Why Would I Consider Installing Roofing Shingles in Cold Weather?
Unfortunately, your roof won’t usually pick warm and clear days to break, obviously it is much more common for your roof to develop leaks and problems when the rain is beating down and the wind is blowing a gale. Even if the roof does get damaged on a calm day it is really quite unlikely that you will notice until the weather changes. At least without regular maintenance it will be. If you find it absolutely essential when installing roofing shingles in cold weather there are certain things you need to be aware of, although it is always better to fix your roof on a calm day; it may not seem necessary at the time but it is safer for you and your roof.
Installing roofing shingles in cold weather is dangerous.
Going up on your roof in cold weather, especially when there is ice or snow is potentially very dangerous indeed. Any traffic on your roof should be avoided wherever possible because a slippery roof is likely to result in a very serious fall. If you do have to go on the roof to conduct repairs you should always ensure that the roof itself, ladders and any equipment you will be using is dry and safely secured.
You can damage material if installing roofing shingles in cold weather.
Removing ice or snow from the roof can cause serious and irreparable damage to the roof. Scarping away at anything on your roof can easily lead to you removing the protective surface on the shingles, and this surface is the best protection you can get against the elements. It prevents damage to the material itself and ensures that any water will run smoothly off your roof surface without collecting. Removing it means your roof is more prone to leakage. Also, the slightest knock to a freezing cold shingle is likely to break it very easily.
Things to consider when installing roofing shingles in cold weather.
The most important thing to remember in the event that you need to install roofing shingles in cold weather is your personal safety. Traversing a sloping roof in icy conditions is near suicidal and should be avoided at all costs. There is a reason that you can’t get a roofing contractor to come out and fix your roof in these conditions and it isn’t because it’s too cold to work. Snow is no better and even early morning dew can create a very slippery surface that is potentially lethal to anyone trying to walk on the roof. However, if you do need to replace a shingle try to remain on the ladder and be sure to handle the shingles with as much care as possible so that you don’t break them. You will have to manually seal the tabs of the shingles down yourself, because the warmth of the sun normally activates the adhesive strips, but this obviously will not be possible in cold weather.
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A Certified Roofing Contractor-Your best Choice
The life expectancy of your roof depends on several factors; type of roofing, quality of material, and exposure to harsh weather elements among the top. With regular maintenance and normal weathering factors, a roof can last anywhere from 10 – 100 years.
Common roofing material such as built up roofing usually lasts 12 – 20 years, metal roofing 15 – 40 years, wood shake or shingles 10 – 40 years, asphalt shingles 15 – 20 years, and specialty material like slate up to 100 years under good conditions.
Leaks start as small cracks in roofing material that may not be visible; water may collect in an adjacent area. To detect such damage, a close inspection of the roof may be necessary.
A certified roofing contractor can be called to avoid further damage to the roof, or personal injury to the homeowner caused by trying to inspect it his or her self. A roof inspection should be performed annually; constant weathering by sun, heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, and cold can cause roofing material to break down. A certified roofing contractor will know what to look for.
A roof and soffit system should be properly vented to prevent over-heating and moisture retention, two factors that can cause a roof to break down prematurely.
Selecting a Qualified Roofing Contractor
A certified, experienced contractor offers various services. From completely tearing off an old roof and replacing it with a new one, to inspecting and “certifying” an existing roof. The latter is a process in which the roof is inspected and “guaranteed” to function properly for a certain period of time; usually 2 years. The contractor takes responsibility for any necessary roofing repair during that period.
A certified contractor is knowledgeable of roof system types, materials, and installation procedures best suited to each project, and will ensure there is adequate venting.
Ask potential roofing contractors questions such as whether or not they are licensed and bonded. What liability insurance coverage they carry, and whether it is up to date. Ask which roofing product manufacturers they are licensed and approved by, for installation of products and warranty purposes. Also ask if they are a member of any regional or national trade organizations.
Several resources are available to find a certified roofing contractor; referrals, local government licensing agencies, and web sites that offer contractors for hire, or a list of contractors who are licensed and bonded.