Winter Roofing Pros & Cons: Installing Asphalt Shingles in Cold Weather

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Blog

Winter roofing replacements are not ideal, but sometimes you may have no choice. While it’s better to have your roof repaired in the summer, winter repairs can be successful with the right roofing contractor. 

AWS Roofing has 30 years of experience installing all types of roofing in all kinds of weather. Our team makes allowances for the cold weather to ensure your new project is successful. 

Why Is a Shingle Roof Installation Problematic in Winter?

The shingle roof poses several challenges when it comes to winter roofing:

  • There is a safety threat to the workers who install the shingles on residential and commercial properties. Icy weather means the roof is more slippery than average, and the cold makes it difficult to concentrate. 
  • There is the risk of the shingles cracking or breaking as the cold makes them more brittle.
  • The shingles may curl.
  • The crew’s tools may develop ice in the lines, increasing the potential for accidents.
  • There is a chance that the sealant won’t activate properly, leaving the roof prone to leaks. 

At AWS Roofing, we understand these dangers and plan around them. 

How We Prevent Shingles from Breaking

Shingles contract in the cold and expand in the heat. Cooler temperatures make the material more rigid, making it harder to cut or bend. Winter roofing makes it challenging to use the most common installation technique, racking. 

With this technique, it’s necessary to lift the shingle slightly to hammer in the final nail. This becomes more problematic in dips, valleys, ridge caps, and hips, as these areas require that we manipulate the shingles the most. 

A downside of over-manipulation is that the shingles become brittle and may crack when you hammer in the nail. 

We overcome this issue by soring the roofing material in a heated room for at least a day or two before we install it. We work quickly and carefully to reduce the chances of breaks. 

How We Prevent Winter Curling 

Cold curl is more challenging to avoid, and the solution is slightly more costly. Here we hand to seal the individual shingles and ensure that we press them in carefully. As precipitation interferes with the process, our winter roofing teams always carry a heat gun. 

The heat gun allows team members to reactivate the cement and dry away any water or snow. The process is more expensive because it is labor-intensive, but the results are worth the effort. 

We Understand Our Products

In winter roofing, there is no substitute for experience. You can understand every process in theory but still be unable to apply it in practice. Our team of experts faces such situations yearly and knows how to react to difficulties. 

We work with the best manufacturers to ensure we use the best quality products. Every team member undergoes training with the manufacturers to understand the unique qualities of each product we use. 

Every contractor we hire undergoes a rigorous induction, during which time they learn more about the manufacturer’s recommendations. This knowledge, combined with experience, leads to reliability and efficient installations. 

We know our work will stand up to the most rigorous roof inspections because we fully understand our materials and techniques. Although roofing materials are similar in functionality and application, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. 

While most companies recommend installing shingles in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees, they all have specific processes for installing them in lower temperatures. 

For example, GAF states that, on paper, there’s no minimum or maximum limit as long as you take suitable precautions. Malarkey says something similar but provides detailed instructions for hand-sealing the materials. Experienced professionals can install roofs in cold weather and know the most effective process. 

How We Approach Winter Roofing Safety

We have strict safety protocols in place to keep our team safe. These include using cold weather gear, safety lines, and protective equipment. Our machines have built-in cut-off switches that prevent their use when there is ice in the pipes. 

Each team member understands the signs of hypothermia and looks out for these in their colleagues. You may rest assured that we never take silly risks when working on a job. 

Contact Us for All Your Roofing Needs

Is your roof in desperate need of repair or replacement? Don’t let fears about the risks of winter roofing hold you back. The AWS Roofing team has the skills and equipment to finish the job regardless of season or temperature. 

Contact us today by calling (386) 210-9673 for your free estimate. 

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875 W. Park Ave
Edgewater, FL 32132


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Call: (386) 423-3076