Winter snow on a tile roof

Winter snow on a tile roof

Sometimes we may delay making roof repairs or improvements, or having roof replacement work done on our house until suddenly we realize it can’t wait. Maybe an event like a storm or fire, or the discovery of an underlying problem happens suddenly needs attention right away. Winter, in many parts of the country, may seem like a bad time to build a new roof or get a roof repaired, but it can’t always be avoided. And, it doesn’t have to be.

The truth is, you can have your roof repaired and even replaced in the winter with little risk to your project or your pocketbook. While the work can be more challenging for roofers, there are many ways they adapt their work to the weather.  In some ways, roofing in the winter may even have advantages to the homeowner, and the roofer as well.

Advantages of Roofing in Winter

There is little need to delay getting your roof replaced or repaired just because it is winter. One good reason to complete your winter roofing project is that if your roof is leaking or is not energy efficient, the quicker you fix the problem, the less damage your house will sustain and the faster you can stop wasting money.

Some homeowners may find that scheduling roofing work in the winter is easier and may even cost less. In some areas, building slows down in winter. Roofers have more availability and can schedule the job faster, which means your work is done sooner. You can take advantage of the slower winter months to get more quotes from more contractors and find the best and most reliable company. Roofing companies appreciate your business in winter because they can keep their roofers working year round.

Considerations for Winter Roofing

The ability to complete winter roofing in cold climates can be impacted by the weather, as well as things like the pitch of your roof and the type of roofing or roof materials. Areas of heavy snows and frigid temperatures will be the most challenging. Roofers are aware of the characteristics and limitations of the materials they use. They may make adjustments to the schedule or suggest different materials if the weather is extremely cold.

Flat Roofs

 

roofer installing bitumen flat roof with heat during winter

The pitch of your roof matters. Flat roofs, which are used for many commercial roof systems, will accumulate more snow and may be harder to access in winter.  One common flat roofing material, EPDM rubber roofing, must be installed at 40 degrees or warmer. Colder than that and the adhesive that is used to seal the roof won’t bond correctly. Modified bitumen roofing, a type of asphalt roofing system, is a tried and true system whose seams are sealed using hot air, so the ambient temperature is not as important. Single layer flat roofing systems, such as KEE roofing membranes, are high strength and very durable. These roofs perform very well in cold weather and under snow loads. For repairs, your roofer will be able to determine the type of flat roof and how the work can go forward during the winter months.

Sloped Roofs

Most roofs are sloped to allow for water runoff and snow shed. The angle of the roof can affect how fast it sheds snow. It also impacts worker safety, especially if ice is a possibility. A high sloped roof will be harder to work on in snowy and icy conditions than one that is gently sloped. There are many choices for sloped roof materials, and they also may be impacted by winter weather. Here are some considerations about materials and winter roofing.

Asphalt Shingles

In most areas of the country, the most common roofing material for a sloped roof is asphalt shingles. The most important thing to consider when installing these shingles is the thermometer. The lowest temperature recommended for installing most asphalt shingles is 40 degrees, or the shingles will not bond well. Asphalt shingles may be affected by cold temperatures. In warm weather, the shingles are flexible and pliable. In cold weather, they become brittle and may chip and break, wasting shingles and therefore wasting money. Asphalt shingles awaiting installation should be stored indoors if the weather will approach 40 degrees or lower. When they are out of storage, they must be kept flat or they may break.

Concrete Tile

Southern Highlands 024-reclaimed tile

Concrete tile roofing handles large temperature swings, like those in Las Vegas and the Desert Southwest, very well. Concrete has air pockets that allow it to breathe and not crack in extreme temperatures. Concrete tile roofing can be installed year round although not at below freezing temperatures to allow the sealants to dry properly.

Metal Roofing

Another good roofing material for sloped roofs is a metal roof. Copper, aluminum, zinc or steel, a metal roof won’t crack or split no matter how cold it gets. Metal roofs are ideal to install during the winter since there is no need for a bond that has to cure and seal. Instead, installers put a breathable underlayment down on the roof which is intended to prevent moisture from getting between the metal and the roof. Since metal contracts with cold and expands in heat, installers may prefer not to install when temperatures are below freezing so as to avoid the chance of any warping of the metal as the weather warms up.

Sensible Safety Precautions for Roofing in Winter

roofers at work in winter dressed for the cold

Once your roofer is ready to start, he will watch the weather carefully.  Snow and ice can be dangerous and cause workers to slip, so work may be delayed or stopped temporarily to wait for safer conditions. Workers are always equipped and trained to use OSHA approved safety equipment to prevent slips and falls. A good roofer will keep an eye on weather forecasts and build extra time into the project schedule to allow for bad weather interference.

It’s important not to delay roof work any time of year, especially in winter. Even a slightly damaged roof can suddenly become a big (and more expensive) problem if it’s hit with heavy snow, rain or high winds. Winter is a slower time for builders and roofers, so it’s a great time to get an inspection, repair or roof replacement taken care of quickly.

Winter Roofing in Las Vegas

custom copper roofing and fixtures in Las Vegas

Living in Southern Nevada offers homeowners advantages when it comes to scheduling roof repair and roof replacement. We have the pleasure of clear and sunny days pretty much year round. However, with colder, shorter days in winter and sometimes gusty winds, winter roof repair and replacement can still be a challenge.

At Prestige Roofing, with over 25 years of service to the Las Vegas Valley, we’re experienced with year round roofing. We work around our infrequent weather disruptions and keep your project on track. If overnight lows have made it dangerous to work early in the morning or if early sunset means shorter work days, we work around those delays to keep your job on track.

Let Prestige Roofing put our winter roofing experience to work for you.  If you need roof repairs or a new roof in Las Vegas or anywhere in Southern Nevada, contact Prestige Roofing at 702-646-7536 to find out how we can help you—winter, spring, summer or fall.

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