When the end of fall is approaching and your residential roof needs attention, you may find yourself asking your roofing expert if you can replace your roof in the winter. There are many different factors to consider before taking on a winter roofing project, but the answer is definitely yes. As a homeowner, there are a variety of reasons why you may be looking into replacing your roof during cooler temps. It may be that you finally have the finances, or that your roof suffered damage from a natural disaster and you need to get it fixed ASAP. Whatever your reason may be, make sure you consider the following before you begin your winter roofing project.
Benefits of Starting a Roofing Project in the Winter
Predictable Weather - Many areas, including the Piedmont region of North Carolina, often have unpredictable weather from spring to fall. Warmer air and humidity during these seasons means that surprise rainstorms are common. When you’re working on a roof, these surprise storms can mean serious delays in work, and even water damage if your roofing professional does not take proper precautions.
Replacing your roof in the winter can actually be easier as weather is more predictable during this time. Your roofing professional can easily plan for days to tear off, dry in, and apply new applications.
Costs - Many homeowners also take advantage of roof repair and replacements being slightly less expensive during winter due to the lowered cost of materials. In some instances the cost of materials may decline during winter season which in turn is less cost to the homeowner.
Availability - As far as scheduling goes, homeowners who choose to have roofing maintenance or replacements performed in the winter will often have better luck finding a contractor. Typically, the demand for roofing services declines during cooler seasons, making finding an available roofing professional less of an issue.
Winter Roofing Challenges
With any roofing project, the single most important factor is the experience and attention to detail provided by the roofing contractor. An experienced roofing expert will know the precautions to take to mitigate these challenges. Here are the main obstacles faced when replacing your roof in the winter:
Tools and Materials - Low temps in the winter can have a negative effect on the tools and materials used on the job. Experienced roofers know the effects temperature has on roofs and roofing materials, and take the needed precautions.
Weather Delays - The arrival of ice and snow can delay your roof replacement project. Luckily experience roofers closely follow the weather forecast, especially in winter. Roofing professionals tend to check and analyze the weather carefully to see how it will impact upcoming projects. Professional roofers may even choose to delay projects in the event of extreme temperature drops, heavy snow, or other adverse weather conditions. If this occurs, trust that the professionals will make sure that your roof is adequately “dried in” until the inclement weather passes.
Effect on Roofing Materials - Many materials used in roofing are sensitive to temperature. If your roofing project is centered around shingle replacement, the roofing contractor will need to carefully watch daily temperatures. Some types of shingles lose their flexibility during freezing temperatures which can add challenges to the roofing installation. Roofing types that use rubber based materials will also lose their flexibility in cooler temperatures.
While these winter roofing challenges sound worrisome, a true roofing professional will know just how to work around these factors to get the job done without sacrificing quality or craftsmanship.
Roofing Types That Can Be Replaced During Winter
With the right roofers and weather conditions on your side, you can replace the following types of flat and sloped roofs during the winter season.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) - This material is commonly used to cover flat roofs, and can easily be installed by professionals who are familiar with cold weather installation techniques. The installation of TPO roofs must occur when there is no ice or moisture on the substrate material, so installs during inclement winter weather should be avoided. It is important that the TPO remain in heated storage until installed to keep it pliable during cold weather.
Sloped Roofing - Roofing professionals must take great care in installing wood, asphalt, and other types of shingles on sloped roofs. As mentioned previously, shingles can start to become brittle and prone to break as the outside temps dip below freezing. Metal materials are often recommended for winter sloped roofing jobs.
Roofing Types That Can’t Be Replaced in Winter
A professional roofing expert knows that not all types of roofing can be installed in the wintertime, and will make sure to avoid working with the following materials:
Rubber Roofing - Flat roofs that use rubber materials, like ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) can’t be installed properly in cold weather. The cold weather tends to change the properties of the adhesives used to bond EPDM to the surface of the roof. When cold, the adhesives may not properly mix/dispense, which could result in compromised coverage on your roof. Therefore, EPDM rubber roofing installs are usually recommended until after winter passes and the temperatures rise. If you have an EPDM rubber roof in immediate need of repair, contact a roofing expert such as Pickard Roofing, to find an alternative solution until the weather allows for a full replacement.
Considerations for Winter Roofing in North Carolina
The weather in the Piedmont region in North Carolina is described as mild with average winter temperatures ranging between a high of 54 degrees and a low of 29 degrees. This means there is usually a noticeable variation of temperatures throughout the day. It is common to see higher temperatures in the afternoon, which will warm up the roof and make for a productive work day regardless of roofing type.
When you partner with a roofing expert like Pickard Roofing, they will always take the local weather and temperature into consideration while planning and completing your roof replacement project. The true key to working on your roof during the winter is trusting the right professional to handle the project. As a roofing expert in the Durham area for over 90 years, winter roofing replacements are made easy at Pickard.
At Pickard Rooﬁng, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Rooﬁng Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle rooﬁng in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.