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Contractor’s Corner

Roofing, painting, siding and window tips and tricks from Rocky Mountain Roofing & Exteriors
Is it OK to Put a New Roof on in the Winter?

Is it OK to Put a New Roof on in the Winter?

Putting on a new roof is no small investment. In fact, the average cost of replacing a roof in Denver is around $9,000. With an investment of this magnitude, you want to be sure that you are getting a properly installed roof that will protect your home and your family for many years to come. To ensure that the new roof is built to last, you should do everything in your power to make sure that the roof replacement goes well and the conditions are optimal. Whenever possible, stay on top of your roof maintenance, plan ahead, conduct careful research, and then choose a team of Denver roofers you can trust to get the job done right.

Is it OK to Put a New Roof on in the Winter?

The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, so let’s start with a simple breakdown:

First, can you have your roof replaced in the winter? Yes, it’s certainly possible.

But should you replace your roof in winter? Probably not, so long as you can avoid it.

Of course, there are situations where significant roof damage occurs during the winter and it must be taken care of immediately to avoid larger problems down the line. You might be able to get through winter with some minor repairs, or you may have to bite the bullet and replace your entire roof during the winter. Either way, you should certainly leave the assessment and work to the professionals. With the help of skilled roofers who are experienced and prepared to work in winter conditions, repairing or replacing your roof is definitely possible, but there are associated risks and challenges that you should be aware of.

Important Considerations for Roof Repair in Winter

There are a fair amount of things that can go wrong when it comes to roof repair in the wintertime. Of course, the severity of the risks and challenges will vary depending on your location and the winter climate there. In cold winter weather, some of the potential problems you may encounter include the following:

  • Hazardous Working Conditions: In freezing temperatures, ice and snow on your roof can cause slippery and hazardous working conditions, which can lead to accidents. Roofing is very physically demanding, especially with freezing temperatures when more safety gear and special equipment is required. It can be hard to find experienced roofers that are willing to work in freezing temperatures or inclement weather. If you do have your roof replaced during freezing temperatures, keep the safety of the roofers in mind and expect the project to take longer than it normally would.
  • Tool Malfunctions: Some of the tools frequently used by roofers, such as compressors and nail guns, can be negatively affected by freezing temperatures. For example, ice can form in the nail gun’s airline, which interferes with the system and increases the risk of under-driven nails. That’s why, if you need to replace or repair your roof in winter, you need an expert roofer that will pay close attention and avoid these types of issues.
  • Problems With The Shingles: Asphalt shingles remain the most popular roofing material by a landslide. Asphalt shingles lose some flexibility in freezing temperatures and become more brittle and difficult to work with. Also, each asphalt shingle may have to be sealed by hand to keep it from blowing off if temperatures are freezing and windy. However, if the roofing crew knows what they’re doing and pays extra attention, it’s possible, though not ideal, to properly install asphalt shingles in freezing weather. Alternatively, there are roofing materials other than asphalt shingles, such as metal roofing, to consider that are less affected by cold temperatures.
  • Project Delays: Because of all of the points outlined above, roofing contractors must pay extra close attention to their safety and the quality of their workmanship in the winter. This means that almost every step of the roofing project will take longer than it would in more optimal conditions. Also, sudden storms or dips in temperature can cause unexpected delays.

On the other hand, there are a few potential benefits that may come with replacing a roof during the wintertime. First, it may be easier to schedule an appointment with an in-demand roofer during the offseason when they are less busy, provided they are willing to work in winter weather. Second, roofing companies may offer lower prices or discounts during the offseason, though the time and labor required may be higher than normal. However, with all of the risks and challenges in mind, it’s clearly preferable to replace or repair a roof in the summer or fall, before the winter weather hits and exacerbates the situation.
Roof Repair in Winter Denver

What To Do About a Leaking Roof in Winter

A leaky roof in the wintertime can be caused by a range of different problems including ice dams, damaged roof shingles, clogged gutters, or cracked flashing. Having your roof inspected in the summer or fall before the winter weather hits is a great way to avoid a leaky roof come the cold season.

If you do have a leaky roof in the winter, it’s something you will need and want taken care of immediately to avoid larger and more expensive problems with your roof or home structure. The proper way to go about stopping the leak or repairing the roof will depend on the root of the problem. Trying to repair the leak on your own in the wintertime is risky for reasons previously mentioned. A professional roofing company can help you correctly identify the source of the leak and get it taken care of quickly and safely.

How to Prevent Roof Damage in Winter 

With some careful planning and maintenance, you can prevent the need for inconvenient roof repairs or replacements during the winter months. Below are some key roof maintenance tips to help you avoid winter roof damage:

  • Get a Roof Inspection (Early!): One of the best ways to minimize the chance of having to replace your roof in the winter is to get a thorough and professional roof inspection done in the summer or fall. If any damage is found during the inspection, try to address and fix it as soon as possible. Keep in mind that roofing companies are often busy in the summer and fall months, so be proactive and schedule your inspection early.
  • Keep Your Gutters Clean: Clogged gutters can cause problems like ice dams, which can lead to bigger problems like a leaky roof or damage to your home’s foundation. Keeping your gutters clean and free from buildup of debris will help drain water and melting snow and ice from your roof. You may want to hire a professional to clean your gutters and remove any debris from your roof before winter arrives.
  • Trim Your Trees: If there are any trees with branches that hang over or close to your roof, you may need to clear away any dead branches or trim them up. This will help minimize the risk of them falling on your roof and causing physical damage to your home during a winter storm.
  • Clear Snow From Your Roof: Once inclement weather arrives, it’s important to keep an eye on the amount of snow on your roof and clear some away if necessary. However, clearing snow from your roof is a risky task that requires specific tools and skills. Learn more about how to safely go about removing snow from your roof in our article on snow removal options.

Keeping up on the maintenance of your roof and having problems addressed as soon as you notice them will help make your winter season more stress-free and enjoyable. There’s nothing worse than finding a leaky roof in the middle of a big winter storm!

How to Prevent Roof Damage in Winter

Answered: Is it OK to Put a New Roof on in the Winter?

Hopefully this article helps you understand why replacing or repairing a roof in the wintertime is far from ideal. Yes, it is possible to properly install or replace a roof in the winter if you absolutely must, but there are many associated risks and things that can go wrong. Putting in a new roof is always a complex, hazardous, and costly project that is best left to experienced professionals, but this is especially true in freezing winter weather. Attempting to do the job on your own is not only dangerous, but can result in major problems with the installation that can cause more significant problems with your roof and home structure in time. Protect your family, your home, and your investment by choosing the best Denver roofers for the job.

Our experienced team is ready to handle any and all of your roofing needs, whether they be a preventative inspection or a full-on roof replacement. We offer free inspections and handle everything from start to finish with your insurance company to ensure your home is restored and protected with little hassle to you. Don’t wait for a sign of damage to your roof; contact us today for your free roofing estimate!