Roof replacement in the winter is not something that you’d normally consider. This question usually pops up when a sudden roof replacement emergency occurs. In such cases, homeowners wonder what it takes to replace a roof in the winter.

Knowing that winters can be harsh, icy, and unpredictable, a new roof installation is often greeted with hesitation. However, a good roofing contractor can assess the weather conditions and consider all the risks prior to starting the job.

What should I know before replacing my roof in the winter?

In essence, you can, provided the roofing contractor is highly skilled and equipped. Nowadays, roofing in the winter is not an uncommon thing. In fact, it is as viable as a new roof installation in any other season, but with certain precautions considered. It also turns out that winter roofing is not as complicated as you might have thought, and for various reasons, many homeowners have had their roof replaced in winter, even in some of the coldest parts of the country.

Yet, not anyone can do the right work, so make sure that you arrange a roofing contractor with the means and knowledge to have the job done. Also, the roofing company needs to weigh all the risks and use winter roofing materials and equipment to ensure efficiency and safety.

From falling trees causing damage to leaking roofs, construction companies have realized that winter roof installation is more than a necessity. If in the past you could hear that shingles were too brittle and adhesives couldn’t seal properly, nowadays, a good roofing contractor has its own ways of having the situation under control. And, technological advancement allows not only winter roofing, but also it guarantees longer durability and better quality.

So, what do you have to do to ensure you’ll have your roof replaced as well as if it was any other, warmer seasons? It all starts by making an informed decision on who will undertake the roofing project, how the roofing process will be carried out, the time needed to complete the project, and how much it will cost you. I know you are eager to find out all the peculiarities about how you can replace a roof in the winter, so continue reading.

Some Key Challenges Homeowners Face When Replacing Their Roof in the Winter

Winter roofing doesn’t always go as smoothly as performing it during any other season. In fact, there is a number of issues that might prevent the completion of the installation and extend the whole process. Therefore, homeowners need to be aware of the challenges that could prolong the roofing installation.

Low Temperatures

Winter temperatures can range from below zero to up to 60 degrees, so apparently, those freezing temperatures are not recommended for roof replacement. When the temperature is lower than 40 degrees, it can be dangerous for the roofers, and it could lower the adhesive properties of the sealant that are added to each asphalt shingle. Of course, a good contractor will always use nails to secure the shingles, but low temperatures can hinder the workers from acting efficiently, even in such cases. So, it is recommended (if possible) that you wait for warmer winter days when the weather is clear to start with the roof installation.

It Could Take Longer Than Anticipated

While the strip of sealant that comes with the shingles automatically seals on warmer days (the heat from the sun activates it), the roofing professional will have to hand-seal it on cold days. But, that’s just a minor issue in areas where there’s a risk of wind blowing off the shingles, heavy snow, or extreme moisture. In such conditions, nailing down the shingles must be a priority, and it usually takes six nails per shingle to ensure long term use. This means it will take much longer to seal and press each shingle manually, so you need to be aware that it is a longer process compared to the usual one.


If you don’t want to make another call to the roofing contractor, make sure you don’t save on the roofing materials. Roof installation in winter weather conditions requires top-notch materials, professional and experienced roofing crew, and constant monitoring so that workers don’t cut corners and take shortcuts. Plus, they need special winter equipment that guarantees a successful roof replacement project while ensuring maximum safety for the crew.

Things to Consider When Replacing a Roof in Cold Temperatures

Call reliable and experienced contractors – Not any company is well-equipped and experienced to replace a roof in the winter. Make sure you call people who know what they are doing, i.e., have successfully carried out many winter roofing projects.

Types of Shingles – A good contractor offers versatility and can offer an array of shingles to match your home style. Apart from the most common asphalt (composite) shingles, homeowners can add authenticity and protection if they opt for metal roofing structures, tiled slate roofing, or cedar roofing.

Ensure there’s someone who supervises the roofing crew – Roofing in the winter is a demanding procedure, and roofers must have proper winter roofing equipment. The winter weather conditions are far from favorable, as they must work with heavy boots, gloves, and a slippery surface. This means that if workers aren’t supervised, they might easily take shortcuts to finish the job as fast as possible.

Talk to the roofing contractors prior to making the arrangement – Ensure that the contractor intends to use high-quality roofing materials, proper insulation, guardrails, and hot boxes to prevent the roofing materials from freezing. Experienced roofing professionals must guarantee that the roofing shingles will be adequately installed. Basically, you need to know what you are paying for and what you’ll get.

What temperature is too cold for roofing?

When the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is too cold for roofing. This implies that experienced contractors are likely to postpone the procedure.

Will Shingles Seal in Cold Weather?

Sealing shingles in cold weather requires a different approach and more work to do. Since self-sealing in cold weather conditions is literally impossible as there’s no sun’s heat, each shingle requires hand sealing by using a small amount of roofing cement that will function as a sealant. The use of 6 instead of 4 nails are also recommended as they guarantee better wind resistance.

In normal conditions, to successfully install asphalt shingles, heat is one of the crucial factors. The sun’s heat activates the adhesive element of the sealants, making them fasten quickly and efficiently. The lack of it means that roofers will have to hand seal every shingle to prevent havoc. Plus, asphalt shingles aren’t as flexible in cold weather as they are when it is warm. They are harder to cut or drive nails through them, so the roofing professional must use nail guns as they can easily become brittle.

Ask as many questions as you want before the job starts.

If, after doing your research, you are ready to make the call and have your roof repaired or replaced in the winter, be upfront about any and all questions you may have before the job begins.
A skilled roofing company will be able to answer your questions easily and upfront without issues. The roofing company should be able to put your mind at ease and provide you with the assurance that your house is in good hands regardless of the temperature outside. A good roofing contractor should also be honest with you and may delay your job if the conditions are not ideal.

You are a smart consumer, and, as with any of your house projects, you will do your own research before starting a large job. Always make sure that your preferred roofing company aligns with what you are looking for.

At Dunsmore Exteriors, we are always open to answer questions and provide the information you need to make the best decision for you!