Ask a Roofer: Can you Install a Roof in the Winter?
Don’t allow the misconceptions of installing a roof in the winter deter you from pursuing your reroofing project. John Esh, President at Joyland Roofing, answers a common question: is it ok to shingle a roof in cold weather?
A question we get asked during the winter months is, is it okay to install a shingle roof when it’s cold during the winter?
Now, our answer is yes, if it’s done correctly. We want to be careful when they’re being installed. Obviously when it’s cold outside, just like when you have other home exterior products such as vinyl siding, it tends to be kind of brittle and less forgiving than it is in the warm months. It’s the same thing with shingles.
They can be installed and installed correctly, but they are more brittle and a little more difficult to handle. It’s a little tougher from the installation standpoint as it takes a little longer.
Each shingle does have a tar strip on the underside which bonds it to the shingle below it and so on. As soon as the roof absorbs some heat from the direct sunlight, that tar activates and seals the shingles together.
In the winter, you don’t have as much of that heat absorption, so it takes longer to get the tar strip activated. It becomes important that the shingles are fastened correctly in case you would get a high wind before they’re completely sealed.
To sum it up, there are no issues with installing a shingle roof in the cold weather, as long as they’re correctly. If the nails are at the right place and we get some sunlight sooner or later, the shingles will bond together.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in September 2020.