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Can You ReRoof a Home in the Winter?

by Sherriff-Goslin on December 16, 2011

A lot of people ask whether it’s OK to reroof their home in the winter? The answer really comes down to a combination of factors which may or may not permit the homeowner to wait until warmer weather. One of the most important issues to clear up first, is whether asphalt shingles themselves can actually be installed in the winter.

Asphalt shingles can take it.

It’s important to note that asphalt shingles actually CAN be installed in the winter. In most cases they aren’t too frozen or brittle. There are actually some shingles in extreme northern climates such as Canada and Alaska that are made for colder weather such as -20° C. Remember also that asphalt shingles are made to protect your home in winter during colder weather so it stands to reason that the risk for installing them in cold weather should be low.

There are legitimate concerns about the seal strip and whether the shingles will seal in the cold. Remember, it’s almost always warmer on the roof to begin with. Underneath the roof deck there is usually warm air moving around in the attic and on the roof’s surface the sun is warming up the roofing materials during daylight. It can be as much as 10-20 degrees warmer on the roof, and all that is needed is a warm winter day for the shingles to adhere to the seal strip.

If there is no such warm winter day in sight but high winds or extreme weather are anticipated, the roofing contractor will place quarter-sized dabs of roof cement underneath the corners of the shingle tabs while installing them, to ensure wind doesn’t get underneath them while waiting for them to seal. With some heavier laminated dimensional shingles,  securing their tabs with cement isn’t even necessary as they’ll lay fine until they have the opportunity to seal.

What about YOUR home?

Considering the asphalt shingle’s ability to seal itself, the real question isn’t whether a home can be re-roofed in the winter, but should YOUR home be re-roofed in the winter? This question of course is best answered after a thorough inspection of your shingles, flashings, roof deck and other roof components – even those that may not show signs of weather penetration. The best inspection is performed by a trusted, experienced roofing contractor.

If there are urgent issues such as leaks or penetration of snow, ice, animals, vegetation, falling off and broken shingles or other common problems, it may be time to carve out one or two days of favorable weather and get busy on the new roof.

Even if there’s no urgency, winter may be a good time to roof your home. Contractors actually enjoy cooler days and may be anxious to get busy on your project. Your roofing material dealer might also be running an off-season special on your shingles.

Contractors – Do you have winter roofing experiences?
What are other concerns, if any; you’ve heard from homeowners about winter roofing?

Homeowners – Have you had a successful roof installation in the winter?
Are you thinking right now it might be time to install a new roof?
Do you have reservations about winter roofing?

One Comment Leave one →
  1. To comment on cold weather installation for asphalt shingles; it is posssible, it’s just wise to be safe with regard to any ice that may be present (especially on north facing portions). Obviously, the warmer it is, the more pliable the shingles are going to be.

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