Is it Possible to Get a Roof Installed in Winter?

One question that we commonly get asked is whether it is possible to get a roof installed in the winter. This is not an entirely simple question to answer…

In some parts of the world, the timing of roof installation doesn’t matter too much – any season will work. This is not necessarily the case in places like Ontario, where winters are freezing cold and usually see ice and snow.

The fact is that winter is not an optimal time to perform roof repairs or to install a new roof. If the work is required to be undertaken, it can be, but this depends upon the type of roofing you have and whether it incorporates asphalt shingles and the type of membrane used. Adjustments will need to be made.

Why is winter not ideal for re-roofing?

  • The ideal time to construct a roof is in warm, dry, and calm weather – the opposite of our Ontario winters!
  • At temperatures lower than 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), roofing materials perform differently and they don’t work as well as they do in more moderate temperatures.
  • Asphalt shingles should ideally be installed at between 10-30 degrees C (50-85F) to avoid breakage and cracking due to becoming more brittle in freezing temperatures. Fibreglass shingles are also more brittle in winter. (Conversely, very hot summer temperatures can see shingles become overly pliable).
  • Below 5C, adhesive and sealing strips don’t bond or perform as well. In such cold weather, a specialised adhesive must be manually applied to the shingles.
  • Roofer safety: snow, wind and ice don’t make for a safe working environment in winter atop a roof. Professional, expert roofers do work in winter and will take all safety measures possible, however, if you know you need a new roof or major repairs, it’s better to get it done in advance of winter if possible.

What if I need roofing done in winter?

Winter roofing requires experience, planning, foresight and extra safety precautions on the part of the roofing team. With some technical tweaks, most materials will perform to a satisfactory point even in the coldest conditions, as long as the installation style is adjusted suitably.

By planning work around sunlight hours and avoiding inclement weather events, adjusting timing expectations for roofer performance due to dexterity when bundled up against the cold, and the logistics of clearing away snow and ice and keeping materials dry and warm, winter roofing should not be a problem.

It’s not necessarily ideal, but roof installation and repairs can be carried out in winter by professional, expertly-trained and experienced roofing contractors. If you experience a winter leak or damage from snow, ice, or a tree falling on your roof, you certainly don’t need to wait until spring to have proper repairs and re-roofing completed. Just be sure to call the very best professional roofers in your area to get the job done for you. They have the know-how to ensure your roofing is not impacted negatively by cold temperatures.