In an ideal world, roof damage will only occur during the warm sunny months when a replacement can be done safely, effectively, and quickly. Unfortunately, this isn't an ideal world and sometimes roof problems arise during the winter. The following can help you understand both the challenges and options available in the event you need a winter roof repair.
Temperature can pose a major challenge during a winter roof repair. Certain tools, such as air compressors, may not work properly in freezing weather. Your roofing crew may need to use alternative hand tools, which can make the process take longer. Further, asphalt shingles are best installed at temperatures above freezing. The shingles themselves become brittle at cold temperatures, which increases the chances of breakage. Your roofing crew can still perform the repair, but they will need to take more care and work much slower than they would need to in warmer weather.
Challenge: Tab Glue
Asphalt shingles are equipped with a strip of tab glue beneath their leading edge. During a typical installation, the shingles are nailed into place, and then the heat from the sun on the roof causes the tab glue to soften and bond with the roof. During the winter this may not occur, especially if the conditions are overcast. Your roofing crew will need to use heat guns to carefully warm up the edge of each shingle so that the tab glue properly activates and seals. Failure to do so increases the chances of both leaks and blowoffs.
A major challenge in winter is moisture. Certain parts of the roof, like the sheathing and underlayment, need to be installed on a dry roof so moisture doesn't become trapped beneath the shingles. If the repair area is small, your roofer may be able to install a temporary cover over the damaged area and then use blowers to dry out the area before performing the repair. For large repairs, waiting may be the only option. Your roofer will install a temporary patch, like a tarp, and wait for drier weather.
Ice can be an even greater challenge than simple moisture since your roofer won't be able to reach the roof through the ice buildup. For a small repair in otherwise dry weather, your roofer may use heat to gently melt the ice and dry out the area for a permanent patch. Otherwise, a temporary patching is the only suitable option.
For more information about roofing repair in wet weather, contact a local roofing company.