How to Replace your Roof in Winter ? Roofing contractors Northville MI

The weather conditions in Michigan can be very harsh at times. These harsh conditions may have adverse effects on the residential roofing systems in the area. Especially during the cold winter seasons, residential roofing systems have higher chances of developing roof leaks, formed by the ice dams which condense on the roofing systems. Sometimes, the winter conditions are too harsh, causing great damages to the roofing systems such that the entire roofs have to be replaced and new ones installed.

Replacing and installing residential roofing systems during the winter season is not that simple a task. This article explains the risks that are associated with this task. It also gives practical points on how roofing teams can prepare well for replacing residential roofs in the winter.

Roofing contractors Northville MICHIGAN


Risks of Replacing Roofing Systems In The Winter

Replacing residential roofs during the winter is quite a tough activity. The risks associated with replacing roofing systems in the winter can be divided into 3 main categories;  the human factor, the shingles used in the roofing systems and the equipment and tools used. 

a.) The Human Factor

Obviously, the installation of the new residential roofing systems has to be done by people. If the weather conditions are just right, then the installation of the roofing systems becomes very simple. The opposite is, however, true when it comes to the installation of roofing systems during the winter.

First, before a new roof can be installed, an appropriate substrate on which it will be installed has to be created. Therefore, during winter conditions, the roofing team has to begin with shoveling and ice-breaking the condensed ice in roofing systems, so as to reach the roof’s bare deck. This is not an activity that can boost a person’s morale. And, when people work without morale, they may be tempted to cut corners so as to get done with the job as quickly as possible. Cutting corners, in turn, can result in low-quality outcomes, in this case, being, poorly replaced residential roofing systems.

Also, the precipitation on the roofing system makes the roof’s slope very slippery. Such a slippery slope is dangerous to workers; as they may slip and cause accidents. The roofing team works very carefully on the slippery surface, causing a lower speed for the entire project.

During winter, temperatures tend to go too low, forcing the roofing teams to dress appropriately for the weather. They go to work with winter jackets, hats, boots among other heavy winter clothing. Working with such heavy clothing can be quite straining to a person, adding to the also physically demanding nature of the roofing activity. Furthermore, since residential roofing professional contractors are required to use their fingers precisely when replacing roofs, they are forced to put on smaller boots and gloves. Such small clothing can prove to be very uncomfortable for the workers in the freezing temperatures.

b.) The Equipment And Tools Used

Residential roofing contractors make use of many different tools when replacing rooms. Some of this equipment can work well in whichever temperatures. However, some tools, such as compressors and nail guns, are affected by temperatures. 

For instance, when the air in the residential roofs is compressed and released, the humidity in the air turns to water. In winter temperatures, the condensed water freezes in the airlines. As a result, the airflow received by the installer on the roofing system is reduced. When nails are driven into such airlines, they may be obstructed by the ice and end up being under driven. During the winter conditions, the contractor team has to be extra careful and regularly set the depth adjuster of the nail gun. They also need to constantly measure the presence of ice in the airline systems, so as to minimize chances for under driven nails.

c.) Shingles Used In Roofing Systems

During winter seasons, it is possible for shingles to be installed in residential roofing systems. However, there are risks associated with doing so. For instance, very low temperatures make the asphalt materials in shingles to be less flexible and less resistant. During a roof replacement, the shingles, therefore, become hard to bend and cutting them straight becomes close to impossible. Since the freezing temperatures give them their ‘brittle’ nature, it becomes very easy to overdrive nails on the shingles when regular pressures are used in the residential roofing system. However, with the right precautions taken, residential roofing contractors can still install shingles properly during the winter.

The other thing about installing shingles during the cold weather is that they can blow off due to the cold temperatures. Normally, shingles are built with self-sealants, which attach the shingles together such that wind does not affect them. Low temperatures may cause the shingles not to attach to each other properly, leading to their blowing off. During the winter season, it is, recommended that roofing contractors hand-seal the shingles to ensure that they do not blow off.

How To Prepare For Replacing Roofing In Winter

Despite the fact that replacing residential roofs during the winter is a risky task, it still can be done. The following tips are followed by our residential roofing professional contractors to ensure safe replacement of roofs during the winter seasons in Michigan;

  • Wearing roof-fall protection wear, such as work boots made specifically for the winter season.
  • Training of roofing replacement workers on the different equipment that is used for replacing roofs.
  • Ensuring that roofing systems are replaced safely, by waiting until the ice and frost on the roof melt.
  • Clearing floor surfaces before working to minimize accidents
  • Working for shorter hours, especially during hours when the sun is most likely to appear.
  • Wearing many layers of warm clothing that offer spaces for breathing, at the same time insulating the body against cold temperatures.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration of the workers.
  • Ensuring that the roof surface is sturdy and has not been weakened by the ice debris, before starting any work on it.
  • Storing asphalt shingles in warm and flat spaces, such that they do not touch the cold ground, and only take them out when one wants to use them.


So, is residential roofing during the winter possible? Yes! Roofing during the winter is possible when the right precautions are taken to counteract the associated risks. 

Our professional roofing company in Northville MI has well-trained personnel to install your residential roofing system whenever you need it done. Whether it’s the summer or it’s the winter, we are here for you at all seasons!

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