1. Temperature. First consider your winter climate. For the readers in the southern market, there may not be an ‘off-season’ for your roofing projects. Generally, is it not advised to tear off and roof in temperatures lower than 40 degrees F. If the shingles are too cold, they are not as manageable and may crack during install. A large concern is that hand or pneumatic nailing may cause the shingle to crack. If the install is done on a sunny day, that is a huge help as it can be significantly warmer on the roof itself.
2. Mess. Roofing in general is a messy project. The workers will get messy and in most cases a really aged and brittle roof is being torn off. Protection of your property with tarps is a concern that you will want to address with your contractor in every case. In the winter, the shingles are torn off in smaller pieces causing the process to be a little messier. Summer temperatures may allow you to tear off larger pieces of the roof at once resulting in a cleaner job site. A very important tip is to have your contractor put a tarp in your attic space to keep from all the granules from invading all your attic storage.
3. Shingle Storage. Express to your contractor that it is important that the shingles do not sit on your property for an extended period of time. Some roofing suppliers stock their materials indoors, meaning the shingles are not frozen when they arrive at your house. It is okay to ask your contractor this question. They should know how the shingles are being stored. Ask for the shingles to be installed same day as delivery, or next day should be fine as well.
4. Caulking. Depending on how cold your region is, there are a few products that do particularly well in colder temperatures. The silicone sealants don’t comprise of a large component of your new roof, however, the location of where the silicone is applied is always critical. GeoCel and SolarSeal are two of the industry leaders in exterior silicone caulk. They have product lines that are more manageable in colder temperatures.
5. Install Length. Because of the shorter day light hours and the possibility of it being much colder in the morning, an install in the winter will generally take longer. What might be a one day job in the summer, may take two days in the winter. Crews will take into consideration that it may be 30 degrees at 7AM and may not get to 40 until noon. This still may qualify as an acceptable day to install, as much of the first part of the day is spent tearing off. There are no temperature concerns in relation to tearing off. The contractor will also take into consideration that there may be frost on the roof. Safety is of the highest importance when roofing, and this contractor will most likely wait for the frost to dissipate before sending anyone on the roof to install.
In summary, roofing projects can still be done in the winter climates. Generally, most are done in the spring and summer, as more people are outside and get that Spring Itch to beautify their home. Take the above points into consideration and don’t be shy about asking questions of your contractor. They should be proud to share their knowledge as you are about to undertake on of your larger home improvement projects.