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Should You Replace Your Roof in the Winter in Colorado?

By November 30, 2022 No Comments

Ashpalt Shingles in the Winter

As most Colorado residents know, the winter season in Colorado is fairly mild. In general, the roofing season begins in March on Daylight Savings and ends in November when the time changes again.  In this blog post, I will discuss asphalt, tile, and synthetic roof replacements in the winter. The majority of roofs in Colorado use asphalt roofing due to the cost effectiveness, quality, and durability of asphalt roofing.  Ideally, asphalt roofing shingles are installed in warm weather and when the sun is out because it has an adhesive on the backside and the adhesive is heat activated.  During the summer, it’s easy to see how the heat activation works because the adhesive and the tar on the shingles get heated up and once shingles stick to eachother it is very difficult to pull them apart.  Asphalt roofing can be installed in lower temperatures but there are temperature guidelines and precautions that roofing contractors should perform and customer’s should be aware of these precautions as well.

Temperature Guidelines

Asphalt roofing manufacturers are careful to not include temperature minimums in their packaging instructions due to the liability involved and the difficulty of keeping track of the weather.  Most manufacturers and contractors would agree that installing in the 40’s with the sun being out is probably the lowest temperature that they are comfortable working in.  Installing asphalt roofing in temperatures lower than 40 degrees can cause problems because there it is likely that the adhesive will not activate and although the shingles are nailed, they do not have the secondary fastening feature that the adhesive performs. I know from experience that installing asphalt shingles in temperatures lower than 40 is not a good idea.  I worked for a company that went ahead and installed many roofs in Colorado Springs years ago in December and that year it happened to be very cold in December. Colorado Springs had a freak windstorm in January with winds exceeding 100mph and the majority of those roofs were damaged by the wind because they did not adhere properly.

Precautions in Winter

Some good practices that a roofing contractor can utilize to be more cautious when installing in the winter is to either have the asphalt roofing shingles delivered the morning of the installation or pick the materials up themselves the morning of the installation.  This takes more work for the roofing contractor and is more of a hassle but it is a good practice because if the shingles sit overnight on a roof they can freeze in the lower overnight temperatures and the adhesive and tar can be compromised. One or two nights on a roof may be ok depending on the overnight temperatures, but it should still be avoided. Shingles can also be delivered to a home and stored in the garage to avoid freezing them on the rooftop.

Once the roof is installed in colder temperatures it is a good idea to go back the next day with a caulking gun and hand seal the shingles by checking each shingle and if it is not sealed then a dab of roof cement can be applied to the adhesive and pressed down by hand. This is a good additional precautionary measure as well.  There are also different brands of roofing that are more amenable to colder temperatures such as Malarkey Roofing Products. Malarkey Roofing Products was the first to develop asphalt shingles for the Alaska roof market and the shingle was called the Alaskan.  Malarkey uses engineered asphalt that is very flexible and less likely to freeze under colder temperatures.

Concrete Tile Roofing

If you are considering replacing your roof in the winter with a concrete tile roof, then you are in luck. Concrete tile can be installed in temperatures as low as 20 degrees. It’s possible to install at even lower temperatures than 20 degrees but the cold can effect the human installer and make it very difficult to do the work. Another factor is that concrete tile requires NP1 roof sealant which is a commercial grade caulking design for concrete tile roofing. This sealant can freeze if the temperatures are too low and if the sealant was not stored properly then it won’t be useable.

Synthetic Roofing

There are different types of synthetic roofing in the market and not all of them can be installed in cold temperatures. F-Wave is a synthetic roofing material that is newer in the industry and it is not recommended to install in temperatures less than 50 degrees. Davinci Roofscapes is another very high quality synthetic roofing material and the good news is that it can be installed in low temperatures all the way down to 20 degrees. It can be installed in lower temperatures than even 20 degrees but the material can contract and be very difficult to cut in temperatures lower than 20 degrees.  Davinci Roofscapes is a highly rated roofing material and has a 50 year warranty.  Davinci Roofscapes is also class 4 impact resistant and has a class A fire rating when the Davinci underlayment is used as the underlayment. The Davinci underlayment is called Solar Seal and acts as both a water barrier and vapor barrier giving the home or building a better heating and cooling efficiency.  One drawback of Davinci Roofing is the cost. Davinci is one the more expensive roofs in the industry which can cause people to consider other options.

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing is another material that has low temperature requirements and can be installed in the 20’s and 30’s. Metal roofing can be difficult to cut in colder temperatures due to the material contracting and can be very challenging to a roofing crew. There are different types of metal also such as standing seam and stone coated steele. Both roof types can be installed in lower temperatures you just may have a hard time finding a good metal roofer who is willing to work in those lower temperatures. Most metal roofing roofers are specialists and they do fairly well financially during the roofing season and tend to take time off in the winter. If your heart is set on metal you may have to wait until the spring.

Conclusion

If you are needing a new roof in the winter time then there are options. However, do your due diligence because concrete tile and Davinci roofing are specialty products and it’s important that the installers know the intricacies of using these products. For example, a concrete tile roof can quickly go wrong if the battens are not measured correctly and the roof starts to look crooked. Davinci also has many different types of models and each has it’s own unique set of installing instructions. It’s important to choose a contractor experienced in these roof types and is up to the challenge of working in cold temperatures. Roofing in the winter is not for the faint of heart!

I hope this blog post helped you and feel free to reach out to Foothills Roofing and Exteriors for more information!

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