The Best Time of Year to Repair a Roof
As a seasoned roofer, we would be willing to bet that at some point in your career, you have strongly encouraged a homeowner to replace or repair a residential roof prior to the winter season. We would also be willing to bet that said homeowners did not always take heed of your advice and expertise. Although it is best to complete roofing projects before winter, all roofing materials can be installed successfully in cold weather, given adequate precautions are taken.
Outdoor temperatures below 50˚ F are not ideal, and they can even begin to affect the way our bodies, roofing materials, and equipment perform under these conditions, but there are a few benefits.
Tip: Accurately reflect increased overhead and decreased performance speeds that the cold weather might bring by increasing service prices by as much as 20%. (see image)
- Plan work around sunlight hours and avoid storms, snow, and/or other miscellaneous weather events that may impede your work.
- Adjust project timelines accordingly and expect performance to be naturally slower
- Adjust the number of hours roofers are working as well. Cold temperature can be hard on the body, specifically the heart and lungs, and could increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite, which can happen quicker than you think.
- Leaves or snow can disguise risks such as icy areas, skylights, debris, or roofing materials. Clear surfaces before working and pay close attention when disposing of ice and snow.
How Will Your Tools and Materials Perform Under Colder Conditions?
- The best temperatures to install asphalt shingles is between 40˚ F and 85˚ F. If you’re installing roofing shingles in cold weather below these temperatures, your shingles may become brittle and more prone to breakage.
- Metal roofs can easily be installed in the colder months without compromising quality. Sheet metal is not subject to creaking, bending, or breakings, and it not negatively impacted by harsh winter temperatures. Exception: Zinc does not bend or form well at temperatures below 70 degrees. A head gun comes in handy to preheat zinc before bending.
Nails and Nail Guns
- Take extra care when storing your nail gun overnight. If your tools are stored in a cold area, give them a chance to warm up before you use them.
- Pay attention to the storage and positioning of power cords. Cables are more fragile when frozen.
- Nails guns have been known to jam more frequently in cold temperatures. To ensure you don’t blow through your shingle, make sure you nail down through the double later of shingle.