Winter Roofing

Generally speaking, “roofing season” begins when the temperatures warm up in the spring and ends when temperatures cool in the fall.  Of course, in some parts of the country it stays warm enough for roof replacement all year, but even in cooler climates it is often possible to install a new roof in the winter. 

The reason that asphalt shingle roofs are generally installed in warmer weather is due to the design of the shingles.  Asphalt shingles are installed beginning at the lower edge of the roof and working up toward the peak. Each row of shingles is nailed to the roof deck along the upper edge of the shingles.  The lower edge of the shingles overlap the row of shingles below it. 

Asphalt shingles have an adhesive strip on the underside of the lower edge of the shingle.  Where the shingles overlap the row of shingles below it, this adhesive helps hold the lower edge of the shingles in place and contributes to the wind resistance of the shingles.  Warm temperatures are required for the shingles to adhere properly and the challenge of installing an asphalt shingle roof in the winter is that the temperatures on the roof will not be high enough for the adhesive to work properly.

A good roofer can work around this issue by using a few dabs of roofing cement to hold each shingle in place until the weather warms up in the spring.  When it does, the adhesive strip will soften and the shingles will bond together.  The roofing cement will continue to provide additional bonding. 

Posted on behalf of Roofworks

The Do It Yourself Roofing Fallacy

Many handy homeowners are tempted to save money on a new roof by doing the job themselves. The internet is full of how-to advice and installing an asphalt shingle roof looks a job that is time consuming, but not all that difficult.

However, looks can be deceiving.  Before you commit to replacing your roof yourself, consider whether you are actually saving much money and whether you might be better off with a high quality residential roof replacement by a professional roofing contractor.

First, in terms of saving money, the biggest savings will be on labor but some of those savings will be offset by other costs.  The homeowner’s cost of materials will be higher than a roofing contractor will pay because a homeowner will be paying full retail while the contractor may have negotiated a discount on materials.

Next, unless you happen have a complete set of roofing tools, you may have to rent some of the tools and equipment needed for the job which will further reduce any cost savings.   Also, roofing materials are heavy and the roof is a dangerous place to work.   There are an endless number of ways to injure yourself such as a back injury from lifting too much weight, smashing your fingers with a hammer, or falling off the roof and seriously injuring yourself.  The cost of an injury would probably far exceed any savings from doing it yourself.

Finally, although roofing looks easy the reality is that it takes time to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to do a high quality job on a roof replacement.  Roofing skill is particularly important with asphalt shingle roofing because a poorly installed roof will soon fail no matter how good the materials are.  A high quality, professionally installed roof will last longer an provide better protection than a roof you installed yourself.

Avoid Roof Repair Scams After Hail Storms

A hail storm can happen anytime so it’s important to know what to do and what not to do if your roof is damaged by a hail storm.  Before you call your homeowners insurance carrier, keep in mind that not all hailstorms will cause roof damage. Hail greater than one inch is capable of damaging an asphalt shingle roof, but many different factors can affect whether your roof needs to be replaced or just has minor cosmetic damage.  Your neighbor’s roof might be ruined while your roof is unharmed.

If you are certain that the roof was damaged by hail, call your insurance carrier to get the claims process started.  If you are not sure whether the roof was damaged, have it inspected by a reputable local roofing contractor or roof inspector.

When choosing a roofing contractor for your residential roof replacement, beware of scam artists.  Unfortunately, the roofing industry is notorious for “storm chasers”  – fly by night roofers who flock to a storm damaged area to make some easy money.

These shady roofers often don’t have the proper licenses or insurance and do shoddy roofing work and move on to the next hard-hit area before the new roof starts leaking. They may leave behind unpaid suppliers or subcontractors who will place a lien on your home.  Sometimes they leave the job half-finished or take the homeowners money and never do any work at all.

You can protect yourself by working with a well-established local roofer.  Make sure they have a local address and find out how long the roofer has been in business.  Avoid roofers who show up unsolicited driving vehicles with out of state plates.  Be skeptical of roofers who use high pressure sales tactics, insist on payment up front, or offer to do the job cheaper than any other company, but only if you sign a contract that day.