Roof Replacement | Weather | Roof Repair | Roofing Industry Knowledge
Can Roofing Work Be Done in the Winter?
Roofing is a service that’s needed year-round. But as temperatures drop and freezing precipitation shows up in the forecast, there’s always hesitancy to call a roofing contractor when there’s a problem.
Sometimes it’s because of financial reasons before or after the holidays. But it’s also because they simply don’t know if roofing work can be done in the winter months.
This is actually a pretty common question that I’m asked, especially by homeowners who need a new roof in the winter. Never one to shy away from a question; let’s answer it.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has educated homeowners on the dos and don’ts of the roofing industry. Because of this, I’ll help you understand if getting roofing work during the winter months is a good idea.
In this article, I’ll answer the following questions:
- Can roofing work be done in the winter?
- Should you repair or replace your roof in the winter?
- Is there a temperature requirement for shingle installation in the winter?
Can roofing work be done in the winter?
Yes, roofing can be done in the winter. However, it ultimately depends on the temperatures and weather you experience during the winter season.
In Nashville, Tennessee, and other southern states, we can replace roofs year-round. There might be a week or two where it’s too cold, or there’s snow, rain, or a winter mix.
But we have a chance to repair, replace, or install roofs 52 weeks out of the year, including during the winter months. On the other hand, if you’re located further north, it can mean extremely cold temperatures with snow and ice.
This weather causes safety issues for the roofing contractor and crew. Adding ice, snow, and rain to an already dangerous job makes it even riskier.
While safety is important, the final product is even more important. I guarantee the quality of the roofing work will not be good, and trying to repair or replace your roof in these conditions always leads to future problems.
So, yes, roofing can be done in the winter. However, it all comes down to where you live and how often it sees extreme winter weather.
Should I repair or replace my roof in the winter?
Now you know that roofing can be done in the winter. But even though you can get repairs or a full roof replacement in the winter, should you?
Let’s break it down.
Should I repair my roof in the winter?
Yes, you should always get roof repairs if you have an active leak. No matter the time of year, letting an active leak continue will cause all kinds of damage to your home.
Even during the winter, contact your local roofing contractor soon as you notice a roof leak. But remember, the repairs must be done in clear weather for them to be done correctly.
Just know that there is a common leak caused by ice damming during the winter months that can't exactly be repaired. An ice dam is caused by snow or ice freezing at the gutter line (eaves), creating a literal dam of ice.
(Ice dam at the gutter line)
When the snow above the dam thaws, the water backs up because it can’t drain down to your gutters. This leaves the water sitting on a surface that isn’t meant to handle sitting water.
This water eventually drips into your home until it’s warm enough outside for the ice dam to completely thaw out. Unfortunately, there’s nothing a roofer can do about a leak caused by ice damming when it’s already happening.
The only way to stop ice damming is by adding preventative measures when getting a roof replacement. But in any case, it’s still a good idea to get a roof inspection after the snow and ice clears to see if there are any other potential problems.
Should I replace my roof in the winter?
You can replace your roof in the winter, but it’s up to you to determine if you should wait. Remember, roofs can be replaced year-round in the right conditions.
(Roof replacement in the snow)
As I said earlier, we can install roofs year-round in Middle Tennessee because we usually only get a couple of weeks of heavy snow and ice, or it’s too cold to roof. This won't be the case in colder climates with extremely low temperatures and a lot of snow or ice.
But as long as there’s no rain, snow, or ice, there’s always the possibility for a roof replacement. The important thing is not to put off your roof replacement until it’s too late, even during the winter months.
Is there a temperature requirement for shingle installation in the winter?
Now you know that a roof replacement during the winter is possible in the right conditions. However, there’s still the question of temperature requirements for installing asphalt shingles.
After all, they must be installed per the manufacturer’s installation instructions to be warrantied. For the longest time, shingle manufacturers said it had to be 40 degrees or warmer to install shingles.
This is because shingles would crack or break in cold temperatures when bent. However, they now manufacture shingle mats (the surface that holds all the shingle components together) with improved technology to stand up to colder temperatures better.
The mats are now a little more pliable when it's cold, which allows asphalt shingles to be installed during the winter. Because of these improvements, manufacturers have dropped that 40-degree minimum.
(Shingle bundles being warmed up before installation)
Just know that shingles can still be brittle in cold temperatures even though the minimum temperature requirements were dropped. That’s why it’s important to warm up or thaw out the shingles before installation.
If they’re not, the slightest bend in frozen shingles will cause them to break and crack, which makes them completely ineffective.
Find a roofer who will be honest about roofing work during the winter
After reading this article, you now know if you can and should get roofing work done in the winter. While the decision mostly comes down to you, you also have to rely on the roofing contractor being honest about potential risks with winter roofing work.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some roofing contractors will still do work in bad conditions.
I’ve even seen roofers replacing a roof in the snow firsthand. This not only puts your investment at risk, but they also probably won’t stand behind the work.
For this reason and more, finding an honest and reputable roofing contractor is crucial. That’s why I wrote another article with hiring tips to help homeowners like you find a great roofer in their area.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas with high-quality roofing services. We always ensure the conditions are right to ensure your roofing project is done efficiently and correctly.
If you’re local to Nashville or another Middle Tennessee area, don’t hesitate to Contact Us for all of your roofing needs.
Here are 7 Tips to Find a Great Roofing Contractor to ensure you hire an honest roofing contractor, no matter the time of year.