Is It OK To Put A New Roof On In The Winter?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

If you own your home, it’s important to properly maintain your home’s exterior. So, if you’re having issues with your roof, it might be time to consider replacing it. Waiting to install a roof might end up costing you more money in the long run.

With winter around the corner, you might be wondering if you should wait for warmer temperatures to replace your roof. There are many things to consider when you’re thinking of having a new roof installed. Although the temperature is certainly one of them, often a roof replacement is a necessity. Waiting several months for spring to come might not be the best option.

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Yes, it is okay to put a roof on your house during the wintertime as long as it is done properly. Proper installation by a professional contractor will ensure that your new roof will not be negatively impacted when it is installed in cold temperatures. Make sure your contractor has experience with cold-weather installations.

If you must put a roof on in the winter, there are several things to take into consideration. If installed properly, your investment will last for years to come. Today, we will look at the best ways to ensure your roof is properly installed during the winter.

What Time of Year Is Best to Replace a Roof?

Most contractors will tell you that late spring or early summer is the ideal time to replace a roof. Fall is also an option, as the weather is usually warm and dry, which is optimal for roof installation. The best temperature to install a new roof is between 40 and 85 degrees.

When temperatures drop below 40, you could run into some problems with your roof. In cold weather, materials often become brittle and break. This can lead to water damage and other serious problems.

Benefits of Installing a Roof in the Winter

There are many things to consider when you are preparing to have a new roof installed. While the colder temperatures might not always be ideal for roof installation, there are still some advantages.

1. Less Expensive

Cost might be one of the biggest things to consider when installing a roof. Winter roof installation can often be considerably less expensive. Winter is typically a slow season for contractors. Generally, you get a better price for roof installation in the winter. Roofing materials are often impacted by seasons as well. Therefore, some contractors discount labor/materials by as much as 20% in the winter.

2. Time & Scheduling

Winter is usually not as busy for everyone. It’s easier to set aside time to have your roof installed, without vacation plans getting in the way. Contractors also have a wide-open schedule. So, you can easily schedule a time that’s most convenient for you.

Risks of Installing a Roof in the Winter

There are also many reasons why winter is not the ideal time to have a roof installed. If installing a roof in the winter months is not an absolute necessity, it might be better to hold off.

With that said, let’s take a look at the main risks involved in choosing to install your roof in the winter:

1. Tool Performance

The performance of some tools can be adversely affected by cold weather. Tools like air compressors and nail guns that are used for roof installation are affected by humidity. Whereas, compressors can be negatively impact by freezing temperatures. The cold can cause the water from the humidity of compressed air to freeze in the lines, resulting in more issues with airflow.

Though, by allowing more time for installation, the workers can hand-drive nails and avoid this problem. Of course, increased time means an increased price overall.

2. Safety Concerns

Cold temperatures increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. The thin gloves workers wear might not provide adequate protection from the cold. Therefore, they might have to work shorter hours. Snow accumulation can also hide flaws in the current roof. It could also overload the structure, putting it at risk for collapse.

3. Scheduling Delays

When you choose to install a roof in the winter, the entire project can take a lot longer than normal. Snowstorms can delay roof installation. Snow or ice accumulation can also weigh down your structure, making it unsafe to perform a new installation. In addition to working around bad weather, installers also have to work around your schedule.

While many homeowners will be able to clear their schedule to accommodate emergency installations, with the holiday season falling in the winter, it can be difficult to find an ideal time for both parties.

4. Material Issues

Materials such as asphalt shingles can often cause problems in the winter. They might take longer to install in cold weather. The seal can also take more time to set. As a result, the shingles might not adhere properly. Cold weather can also cause the shingle to become brittle and break.

How Can You Install a Roof in the Winter?

Although it is not ideal, if you absolutely must install a roof when the temperature dips below 40, there are several precautions you can take to ensure success:

  • Work with contractors who have experience with winter installs.
  • Try to choose a window of time with no snow in the forecast.
  • Use asphalt shingles that are stored in a warm place (above 50 F or 10 C) before installation to prevent breakage.
  • Allow for more time to install the roof.
  • Asphalt and metal shingles should be nailed down, as adhesive might not adhere properly in colder temperatures.

While there are a number of obstacles that can arise when installing a roof in the winter, it is still a perfectly acceptable time to do so. In fact, professional roofing contractors know the necessary techniques to ensure that your new roof is not negatively impacted by the cold.

Properly Sealing Shingles in Cold Weather

Experts agree that the best time to put on a new roof is when the weather Is warm and dry. However, sometimes it is necessary to install the roof during the winter months. Most shingles will perform well with foresight and planning.

Again, it’s important that shingles are stored properly prior to installation. They must be kept warm, which can be as simple as storing them in a heated warehouse before they are delivered to the homeowner. In addition to keeping them warm, shingles require a special technique for proper sealing in the winter.

The shingles should be installed in direct sunlight whenever possible. This helps to activate the adhesive sealant strips on the back of the shingle. Within a few weeks of installation, the adhesive strips are usually activated. When the adhesive strips are not activated within a few days or weeks of installation, dust and debris may prevent the asphalt shingles from sealing properly.

Most contractors will also six nails per shingle. This will ensure that the shingles will stay in place even if the shingles do not seal properly. Overall, roof shingles do seal in cold weather if done properly.

Final Thoughts

Although it is perfectly acceptable to install a roof in the winter, there may be instances where you would rather wait until spring to reroof. In this case, you must consider the amount of structural damage to your roof.

Waiting until spring to repair an already damaged roof might put you at risk for collapse, as snow and ice accumulate. Get a free inspection and price estimate to help you make an informed decision. You might be surprised to find that waiting until the weather gets warmer actually ends up costing you more in the long run.

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Related Questions

What will a new roof system cost?

Most homeowners can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 for a new asphalt roof, depending on season, materials, location, and contractor experience. Obtaining there or four estimates from local contractors will ensure that you get a fair price.

How long can I expect my roofing system to last?

Most newly installed roofs are designed to last 20 years. Your contractor should offer you a warranty stating as such. Local climate, proper installation, materials used, and adequate maintenance will also determine the life of your roof.

Which materials are better for roofing: asphalt or metal shingles?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular. They are low-cost and come in a variety of colors and textures. Metal shingles might last longer and are more resistant to the elements. Speak with your contractor about which option will be best for you.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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