedule. Whether you have limited time to accomplish the project or run into an emergency situation, you’ll likely get an appointment faster than you would in the summer.
Prices for roof replacements may also be lower in the winter. Ask your roofer about cold-season promotions that you can take advantage of.
Getting a new roof during the winter will also help you save on heating costs. If your roof is damaged, waiting until the spring can lead to a lot of energy leaks during the colder months. Compromised shingles do an inferior job of keeping warm air in your home and cold air out. The added stress from winter weather can do additional damage, raising the cost of your power bills. Why not repair or replace the roof now and take advantage of the savings?
Check for Heat Leaks
It’s easier to notice vulnerabilities in the roof when it’s cold out. If there’s a problem with cracks or sealants, you’ll feel the heat escaping from the inside of the house. Troubleshooting is often easier when installing a roof in the winter.
Get a Unique Roof During the Slow Season
Metal roofing is not as vulnerable to cold temperatures as asphalt roofing is. It doesn’t require adhesives, which may not grip as well in cold environments. Also, snow and ice slide easily off of a metal roof compared to an asphalt one.
Less Damage to Landscaping
Because your landscaping tends to be dormant in the winter, it’s less likely to be damaged from the roofing equipment. This is a great time to access areas close to the house that are usually hidden by shrubs, greenery and gardens.
If you wait until the weather gets warmer, you risk damaging plants while they’re in mid-bloom, which can affect their growing cycle for the entire season and create an eyesore in your landscape.
Plus, harder soil is more resistant to traffic from the contractors and their equipment. You’re less likely to get ruts in your yard during the winter.
Prepare Your Home for Sale
Spring is the prime home-buying season. Replacing your roof while you’re trying to sell your home can limit your sales opportunities when other homes are open to potential buyers. Take care of significant maintenance needs in the winter so that you can get your house on the market in a timely manner and attract high-quality buyers.
Protect Your Home From Severe Weather
When water freezes in cracks on your roof, it expands, worsening the damage. Safeguard your home by repairing or replacing the roof early in the cold season. This will protect it from severe winter weather and spring showers, and you can rest easy for the rest of the year.
You’ll also protect your home from pests by upgrading the roof before it gets too cold. Holes and cracks in the roof are particularly attractive to nesting birds and other animals in the winter. They provide a warm, protected space in which the critters can escape from the elements. Prevent animals from taking up space in your roof by repairing or replacing it sooner rather than later.
The professionals at Presidio Roofing are experienced with roof repair and replacements in every season. We take the appropriate precautions to ensure safety and quality.
If the weather is not ideal for replacing your roof, we will reschedule the project to protect our crews and your home from the detrimental effects of winter weather. Therefore, you may want to create more room in your schedule. A winter roofing project can take longer than a summer one because of the variations in weather.