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 material can be installed successfully in cold weather, given adequate precautions are taken along with normal practices.
Outdoor temperatures below 50°F are not ideal, and they can begin to affect the way our bodies, roofing materials, and equipment perform under these conditions, but there are a few benefits:
To accurately reflect the increased overhead and slower speeds in performance that the cold weather might bring, some contractors increase their prices by 20%.
Maintain Full Schedule
A full schedule helps to maintain regular employee rosters, and offset costs during lulls throughout the fiscal year.
To reap the potential benefits of accepting work during less favorable weather conditions, preparations must be made before and during job completion:
- Plan work around sunlight hours, storm, and/or other miscellaneous weather events.
- Adjust project times accordingly and expect performance to naturally slow.
- Adjust the number of hours roofers are working as well. Cold temperatures can be hard on the body, specifically the heart and lungs, increasing the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Layered clothing and the intake of plenty of fluids can protect roofers against such ailments.
- Snow and ice makes surfaces slippery: Ensure roofers utilize Roof-Fall protection and high performing gear that has been tested and proven to withstand wet and cold conditions.
- Snow can disguise risks such as skylights, debris, or roofing materials: Clear surfaces before working and pay close attention when disposing of ice and snow.
- Snow, ice, roofers, and equipment may weigh down a structure: Ensure the surface you are working on is sturdy and safe from a potential collapse. Determine whether or not the roof is safe, and if needed remove snow and de-ice the roof surface.
It is also useful to establish clear expectations of how your materials and tools will perform in cold winter climates:
Eaves Protector Membranes and Roll Roofing
Use winter weather membranes to seal your eaves, valleys, skylights, vents, and plumbing pipes, rather than warm weather roll roofing, which can buckle or wrinkle when applied in cold weather.
The best temperatures to install asphalt shingles is between 40° 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. Prevent this by storing your materials in a warm place, above 50°F.
Metal Roofing Material
Unlike other roofing options, metal roofs can easily be installed in the colder months without compromise to quality. Sheet metal is not subject to cracking, bending, or breaking, and is not negatively impacted by the harsh temperatures, ice, and snow. In fact, metal roofing is designed to shed water and ice, minimizing ice and snow accumulation. Additionally, metal roofing does not have to cure and seal.
Slate Roofing Material
Slate withstands temperature extremes, surviving both freezes and intense summer sun, making it a durable option for a hearth, as a roofing material, or even flooring.
Why wait until spring? Visit RapidMaterials.com to shop the best quality roofing tools and materials.