While most homeowners aim to repair their leaky roofs during the summer, winter roof repair is always available when you need it. Aside from some material limitations, installing a roof in the winter is just as simple as it is in the summer.
And it’s worth it to repairing or replacing a roof work when it’s raining or snowing outside. Even with small leaks, the consistent rainfall and moisture in Oregon can cause major damage to the structural integrity of the roof as whole. For example, if your roof has a leak, the expansion and contraction of roofing materials that occurs due to freezing and thawing can worsen it, and even more leaks may appear.
Do roofers work in the winter?
Here’s the short answer: Yes! While you may be wondering if it’s dangerous for roofers to be toiling away atop your home in icy conditions, rest easy. Roofing contractors need to work in the winter months just like anyone else, and some roofers actually prefer cold conditions to the summer time when they get cooked up there. Most of the time, if it’s 90 degrees outside, its 120 on your roof. Talk about miserable. If your roof is packed with snow, it should only take 30 minutes to an hour to shovel it off, depending on the size of your roof.
Pros and cons of winter roof repair or replacement
Now lets get to the heart of the issue. Roofing materials all behave differently in conditions below 40 degrees. There are types of materials that should not be installed in these conditions and some that can be installed any time of year, regardless of the weather.
Here’s what to do, depending on your home’s roofing material:
There are pretty much only two flat roof systems that can be properly installed in the winter – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). These thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products are mechanically installed and seams are hot air welded instead of using adhesives.
Rubber roofs, the alternative to these systems, should not be installed in temperatures below 40 degrees because the adhesives that seal it will freeze and not bond. Contractors who say they can and will conduct rubber roof projects are ignoring manufacturer suggestions and proceeding with this project can result in roof leaks and voided warranties. So, it’s a good idea to hold off on winter roof replacement if you’re looking at rubber roofs until it gets a bit warmer. The same goes for peel-and-stick materials, as adhesives won’t bond, creating leaks. This material can actually blow off your roof.
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material for sloped roofs and can be installed in the winter, but caution must be taken by roofers installing it. They must be careful not to bend and crack the shingle. Also, because asphalt shingles are dependent on a proper seal between the overlapping shingles, which requires heat from the sun to bond, these materials often do not seal properly until warm weather rolls around. This can cause them to blow off or leak.
Although our winter temperatures are generally mild in the Pacific Northwest, asphalt shingles are also susceptible to ice dams – large ice formations along the eaves of roofs caused by poor ventilation or inadequate insulation in the attic. Ice and water shield membrane is a great method to prevent ice dam leaks, but it also requires the sun’s heat to properly adhere to the roof deck, so some of the same shortcomings may apply.
Metal roofs, can be installed in the winter without compromising quality. Cold conditions do not affect metal roofs since they won’t crack due to improper handling. They are designed to allow for expansion and contraction, so the outside temperatures won’t make a difference. Just be sure to use a premium breathable synthetic underlayment to combat moisture caused by poor ventilation and always upgrade intake and output ventilation whenever possible. Whether you need winter roof repair or replacement, mental roofs are safe during any season.
Find winter roofing services in Portland, OR
With all that said, roofing projects in any season should be discussed at length with a trusted contractor to prevent common issues and the premature failure of your roof. Contact Pacific West Roofing for roof repairs or replacement during the winter months, or for any roofing services you need.