Roof problems can turn up when you least expect them—especially during the middle of winter. Water leaks caused by ice dams, shingle damage caused by extreme cold and high winds and deck damage caused by heavy snowfall all require immediate attention. Waiting for warmer weather to deal with your roof problems is tempting, but the longer you wait, the more damage you'll end up with later on.
Wintertime roof repairs aren't uncommon, but they do come with a few unique factors to consider. The following highlights the issues you may encounter while having your roof repaired.
The roofing business tends to slow down during this time of year, but it's still a year-round business. Most roofers get around the wintertime slump by offering off-season pricing, usually at a significant discount when compared to normal summer rates. Off-season pricing and other discounts help roofers drum up new customers during a traditionally slow period throughout the industry.
Taking advantage of cheaper off-season pricing is one reason to invest in a wintertime roof repair. However, scheduling repair dates is easier said than done for many homeowners. With holiday parties, family get-togethers and winter vacations to worry about, finding time to schedule a roof repair can be difficult.
Safety is another important aspect of wintertime roof repair to consider. During the winter months, roofers face a number of risks that simply aren't present during the summer. Heavy snow and ice buildup can make working on roofs exceptionally dangerous. Snow buildup can also obscure serious trip and fall hazards such as skylights, roofing materials, and leftover debris. Roofers also have fewer daylight hours to work with, plus the cold, wet conditions also limit how long workers can sustain their performance before calling it a day.
For these reasons, you can expect your wintertime roof repair or replacement to take longer than an ordinary summertime job. Be prepared to adjust and extend your project timelines to cope with changes in the weather. In addition to scheduling roof work during several consecutive days of warm, clear weather, you should also prepare your roof by removing excessive snowfall whenever possible.
Cold weather can also have a sizable impact on the quality of your roof repair or replacement. While some aspects of roof repair or replacement aren't impacted by wintertime temperatures, roofers often run into the following issues:
- Brittle asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are exceptionally pliable at warmer temperatures, but cold weather can turn shingles brittle. Brittle shingles are harder to cut, shape and install, plus they're more likely to break apart under the weight of workers during installation or inspection.
- Under-driven nails: Cold weather can also affect nail guns and the air compressors that drive them. Frozen water within the air lines can obstruct airflow and reduce air pressure, resulting in nails that aren't driven to the correct depth.
- Poor adhesive bonding: Asphalt shingles rely on self-sealing strips to prevent blow-offs. Cold temperatures make it harder for the adhesive to bond properly, requiring roofers to take extra measures to ensure a proper bond.
If left unaddressed, these issues can result in a roof that lacks the long-term durability and performance of one repaired or replaced during the summer. Most roofing contractors have a variety of countermeasures at their disposal to ensure a proper repair or installation. These measures may include the use of additional roofing cement where needed and equipment that resists ice buildup.
Understanding the ins and outs of wintertime roofing is crucial if your home is in dire need of a repair or replacement. Simply keep the above in mind when scheduling an installation or repair date.