Should I Re-Roof In Winter: Snowmen vs. Shingles
Winter is best spent drinking hot chocolate and building snowmen, not re-roofing your house. Benoit Gosselin, operating manager at Safe Roofing Edmonton lists three main reasons why you should postpone your re-roofing project until springtime:
- Asphalt shingles become brittle when the temperature drops below 10 degrees centigrade. As such, bending, throwing and nailing shingles during delivery and installation may break them, resulting in increased material costs.
- Low temperatures will affect the asphaltic sealant’s ability to bond and seal shingles together. Experienced roofers pay close attention to the temperature, humidity and sun exposure when re-roofing a home. They may choose not to re-roof if they believe the current conditions will affect a shingle’s ability to form a proper seal and thus compromise the integrity of the roof.
- You may not be covered by your manufacturer’s warranty. When shingles are not sealed for weeks or months on end, they are at risk of being blown off during windy seasons. Under such circumstances, the standard wind warranty offered by the shingle manufacturer will not cover the cost to repair.
If you have concerns regarding the condition of your roof, your best option is to contact a professional roofing contractor and let them assess the roof condition before starting a project. Take advantage of the winter season to collect quotes, and secure a spot and price with a trusted roofing contractor.
What if I must re-roof during the winter?
If you must re-roof your home, you must manually seal the shingles with asphalt plastic cement as recommended by the shingle manufacturer. This process is extremely time consuming and may increase costs. Additionally, take the extra step in protecting your shingles by storing them in a warehouse rather than leaving them outside. Ask your roofing contractor if their supplier has stored the shingles in a warehouse, as exposure to fluctuating temperatures prior to installation may affect their performance.
Things to consider:
- Re-roofing during the wintertime is extremely dangerous, especially on sloped roofs. The rooftop must be cleared of snow and ice before starting a re-roofing job, and up-to-date safety training, insurance and proper equipment are a must.
- During the winter season, ice may build along the edge of a roof and prevent water from draining off the roof. This is called an ice dam. To prevent the water from leaking into your home, consider putting a self-adhesive waterproof membrane along your eaves, valleys, skylights and chimneys.
- Re-roofing is an excellent time to check your roof ventilation system and attic insulation. An early inspection may catch problems such as improper ventilation, which can increase the risk of condensation and ice damming occurring during the wintertime.
The best time to re-roof is spring, summer and autumn. Winter is not a good time to do it. The shingle product will not perform well and good workmanship is at risk. A little knowledge goes a long way. Understanding what could go wrong when re-roofing during the wintertime can save you weeks of stress, headaches, and extra costs.
Full-time roof enthusiast and co-owner at Safe Roofing Limited. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant in Edmonton.
About Sara MacLennan
Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger.