Are you wondering if installing a roof during the winter is a good idea? You might be interested to know that many roofing companies will flat-out refuse to install a roof in the winter months. The question is: why? Let’s dive in. 

Can I Install a Roof in the Winter?

During the winter months, cold temperatures are only one part of 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 drops or push it back until the spring or summer. These seasons are typically referred to as “roofing seasons.”

In some unique circumstances, things happen, and the bottom line is that you 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 your home, or you need to replace your roof before the end of the year to meet insurance requirements. If you have a situation where installing a roof in the winter is unavoidable, the process comes with risks the homeowner must understand before work begins. 

What Are the Risks of Installing a Roof in the Winter?

There are many reasons why some roofers prefer to avoid installing a roof in the winter. Not only does winter roof installation present many safety risks for the crew, but they also can’t guarantee the same high-quality level of installation that they can during warmer weather. 

Let’s take a closer look at the main risk factors associated with winter roof installation. 

Unsafe Work Conditions 

During the cold months, the conditions on your roof can turn slick quickly, creating an unsafe environment where workers could slip and fall and hurt themselves or damage your roof.

The winter elements are challenging to work in, and roofing contractors need to be able to move freely, bending down and working across your roof — which is difficult to do in cold weather and 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.

To continue, it’s challenging for anyone to stay motivated when they’re cold and uncomfortable. With 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 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 critical part of your home.

Ineffective Materials and Tools

Cold temperatures affect the quality of the materials and the effectiveness of tools used for winter roof installation. Roofing equipment and tools, including nail guns and compressors, are affected by low air pressure, resulting in imperfections in the roofing installation process. 

Are you investing in a new asphalt roof? Asphalt shingles are less flexible in the cold and could become brittle, difficult to cut straight, and more likely to be overdriven by nails when attached to your roof. They also involve a glue strip 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’ll need to be sealed by hand, which is hard to do consistently with every shingle in freezing temperatures – even for experts. 

Warranty Exemptions

A hasty winter roof installation could lead to product failures and problems in the future, which 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 correctly, a variety of defects and issues could occur, including leaks forming or loss of shingles. 

Since the fault occurred from attempting to install the roof in the winter, not as a fault of the manufacturing process, these defects aren’t typically covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Exposed Home

Winter roof installation jobs generally take longer than summer installations. 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 usually 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. Do everything you can to protect your home and install a new roof during ideal weather conditions. 

Werner Roofing Is Here To Help

Having a new roof installed in the winter isn’t a great idea. Instead, try to schedule your roof installation before or after winter and call the Werner Roofing team this spring, summer, or fall!

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