When to do Roof Repairs after Winter — What you Need for an Informed Decision

framing a skylight on a roofWinter, just like anytime of the year, can present a homeowner or business with the need to repair or even replace the roof as it may not be possible to get by with just fixing the roof – especially when it comes to commercial roofing in places like rainy Vancouver BC, Canada. But the obvious first question is, can a roof be installed in the wet and snowy weather?

The fact is roofing can be done in cold weather if the climate is dry enough, nevertheless the final work could be marred by the presence of wet and soggy shingles or a slew of other problems.

Most shingle manufacturers will even mention something to this effect in their user manuals. As a matter of fact, most will actually state temperatures must be higher than 26° F for optimal installation.

As a general rule, roofing problems that need repairs can be exacerbated by applying repair work in the dead of winter for various reasons. As the temperatures climb high then drop below freezing, repeating themselves the following day, the shingles freeze and thaw causing them to crack and curl, this is even worse in older products.  Tar and gravel on commercial building roofs is hard to work with in the Winter due to being rigid in cold temperatures and needs frequent heating which requires extra resources and time for the roofing crew to expend – thus increasing the overall cost of the project.

After this damage has been done a sudden heavy snowfall can provide the killer blow. The weight of the snow will destroy any shingles that have begun to curl or crack. Once this happens, you can expect indoor showers from various locations where the roof’s water resistant features have been neutralized. Should another big freeze happen overnight, all those small holes will be widened and the problem continues in greater amounts. In a simple rule old roofs don’t handle the cold weather well and small issues can be made larger with winter repairs.

More about Winter roofing problems:

When at all possible, it is best to leave necessary paperwork till after the winter has passed and whatever further damages have been caused are still minimal. The winter can take a heavy enough toll on a roof without risking further damages.

There will be some important aspects of your roof that will need to be fully addressed in your spring repair work. This is the best way to avoid the possibility of emergency winter repair work the next year. The shingles that have not handled the winter snow, ice and wind should be replaced. Flashing repairs will also be in order to ensure the sealants and nails are all functioning optimally.

All of these repairs are applicable to all types of roofs. Of course, those that have skylights, chimneys, and other special architectural features require the most care. Roofs that are especially old need to be serviced and inspected regularly to postpone final deterioration, unless you prefer your roof to have that ‘old’ look and there are contractors who specialize in this type of restoration.

In conclusion  Is it best to wait till after winter to have your roofing work done?

The best way to avoid roofing problems and to extend the life of your roof will be to apply a Spring roof repair as the need arises. Repairwork done in the winter can be problematic and the final job could appear very professional and complete but there could be minor issues like frozen adhesives or unseen damage to other frozen (and fragile) shingles that will present themselves later on.

While there are some reasons that roof repairs are a bad idea in the winter, it is quite possible to get your repairs done at any time of the year if you are working with a good roofing contractor, they may keep an eye on the weather and schedule your roofing work for some warmer days. This will be your recourse if the repair work can’t wait.  When you’re located in a rainy climate like Vancouver or along the West Coast, you need to find a roofer who knows the conditions and has experience with them.  Seek out Pacific West Roofing & Exteriors in Vancouver the next time you need a roof repair for your home or business – or visit them at http://www.pacificwestexteriors.ca.