Winter roof installation is a bad idea. In fact, many roofers flat-out refuse to install roofs during the cold winter months. Why? Not only does a winter roof installation present many safety risks for their crew, but they also can’t guarantee the same level of installation excellence that they can when certain basic conditions are met, such as consistent temperatures, a safe work environment, and stable materials.
Why Can’t I Install My Roof in the Winter?
During the winter months, cold temperatures are only part of the reason why winter roof installations are not recommended. Conditions on a roof can get icy fast, materials don’t adhere the way they should, and the roof installation process leaves sensitive parts of your home exposed to the elements. All of these factors risk the integrity of your roof, the safety of the roofing installation crew, and your investment in the project. For these reasons, if you want a winter roof installation, your roofer will strongly recommend you do it in the fall before the temperature starts to drop or push it back until the spring or summer — what is generally known as “roofing seasons.”
In some unique circumstances, things happen and you just need your roof installed during the winter. Maybe a tree fell and damaged your roof, you need a new roof installed before you can sell the home, or you need to replace your roof before the end of the year to meet insurance requirements. There may be situations where winter roof installation is unavoidable, but conditions are not ideal, and the process comes with risks the homeowner must understand before work begins.
Risks of Winter Roof Installation
If you can plan to install your roof in warmer weather, you absolutely should. Here are some of the reasons why:
Unsafe Work Conditions
During the winter, conditions on your roof can turn slick quickly, creating an unsafe environment where your workers could slip and fall, hurting themselves or damaging your roof. Also, the cold is difficult to work in, as roofers need to be able to move freely, bending down and working across your roof — which is difficult to do in thick winter clothes. If they have to carry equipment while wearing heavy coats and boots to keep warm, it takes more time and energy to do a job they’re used to doing quickly in nice weather.
It’s challenging for anyone to stay motivated when they’re cold. With a winter roof installation, you risk workers rushing to complete the job if the temperature is freezing, Whether it’s because they’re wearing thick gloves and don’t have the same feel for the materials, or if the limited amount of daylight is running out and they need to meet a deadline, you don’t want your roofing crew to miss any crucial steps when installing this important part of your home.
Ineffective Materials and Tools
Cold temperatures affect the quality of the materials and the effectiveness of tools used for a winter roof installation. Roofing equipment and tools, like nail guns and compressors, are affected by lower pressure air, which may cause imperfections in the roofing installation process if the crew is unaccustomed to working in the cold.
Asphalt shingles are less flexible in the cold and could become more brittle, more difficult to cut straight, and more likely to be overdriven by nails when they’re attached to your roof. They also typically involve a glue strip that’s designed to self-seal when it’s activated by the sun’s heat. This activation process doesn’t occur in lower temperatures, so the shingles may not adhere properly, or they must instead be sealed by hand, which is difficult to do consistently with every shingle in freezing temperatures, even for experts.
A hasty winter roof installation could lead to product failures and problems with your roof warranty may not cover. For example, if your shingles have to be hand-sealed because it’s too cold for the self-seal to adhere properly, defects that occur as a result of winter roof installation are typically not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If your roof loses shingles to high winds, or a leak forms from an improperly-sealed shingle, the fault occurred from attempting to install the roof in the winter, not as a fault of the manufacturing process.
Winter roof installation jobs generally take longer than those that occur during the warmer months of the year. The combination of colder temperatures, heavy winter clothing, and extra sealing work makes it more difficult for the crew to work as quickly as they normally would. Also, the days are shorter during the winter, so only so much can be done when there is good light. A longer timeline for a roof installation means your home spends more time exposed to the elements during a time of year when heavy rain or snowfall can happen without much warning — particularly in areas where lake-effect snow is common. Even if you schedule your winter roof installation when the weather appears to be clear, it can be difficult to predict with certainty.
All in all, it’s not a great idea to have a new roof installed in the winter. Instead, try to schedule your roof installation before winter arrives, by calling your local roofing team this fall! Give the Werner Roofing team a call now, and we’ll do our best to get your project on our list before the snow falls.
What all goes into that final price you see for your roof repair. How much insurance pays in, how much you’re paying for labor, how much you’re paying for materials and time, etc. Remember that it’s always cheaper to have a roof repaired sooner rather than later.
If your roof has sustained damage or has a leak, it’s important to get it checked by a professional as soon as possible. Small leaks or weaknesses in your roof can quickly become large problems if water gets in or a storm damages your roof. If left unaddressed, the cost of roof repair can skyrocket and may not be covered by your roof’s warranty or insurance. Repairing your roof early can help prevent this from happening, and it can also lower the cost of your roof repair.
Cost of Roof Repair Breakdown
When you see the cost of roof repair, it generally includes both the roofing supplies and the labor and time it takes to complete the job. Let’s breakdown these elements and see how much it affects your total.
Supplies Cost of Roof Repair
When you get your roof fixed after a storm or to address regular wear, a large part of the cost of roof repair is the price of the materials used to fix your roof. This not only includes the visible elements you see, such as shingles or tiles, but also the accessories used to waterproof and protect your roof deck, cover ridges and vents, and other roof details. The materials themselves vary in cost, and the amount you spend on each will depend on the amount of damage and the area that needs to be replaced. Here are a few average costs for common roofing materials:
- Asphalt Shingles: $5-10 per square foot; The least expensive shingles are 3-tab, while architectural and dimensional shingles will cost more to repair. Asphalt shingle prices vary as the price of oil used to make them fluctuates.
- Cedar or Wood Shingles: more expensive than asphalt shingles, but the cost will depend on the kind of wood, the availability of the materials in your area, and the specialized installation needed to attach them.
- Metal Roofs: $5-15 per square foot; Metal roofs are typically more durable than asphalt or wood shingles, and occasional damage such as repairing seams or dents is generally cosmetic only and will not damage the integrity of your roof.
Labor Cost of Roof Repair
Hourly labor factors into the cost of roof repair, and can vary depending on the typical hourly rates for contractors in your area, the extent of the damage to your roof, the number of workers required to repair your roof, and the amount of time it takes to repair your roof. The national average pay for a roofer is $75 per hour, but depending on where you live this can range between $25-$100 an hour.
Estimating Insurance for the Cost of Roof Repair
If your roof was damaged and you make a claim to your insurance company, you may be reimbursed for part or all of the cost of roof repair. However, the insurance coverage will vary from roof to roof, depending on several factors such as your roof’s age and size and the extent of the damage. Your roof’s warranty may help cover areas your insurance won’t. Let’s break this down a bit further.
Age of Roof
It’s possible the age of your roof will determine what your insurance policy will reimburse you for the cost of roof repair and what repairs can be covered. Depreciating values of your roof can impact the reimbursement level. Most policies cover events of natural disasters and weather, vandalism, and fire damage. However, long term leaks are typically not covered, so regularly check your roof for damage and address problems right away. Regular roof wear and weathering can decrease your roof’s ability to protect your home over time, but is also not covered by most insurance plans.
Size of Roof
The size, pitch, and complexity of your roof’s design can affect the cost of roof repair. If your insurance offers a flat rate of reimbursement to cover roof repairs, your roof may not be fully covered if it needs special accommodations or materials to repair it properly. A complex roof design with dormers, valleys, and a steeper pitch will require more labor and materials than a straightforward roof design, and therefore will be more expensive to repair.
The reason your roof needs repair is going to determine how your costs are covered, either by your insurance or your roof’s warranty. Insurance will cover events of extreme weather, fire, or vandalism, while generally, manufacturing defects or poor installation are not included in insurance plans. Roofing warranties typically only cover defects from the manufacturer that cause the roof to break down sooner than it should, and usually last about 20-50 years.
Most problems with roofs cannot be traced back to materials, but instead to something that went wrong during the installation. This is why it’s so important to hire a reputable roofing contractor to install and make repairs on your roof. Workmanship warranties are rare, but they can protect you and your roof from problems that arise from improper installation.
Extent of Roof Damage
Your insurance adjuster determines the cause and extent of damage to your roof, and whether it falls under your warranty or your insurance policy. If the cause is determined to be a natural one, the insurance coverage should be proportional to the extent of the damage. If only cosmetic damage is reported by the adjuster, your claim could be denied. As long as damage doesn’t affect the integrity of the roof, the insurance company can have the final say on this subjective criteria.
Ultimately, the best practice is to file a claim with your insurance company and have any problems with your roof resolved as soon as possible. This will ensure that your home continues to be protected by a high-performance roof, and you’ll save money on the cost of roof repair by not letting any damages get worse and more expensive.
Does your roof need a bit of repair? Get in touch with the team at Werner Roofing. We’re happy to offer you a free, no-obligation estimate, so you know exactly how much you’ll have to spend before we even start working.
The way roofs are measured and roofing materials are calculated is not always simple. When trying to estimate the amount of shingles or other roofing supplies, you may have found that your calculations don’t match up with the way roofing companies or suppliers talk about their products. Instead, they may refer to roofing supplies in terms of roofing squares. What is a roofing square and how can we use it to calculate the roofing materials you’ll need? Let’s find out.
What is a Roofing Square?
The term roofing square does not refer to square feet or yards. In fact, it is a unit used to express 100 square feet, in order to simplify the grouping and ordering of roofing materials such as shingles, tiles, or other supplies. Roofing squares are commonly used to calculate the materials needed for roofing projects, so you may hear your roofing contractor or your materials supplier refer to your roof in these terms.
For help calculating the total roofing squares in your home’s roof, some manufacturers offer free roofing square calculators online, or you can have your roof assessed and receive a free quote from a professional roofing company. Or, you can DIY by measuring your roof yourself.
Measuring Roofing Squares
If you need to measure the amount of roofing squares your roof contains, you can do this simply by measuring the total square footage of your roof, and then using that amount to calculate the number of roofing squares it contains. Let’s go over 4 steps to do this safely and effectively.
First, make sure you have all the right equipment to get onto your roof and measure it safely. This will include a tape measure, a small notebook and pencil, a sturdy ladder, and a buddy to hold the ladder still and supervise while you’re on your roof. Tread carefully on your roof so you don’t slip or cause damage to your roof.
To find the square footage of your roof, measure the length and width of each plane of your roof, including the sides of all dormers, into valleys, and all other roof design details that are covered with roofing materials. Find the area of each plane by multiplying the length and width.
Add all the area totals together to get the total square footage of your roof.
To find the number of roofing squares your roof contains, convert the square footage to roofing squares by dividing number you found in Step #3 by 100. For example, if the total square footage of your roof was 1700 square feet, your roof contains 17 roofing squares.
Keep in mind that roofing squares is not the only information you need when estimating the required materials for completing a roof replacement or installation. Roofing pitch also factors into the total amount and cost of materials for your roofing job. The higher the pitch of your roof, the extra materials you’ll need to cover your roof effectively. Also, if your roof has many complicated details like dormers and valleys, it will need more specialized materials to make sure these sensitive areas are reinforced against leaks or damage.
Measuring Roof Pitch
Roofing pitch is described in degrees, relative to a right angle. To calculate your roof pitch, you need to know the rise and the run of your roof.
- The rise refers to the height of your roof, from the top of the wall to the peak of your roof where the planes meet.
- The run is the distance between the roof plate and the point directly underneath the center ridge or roof peak
Once you’ve measured these two elements, you’re ready to calculate your roof pitch.
Finding Roof Slope
We find the roof slope by plugging the rise and the run into the pythagorean theorem, where the slope of your roof, or the rafter length (squared) = the rise (squared) + the run (squared).
For example if the rise of your roof is 6 feet, and the run of your roof is 12 feet, then:
(6×6) + (12×12) = the square root of 180, or about 13.42
This completes our triangle, so we know the length of all sides.
Calculating Roof Pitch
You can find the pitch of your roof by dividing the rise by the run. Using our example that would be 0.5 or 50 percent. If you want to express this percent as an angle, you’ll need to plug the percentage into this equation using a scientific calculator or an online tool:
Pitch angle = arctan(or tan-1) x (pitch percentage)
Using our example: arctan (0.5) = 26.57 degrees
Now that you know how to measure your roof, calculate a roofing square, and find your roof’s slope and pitch, you should have all the information you need to order materials for your roof! It’s always a good idea to check your calculations with a professional roofer and make sure all materials are installed correctly to give your roof the best, longest-lasting protection.
Looking for a bit more roofing information? Whether you’d just like a bit more help figuring out how many roofing squares are in your roof, or you’re interested in a brand new roof, the experts at Werner Roofing would love to help. Give us a call or reach out to our team online with any and all roofing questions.