The Challenges of Weather on Roofing Installation

Calm, dry, daylight, and 70° is ideal. Anything else can have an impact on the schedule of your roofing project.

While the climate in the Puget Sound Region is generally moderate, we do have some days that get quite warm or cold. And then there’s the rain; lots and lots of rain.

The roofing materials we use are designed to handle our marine climate for many years once they are installed. Unfortunately, installation is a fairly arduous task for both roofers and roofing products.

Weather not only has an effect on the health and safety of roofing technicians, but on the lifespan and appearance of your roofing materials. Asphalt materials are more temperature sensitive than some other roofing products, like wood, concrete, slate, or metal; but less sensitive than membrane or semi-liquid applications.

Application at hazardous temperatures can also void a product’s warranty.

Hot Weather Roofing

Temperatures over 80° can soften petroleum-based roofing materials like shingles to a point where they are more easily damaged.

Extra care should be taken to minimize work in the heat of the day. Often our crews will start and end work earlier than usual, if it is allowed by local noise ordinances.

Cold Weather Roofing

Roofers will not go on the roof if there is snow, ice, or frost. It’s simply not safe.

It is also important to the quality of your installation. It doesn’t have to be below freezing for the temperature to impact your project, either. Most membrane products for low-slope areas can’t be applied below 45°. Below 40° asphalt shingles can crack when handled. 

A lot of people forget about roofing accessories, too. Some types of vents and flashing will crack with low temperatures, allowing a place for water to sneak in later. Many adhesives won’t stick, so your project is more susceptible to the hazards of wind. Something as basic as caulk prefers temperatures between 40° and 80°; it will won’t come out of the tube or adhere properly when it gets too hot or cold.

 

The Challenges of Weather on Roofing Installation 1

Wet Weather Roofing

Can roofers work in the rain? Well, in much of the country, they do. Whether they should is a whole different question. There are a few jurisdictions where it is against code. It can be unsafe for the roofers and the roof.

The concern is that if roofing system components like the wood sheathing is wet, then where does that water go once your roof is finished? How long does it take to dry out a roof before it’s safe to start? How would you ever get a project done in a marine climate like this? We use the right materials at the right time and send trained teams of roofers.

In the Greater Seattle area where it can rain over 150 day per year, if we didn’t know how to work in damp weather we just wouldn’t get much done at all. A lot of the rain we get is just a mist or light drizzle and we can work around it. We may need to postpone projects for heavier rain. If that were to happen, we would certainly take any standard precautions.

Handling Inclement Weather

While it can be frustrating, sometimes the best solution is just to wait. When delays arise we will communicate with you and get back on track as soon as possible. When workarounds are available, we can let you know that, too.

We send full crews of experienced technicians to complete your project as quickly as possible. When bad weather is expected, we only start as much as we can safely dry in. For example, we might just tear off half of the old roofing materials and then replace it in the same day instead of leaving a whole roof exposed overnight. This minimizes exposure to harsh weather, keeping both your home and our team safe.

Remember, we want to finish the project as much as you do. It’s how our crews feed their families. It’s how we turn shoppers into raving fans. We just won’t risk a second-rate roofing job and we appreciate that you feel the same.

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