Should you Repair your Roof in Winter?

Thick snow on the shingle roof

Are you among those who believe a roof can’t be repaired or replaced in the winter months? Count yourself among the many. However, instead of throwing a tarp over the roof until spring rolls around, consider the alternative – hiring a team to do the job.

While roof work is certainly associated with the warmer months, it can be accomplished during the winter. Here are a few issues you might see during the winter that are concerns:

1) Ice dams

Ice dams are among the most common issues you’ll see, and this gathering of ice needs to be cleared before it tears up your shingles if it hasn’t already. Heat escaping from the roof, melting the snow, often causes dams. As the temps dip below freezing, the water turns to ice, and that’s when the damage begins.

Ice dams are particularly destructive when they flow toward an eave. When it can’t go any farther, it will creep back up under the shingles. If your shingles are old (and sometimes even if they’re new) they will crack and will need to be replaced.

2) Heavy snow and previous damage

You might think the violent storms of summer are the biggest culprit for damaging roofs, but winter winds can also be a detriment. However, if you didn’t get your roof inspected after that last big hailstorm, you could have damaged shingles that will not cohabitate with ice and snow. Melting snow can leak into your home through those damaged shingles.

If you’re prone to heavy wet snow in your region, you’re likely to have a roof that is built to withstand it. However, older roofs have a tendency to buckle under the strain of a massive amount of snow accumulation.

Roof type matters

If you have a flat roof, you can have a polyvinyl chloride or thermoplastic olefin material installed during the winter, as the seams are hot welded instead of being joined together by an adhesive. However, if you want a rubber roof installed, it’s not possible when the temperature gets below 40 degrees, as the adhesive won’t do its job.

Sloped roofs often take an asphalt shingle, which can be brittle in cold weather, which means the roofer must be careful with them during installation. There is also more finesse required on the part of the worker, as it’s easy to overdrive nails using the pressure that’s utilized during warmer months. Furthermore, overlapping shingles are bonded together by an adhesive, which is activated by heat. Roofers will have to hand-seal them during winter projects.

Fortunately, for those looking into metal materials for their top layer of shelter, metal roofs can definitely be installed during the winter. However, the breathable underlayment that prevents moisture from getting into the home must be applied first.

If you’ve got roofing needs this winter, contact VIS Exterior. We can do full roof replacements or repairs. Call us today and schedule a free inspection.

Val Slajus
Owner / Author
Val Slajus

I founded VIS Exterior because I believed that my knowledge of the home improvement craft could help others transform their houses into the beautiful homes they deserve, and I work hard every day to make it happen. In this blog I want to share some of my knowledge with you, so that you could make informed decisions when planning your next exterior renovation.

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