Colorado winters are as crazy as Aunt Shelly. One day its 74 degrees outside and you are wearing shorts and a T-shirt, the next day it’s 4 degrees out with ice and snow. But that has not stopped us from fixing roof leaks and ice dams as well as installing new roofs. Working in the insurance restoration and Commercial and Residential improvement industry, we work quickly to resolve weather-related issues for Colorado building owners. For some of our clients, that means installing a new roof.
IS IT OKAY TO ROOF IN THE WINTER?
Yes. When done properly and by an experienced roofing contractor, roofing in the winter can be done successfully. We don’t consider cold temperatures to be ideal for roof installation, but sometimes it is necessary.
The sealing process for all roofs doesn’t happen in below-freezing temperatures. If it’s not an emergency, roofers will usually wait until there are few days of favorable temperatures to perform the job.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ROOFING IN WINTER:
Winter roofing is tough. Slippery surfaces come with inherent risks. Ice dams cause additional issues. Projects in the winter take longer, shorter colder days create timing problems, and some companies don’t have the manpower to dedicate to these installations.
Unless you’re experienced with working on slippery roofs, it’s best to hire a professional for all winter repairs and replacements. It’s important to ensure that you hire an experienced roofing contractor that knows what insurance carriers will pay for before filing a claim.
It can be helpful to ask your roofing contractor about the team’s experience in cold months. This is especially important in higher elevations of Colorado where Denver contractors don’t understand what is needed to accomplish Mountain roofing! For us, Winter roofing is part of the job. Our team has years of experience handling cold weather installs, even in the Mountains.
ASPHALT SHINGLE INSTALLATION IS BEST ABOVE 35 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.
To properly install asphalt shingles and protect your home or commercial building against future ice dams, it’s best to complete roof installation in temperatures above 35 degrees. Shingles do not perform well when temperatures fall below 35 degrees.
That being said, certain shingles have added polymers and rubber modifiers that make them easier to install in cold weather, additionally we can do alternative installation methods to resolve immediate issues. Roofing experts must handle shingles carefully and do their work efficiently, doing so decreases the risk of problems. Ignoring best practices will cause the roof to fail prematurely or allow future problems, like seal failure, blow off and ice dams.
METAL, CONCRETE TILE, AND COMPOSITE ROOF INSTALLATION IS FINE ANY TIME OF YEAR
The metal roof installation process is different from other materials, like asphalt shingles. Metal doesn’t require heat activated adhesives, so winter has no impact on our process. Snow and ice typically slides off the metal materials, lessening the risk of winter issues directly after installation.
Concrete tile installations can be done at any time of the year for the same reasons. Tile has a much higher friction coefficient so snow doesn’t slide off, but tile has a natural air gap between the decking and the tile that make icing less of an issue.
Composite roofing can be installed in cold temperatures as well. See one of our partners blogs on this topic below.
ALWAYS CHECK THE MANUFACTURER’S LABEL.
Many products require specific weather, but generally speaking, 35 degrees Fahrenheit and above, up to 85 degrees, are acceptable temperatures to roof in.
Roofing contractors need to have the experience to recommend when winter roofing is unsafe or less than ideal. If you’re concerned, inquire about the specific materials being used on your project. All roofing manufacturers have websites where information can be verified. Ask the contractor for brand and style information, then do some quick research.
COLORADOANS SHOULD DO AN ANNUAL ROOF INSPECTION BEFORE WINTER.
Proactive roof maintenance is always best. It saves Colorado homeowners time, problems and money. We always recommend clients regularly check their roofing to ensure its condition can support the harsh winter conditions. Removing leaves and debris from gutters is important to ensure a problem-free winter.
Spring through fall are ideal for roofing replacements. Fall is often busier for roofing contractors due to Summer storms and winter preparation. If you’re budgeting for a roof replacement this year, consider a spring timeline. Because crews are typically less busy, wait times in spring months are often shorter.
DON’T WAIT TO REPAIR WINTER ROOF PROBLEMS.
Some homeowners fear that winter conditions will result in a terrible roofing project. Then, they delay the repairs and let the roofing problem get worse. Leaky roofs and ice dams can cause serious issues to homes if not resolved quickly. A roof is your home’s protective shield. Take care of it the best you can.
Do you need roofing in the winter? Our team can help! Give us a call at 303-500-1807 or fill out our short contact form.