The question gets asked every year, “Can you roof a house in the winter?” The answer is YES you are able to re-roof a structure in the winters, even here in Minnesota. This year is quite out of the ordinary for snow amounts and temperatures from the mythical El Nino, which makes a prime time for homeowners to still get that roofing project done that haunted them all summer.. Alright now lets take a look at how it is possible and how roofing contractors like Northface Construction overcome the challenges with winter.
Challenge #1 SNOW
-So there is snow on your roof, that can be dangerous to remove for the typical person. But, we as a experienced roofing contractor at Northface Construction will remove the snow a few days before we plan on starting the project with the forecast in our mind. Although shoveling it does not get rid of possible ice or snow that may stay stuck to shingle granules, with the sun’s help and the warmer surface temperature of your roof, in those few days it should melt most of the danger away.
Challenge #2 TEMPERATURE
-Now this is the biggest challenge to overcome when doing a roof in the winter. Not only for personal comfort levels of our tradesmen, but for how the actual materials change with the temperatures. Colder temperatures make for more brittle material to work with and install. But, there are ways to overcome that and maintain the integrity of the installed system if done correctly. Such as adjusting the air pressure in our roofing nail guns to make sure that nails are not over-driven into the shingles since they are so easy to penetrate. Also, making sure that material is not left for extended periods of time bent at an angle, such as leaving a bundle of shingles on the roof peak. This could cause the shingle to not want to sit flat as it is nailed to the roof sheathing. At Northface Construction, we take these factors into account and make sure that our approach to completing a roofing project in the winter is done to manufacturer specifications as well as best practices that were mentioned before along with many others.
Challenge #3 TIME
-For those who are not highly informed on how a roofing system works. The shingles have a tar strip on the bottom back edge that, when introduced to the heat of the sun, melts and adheres that shingle to the one below it. This is what makes your shingles capable of withstanding high winds that would otherwise flip it up or blow it off. A roofing system is meant to work with heat to gain it’s utmost integrity in protecting your house. This is the challenge that is faced with colder temperatures that we meet in the winter months here in Minnesota. I always tell my clients that when the temperatures are continuously cold that this tar will not melt and adhere in these temperatures. However, the caveat to that is in my experience, and I believe most installers will agree, in most situations this will not pose an issue and the roof will perform as it is meant to during the cold months and eventually gain it’s highest integrity when introduced to warmer temperatures. This is because with the proper nailing pattern recommended by the manufacturer, it should stand most wind that is not exceptionally drastic.That being said, there are some situations that could cause the shingles to lift prior to being introduced to heat, such as high elevations and steep pitches that are continually experiencing sporadic directions, and high wind.
I hope that this blog post gives you an understanding of the challenges that are faced when doing a roof in the winter and how they can easily be overcome. Although snow, temperatures and time can influence the process in which it is accomplished, they should not influence the fact that a roofing project can be completed with quality craftsmanship during the winter.