Is It Too Cold To Roof? Safe Temperatures To Lay Asphalt Shingles

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cold weather roof

People who live in cold-weather states know that the Spring, Summer, and early Fall are the best times to roof their homes. The majority of them will budget and plan to install a new roof or replace an existing roof when the days are long and the temperatures are mild. But there are times when something prevents homeowners from roofing in nice and warm weather. These people have no choice but to get the roof installed or replaced during the winter season.

There are many instances where it warrants the replacing or repairing a roof in winter. What if a tree falls on your roof during winter, necessitating its replacement? What if you suddenly decide to sell the house and a new roof becomes a contingency of that sale? No matter what your reason is if you have decided to replace the roof during the cold winter months, you have come to the right place. This article answers the question of – “Is it too cold to roof?”

An ideal day for roofing should be nice and warm without any rain or wind. Unfortunately, clear skies and perfect temperatures are not common every day of the year in most states. Winter months come with freezing temperatures and snow in most states across the country. A reputable roofing contractor has the skills, experience, and tools to continue their jobs even in problematic weather conditions.

The best temperatures for roof installation is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It becomes too cold to roof your home when the temperature drops below 40° F. Roof installation and replacement require adhesive products that need the sun’s heat for activation. You may end up with a faulty roof if you don’t adhere to these temperature requirements when installing a new roof or replacing an existing one. The risk for voided warranties will increase when you try to replace or install the roof when temperatures are below 40° F.

There are many challenges when roofing in winter. The first challenge when laying asphalt shingles on your roof is the shingles themselves. Asphalt shingles lose some of its flexibility in cold weather. You may find it difficult to cut asphalt shingles in cold weather. The temperature of the asphalt shingles and the humidity in the air will affect the process of driving nails on the roof using pneumatic guns. Over or under-driving fasteners are common during winter months. The pressure settings for warm weather in the pneumatic gun needs to be adjusted when it is cooler. This is one challenge the roofing contractor needs to overcome when installing or replacing a roof in winter months.

Sealants that seal the shingles together are another issue when roofing in winter. The sealant will seal the asphalt shingles together to prevent the wind from getting under the shingles are lifting them. Sealants are activated by heat and sunlight. The sealant on asphalt shingles installed in cold weather will not activate right away. It may not activate until Spring. Winter blow-offs can cause havoc on the roofing shingles due to this reason. Most shingle manufacturers recommend hand-sealing every asphalt shingle to prevent them from lifting due to winter blow-offs. But it may add a lot of work to the project and increase the cost of roofing.

Basic human nature is another challenge when roofing in cold weather. Worker productivity is at the lowest when laboring outside in extreme conditions. Any person working outside in extreme conditions isn’t going to do his best work. Working in heavy boots and coats is time-consuming. Most workers may try to take short cuts to get things done quickly without proper supervision. Winter conditions make the roof more slippery. Workers need to devote extra time to safety due to this. Here are tips for roofing in cold weather conditions:

  • Make sure to remove dangerous hazards such as debris and snow when roofing in cold conditions. It will save a significant amount of time on your roofing project. Wet snow is heavy and may place a lot of weight on the roof. Certain areas of the roof can become vulnerable to damage and collapse when there is snow on the roof. Work carefully to eliminate cold weather hazards before you start working on the roof.
  • Use guardrails when working in cold conditions. Guardrails will protect the worker from falling off steep slopes. Guardrails are an easy and temporary installation when working in cold conditions.
  • Hot boxes can save your money by keeping the roofing products from freezing without overheating them. Hot boxes are great for cold weather storage, transporting, freeze protection, job site heating, and winter roofing. A standard Hot Box will hold the roofing product between 100°F and 120°F.

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