The adage that cold temperature makes roof repairs impossible during the winter just doesn’t hold water. In fact, waiting until spring often invites bigger issues as roofs are primarily designed to repel falling rain, not to collect ice or snow. Winter melt-and-freeze cycles invite winter’s moisture to creep in between shingles, flashing, fascia and caulk which pulls apart structures creating openings for moisture to seep into beams, insulation and drywall. With some updated information, Minnesotans can separate myth from fact to protect their homes year-round.
Myth: A roof doesn’t need to be replaced unless it leaks
Water leaks are not the only reason to replace a roof. Mold, mildew, frequent ice dams and deterioration of shingle granules that reflect the sun and insulate your home means your roof is not protecting your home. When damage gets to the point of water leaking into structures, one or more of these other issues have been around for some time.
Fact: Shingle installations are best above 40 degrees
Shingle cracking and damage during installation are more likely when temperatures get below 40 degrees and sealants work best above 70 degrees to prevent ice dams. However, a knowledgeable roofing specialist can offer temperature remediation methods and/or provide a temporary-fix option to get you to a warmer weather spell. Understand that winter weather creates more hazardous roof conditions, so make sure to ask about your roofing contractor’s experience working in winter conditions.
Fact: Roof temperature differs from air temperature
When factoring temperature into roof repairs, what matters is the roof and shingle temperature, not air temperature. Even on very cold days, prolonged sun, inside home heating and airflow will raise the roof temperature enough to open a project window for shingle installation and sealing. Storing shingles on-site in a temperature-controlled space (i.e., a heated garage) will also ensure the roofing installation’s longevity of performance.
Fact: Metal roof installations are fine during the winter
Metal roofs don’t require adhesives for installation eliminating winter’s cold impacts on a metal roof’s longevity and performance. The surface of metal also makes working conditions a bit safer and thus requires fewer winter installation logistics. Winter doesn’t have to stop roofing projects, but they may have to wait for the right conditions. Understand that weather conditions will impact your project’s schedule as your roofing specialists will wait for optimal winter conditions. If you are concerned about your specific roofing material, contact the manufacturer for installation recommendations and share them with your roofing specialist to discuss your options.
Having a professional inspect your roof by early fall to remediate issues that might get exasperated by winter conditions is always the best course of action. However, should unexpected winter damage occur, Minnesota homeowners still have viable roofing repair and replacement options year-round.