Your roof doesn’t just protect your home against rain—it also helps keep you safe against the wind, hail, heat, and cold. When it comes to your home, your roof is on the front lines of defense.
Because your roof is constantly defending you, it will sustain heavy damage after some time. Your roof can be damaged at any time, but can you repair or replace your roof even if that damage happens when it’s cold?
Here’s your guide to repairing and replacing your roof during winter.
Can Roofing Be Done in the Winter?
Yes, it is possible to repair and replace your roof during the winter.
Winter brings an extra risk to roofing because of the potential for ice or snow build-up. The key, then, is to be aware of that risk and to take appropriate precautions.
Roofing Tents Can Help
If you are faced with a more extreme repair that takes a long time to fix, you can install a tent on the roof surface while you perform the repair. The tent will keep the weather out and can retain heat to ensure the roofing materials are installed correctly.
What Should I Look Out for When Repairing or Replacing My Roof?
Always remove all ice and snow from your work area before you start any project. Any moisture that’s on the wrong side of the seal or shingle can lead to costly water damage. You would never think of exposing bare wood to a rainstorm, so you should use that same caution with snow and ice.
Will Shingles Seal in Cold Weather?
Your materials need to be able to seal properly to protect against weather and water damage. When it’s cold outside, it can be difficult to create a seal, because some materials will become solid or less sticky as the temperature starts to drop. Luckily there is a solution to creating the heat you need to get a good seal, even during winter.
The safest way to seal frozen shingles is to use a heat gun. Heat guns are like industrial strength blow dryers that help you heat a targeted area with warm air. This process takes more time than if you were roofing during the spring or summer, but it makes it possible to roof even when it gets cold.
Avoid Fire Hazards
Some contractors or DIY workers suggest using a blowtorch to heat the seals. Do not do this! You need to warm your materials, not set them on fire. Starting a house fire is the worst possible scenario, and it’s not something to mess around with. Never use an open flame to try to create a seal for any temperature-dependent roof systems or materials.
When Should I Not Work on My Roof?
While it is possible to repair your roof throughout the year, there are three conditions you should always avoid to help keep you safe.
1. Extreme Weather Conditions
Just like you would never dream about trying to repair your roof when there’s a hurricane raging, you should never try to work when there is a blizzard or a winter storm happening. Extreme weather can slow projects, adding an extra layer of risk to you and your roof, and complications from making mistakes in poor weather can create a larger problem than the initial concern.
2. Dangerous Conditions
Your health and safety are more important than roof maintenance. Even the most drastic roof repair issues are not worth putting your life at risk. If your roof is covered in ice or snow, it will be slippery—which increases the risk for you to trip and fall. Winter roof repair should only be undertaken with proper precautions.
3. Sub-Zero Temperatures
The products you use on your roof have recommended temperatures they can function at. If the cold is extreme, you might have issues with some:
Even without a bit of wind or precipitation, you can cause additional damage to your roof if the materials are too brittle or less sticky because of the cold.
Care for Your Roof in Any Weather
Our roofs protect us. It’s up to us to make sure that they’re in proper shape to do their job. With the right precautions, roof repairs and replacements can take place in any season, and it’s a good thing too. If there’s one project you don’t want to put off, it’s making sure your roof is there to protect you for years to come.