Can Your Roof Make It Until Spring?

Installing a shingle roof in the winter can raise many questions.

“Is it okay to install shingles in the winter?” Homeowners often wonder if proper seal down will occur.   As a professional roofing company, we have personal guidelines that we adhere to when cold weather installation is necessary.

While immediate seal down is most likely not going to occur in colder temperatures, shingles will eventually seal down completely. Direct sunlight on newly shingled roofing ensures proper adhesion.  Most asphalt shingles come manufactured with thermally activated asphaltic sealants.  This sealant bonds the shingles together once applied to the roof and exposed to sufficient heat from sunlight.   North slopes may require summer heat to seal down since sunlight will not directly reach the roof surface.

HOW COLD IS TOO COLD?

If colder weather application is necessary, ambient temperatures above 40 degrees are preferable.   Asphalt shingles become less flexible in cold weather and tend to keep the shape of the surface where stacked.   Precautions taken when handling the shingles as well as nailing them prevents damage.   Installers will want to ensure the shingles are flat, as a nail could potentially break through the surface and decrease wind resistance resulting in a blow off.  Pneumatic air pressure adjustments may also be needed.

Woven and closed cut valleys along with ridge cap require special attention as those areas require shingles be bent. Bending shingles in the colder temperatures could result in shingle damage.  Minimize breakage by storing shingles in a warm area prior to application.

Potential safety hazards for the roofing crew need taken into consideration as well. Slippery weather conditions cause ice on ladder rungs along with the roof itself and pose a hazard to the roofing crew.   Installation during slightly warmer months will result in a safer working environment, decreased fatigue and higher crew production.

Can the installation of your new roof wait?  Most situations the answer is yes, roof replacement can wait until late winter.  At this point in the season we know spring and sufficient heat from sunlight are just a few weeks away.