Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter?

Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter?

While winter is seen as the off season for roofing and home exterior work, you might be wondering: can you replace a roof in the winter? While roofers can replace a roof in winter, there are many concerns and misconceptions related to this topic. At Champion Exteriors, we’re here to help you understand the important details of winter roof replacements so you can be better prepared for the project.

Can Roofers Work In The Winter?

Many roofing contractors recommend spring and summer as ideal seasons for replacing roofs because warmer weather has less of an impact on the materials. However, this does not mean that they can’t work year-round. Roofing contractors do work in the winter, and it is possible to get your roof replaced in the colder months. In fact, there are several benefits to it.

Benefits Of Replacing A Roof In The Winter

Some advantages of opting for a winter roof replacement include: 

Availability of Contractors: Unlike during peak season, contractors are notably more available during the off season, which is usually the winter months. Therefore, it’s easier to schedule the project when it’s convenient for you.

Potential Cost Savings: Lower demand might also lead to reduced labor costs or promotional rates from professional services seeking business during slower periods.

Faster Completion Time: With fewer projects going on at once, your job could potentially be completed faster than normal as contractors can dedicate more resources towards completing your project.

Common Misconceptions About Winter Roof Replacements

One common misconception about starting roofing projects during wintertime is that lower temperatures make it nearly impossible to install shingles properly without damaging them. Though asphalt shingles can be more brittle when they are cold, it’s important to remember that experienced professionals know how to handle their installation even when conditions aren’t perfect. 

Another misconception is that leaks or water damage are bound to happen mid-project. However, good preparation and effective installation strategies by professional roofers will ensure watertight seals during any stage of the project, winter or otherwise. 

So, while winter does pose some risks for roofing projects, your roofing contractor will be able to handle it.

The Challenges of Replacing A Roof In Winter

From frigid temperatures affecting materials and piling snow and ice creating hazardous conditions, winter isn’t the most favorable time for significant home renovations.

Cold Temperatures

In extreme cases, when a roof is exposed to freezing temperatures, your shingles could potentially grow brittle or crack, which might mess with proper installation. Similarly, certain adhesives used during installment may be less effective in colder months.

Roofing contractors often have their professional ways of addressing these inconveniences, though, like storing materials in a warmer environment prior to application or using specially designed sealant products that are resistant to chilly temperatures. However, these aren’t foolproof methods and complications might still arise.

High Wind Speeds

High winds during winter can jeopardize both safety and quality control during roofing installations. It is not unusual for strong gusts to cause instability of workers on the roof.

Moreover even after a successful installation, if wind speeds increase again loosely affixed shingles could be damaged or completely blow off before they’ve had a chance to properly adhere, which then calls for additional repairs.

Snow And Ice Accumulation

A considerable hurdle when replacing roofs in winter is managing accumulated snowfall or ice build up. Not only do these elements pose a safety risk due to slippery surfaces but also place extra weight on the home’s structure during construction.

Plus, working around these conditions can reduce job efficiency, as clearing snow and ice continuously can delay progress, causing labor costs to spike.

Possible Leaks Or Water Damage During A Winter Roof Replacement

Cold weather increases the risk of water infiltration, that’s why concerns about potential leaks or consequent water damage are never unjustified when discussing roof replacements during this season.

Wet and frozen patches on your uncovered roof can melt and seep into the foundation of your house. This not only deteriorates the structural integrity but also may lead to mold growth, creating an unhealthy living environment.

Nonetheless, credible roofing contractors will ensure a watertight barrier over any unfinished portion at the end of a workday as a standard precaution. 

So despite these challenges, an experienced and professional roofing contractor will be able to successfully install your new roof. However, it’s important to make sure that a roof replacement can’t be delayed until the spring.

Is It Necessary To Replace Your Roof Right Now?

Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter

First and foremost, evaluate your current roof’s condition before deciding whether it needs an urgent replacement.

Assess The Condition of Your Roof

Some key indicators that your roof needs to be replaced as soon as possible include persistent leaks despite repeated fixes, multiple missing or cracked shingles, sagging spots, and increased energy bills, which hint at lost heat through the roof. If any or all of these are true for your home, it might indicate an urgency that could justify a roof replacement.

Consider The Status of Other Home Renovation Projects 

Are there other renovations happening around your house? If you have other projects, like rafter replacement or significant internal installations such as HVAC systems, embarking on a winter roof replacement may disrupt these operations due to increased indoor drafts and temperature fluctuations. In short, be sure to balance the need for a new roof with maintaining the comfort levels inside your home.

Warranty Implications Of Installing A New Roof In Winter

Last but most certainly not least is understanding warranty implications surrounding roof replacements completed in winter months. Now, depending upon your specific location and prevailing weather conditions, certain types of materials like asphalt shingles can become brittle and break easily under cold temperatures, potentially affecting their warranty coverage.

Review manufacturer guidelines relating to optimal installation temperatures and conditions. Also, find out whether breaching these would put you at risk of nullifying material warranties altogether and remember that this varies from one manufacturer to another.

Best Practices For A Winter Roof Replacement

Roofing in the winter isn’t necessarily a common practice. However, with careful planning, replacing a roof in winter can be executed smoothly. Below are some key points to keep in mind.

Choose The Right Roofing Materials

The choice of materials immensely influences how effectively roofers can work in winter, as not all roofing materials perform well under low temperature conditions.

Asphalt Shingles: Despite the possibility of breakage in extreme cold, they’re still one of the most commonly used materials due to their cost effectiveness and versatility.

Metal Roofs: These are ideal for cold climates as they effectively shed snow and ice and prevent ice dams.

Rubberized Roofing: Roofing membranes like EPDM and modified bitumen can withstand low temperatures better than other materials, making them an excellent option for roof replacement during winter.

Selecting specific products designed to withstand colder temperatures will help ensure your winter roof replacement is successful.

Follow Proper Installation Techniques

Efficient installation techniques are the backbone of any successful roofing project no matter the weather constraints, especially when you’re dealing with a roof replacement in winter. Here are some tips for a seamless installation: 

  • Don’t force or rush installations: Brittle shingles may crack under the added pressure.
  • Opt for synthetic underlayment: This type outperforms felt underlayment in terms of water resistance and durability.
  • Insulation is key: Regardless of the season, a well insulated roof prevents heat loss. The colder it gets, however, the more critical this becomes.
  • Ensure proper ventilation: Creating a correctly ventilated roofing system is crucial to ensure your new roof’s longevity, as it helps prevent condensation and the formation of ice dams. 

Remember, regardless of how urgent the need might seem, never compromise on these best practices while planning for a roof replacement in winter. Balancing urgency with strategic decision making is the best way forward.


Overall, you can replace a roof in the winter. However, like anything else in life, it does come with advantages and challenges. The deciding factor though, hinges on your specific situation. And remember, hiring experienced professionals who are well versed in carrying out installations under chilly conditions not only mitigates risks but ensures a long lasting and weather-resilient roof!

If you are looking for a roof replacement service in South Jersey, we’re here to help. 

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Trusted Roofing Expert

At Champion Exteriors, we’ve been protecting homes with safe and durable roofs for years. As South Jersey’s local professionals, it’s our goal to help homeowners understand what’s best for their homes. If you are unsure about your roof’s condition or need a roof replacement in South Jersey, we’re here to help. Call us at (800) 276-0032 and discuss your roofing needs with our experts over a free consultation. Let us keep your home safe and comfortable this winter!