Roofing in the Winter: What You Need to Know About Roofing in Cold Weather

February 18 2020 0comment

Roofing in the Winter: What You Need to Know About Roofing in Cold Weather

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Thousands and, perhaps millions of property owners across the country are usually wondering whether it is okay to do their roofing during the winter. Good news is: Yes, you can. Whether you intend to replace missing shingles, fix the ceiling links, or replace the entire roofing. However, you may need to use a different technique throughout the process to ensure quality roofing that can perform at peak condition in all seasons and last long enough. Read on for some of the most important considerations to observe during this time.  

1.    Safety First
Extra care is very important when walking or working on the roof during winter. You should never under any circumstances compromise on your personal safety. Presence of ice, frost, or snow on your roof can make it slick and slippery, increasing the risk of accidents. Ensure to have winter-rated work boots which are approved for cold, wet conditions. You need to be keen not to accidentally trip over materials or fall through skylights hidden under the snow. 

Strong winds, snow and ice storms are also common in the winter. These could increase the risks of a fall, especially without proper fall protection. It’s vital to install wind resistant demarcation on your roof before allowing access to anyone.  

2.    Stay Warm
Perhaps you must have heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Cold weather can be harsh on your body. It can put you at risk for frostbite or hypothermia. Therefore, ensure you are well protected from the cold - put on layers of breathable warm clothing that can insulate against the cold. Your workers may first need to remove ice and snow on the roof before the roofing starts, and this requires the right gear for the job. 

3.    Hire a Professional Contractor
Winter roofing can be a very risky process. Only competent personnel experienced with working on slippery roofs should be allowed on the roof. It’s important to consider a professional roofing contractor who has successfully handled similar projects before. The expert will ensure everything is done right the first time to avoid unnecessary repairs or replacement in the future. Hiring the right company will also reduce the chances of your warranty being nullified by the manufacturer. 

4.    Some Roofing Materials Might be Sensitive to Temperature. 
TPO membranes, for instance, can become more rigid in cold temperatures and may require exposure to the sun a few hours before the installation to increase the membrane’s flexibility. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, become brittle in temperatures below 5 ºC. This will require careful handling before and during the installation since the material can keep the shape of the surface being attached to. Their self-adhesive strips might also take more time to activate. 

The physical properties of coatings, adhesives, primers, and sealants can be affected by the cold weather. The change in viscosity could result in the separation of solvents and solids, which makes it challenging to dispense the materials. The drying time of the sealants, primers, and adhesives is also likely to be extended and this might affect the time of installation as well. Ensure to consult your contractor to advise you on the necessary steps to take in such circumstances. 

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