How to Repair a Roof in the Winter

A lot of people hesitate to undergo roof reparation during winter. And for a good reason! Such a task would be made more difficult during the winter months. However, sometimes, we simply do not have a choice. Roofs can get damaged, leaks can develop, and then you find yourself facing the choice of either trying to tough it out and risk further damage to your home or getting repairs then and there. Obviously, neither is ideal. However, we can help prepare you for the task ahead at least a little. Here’s how to repair a roof in the winter.

Pick your contractors carefully

There are several good reasons why you shouldn’t fix your roof yourself. When it comes to repairing a roof in the winter, all of these are compounded and made all the more severe. The risk of injury and damaging your own home is just too high. This means you need to hire the best and most professional contractors you can find! Thankfully, this is made easier by the time of year. Winter is typically the off-season for every kind of construction or renovation work, including roofing. You might even get a discount! 

A perfect roof
You want the best possible contractors to ensure your roof is in perfect condition!

Plan for the weather

Consider this – working on your roof almost guarantees to expose your attic to the elements. And an attic is not precisely well-equipped to resist such an intrusion, which means that the first rainfall will cause severe water damage and potential water leaks into the rest of your home. Snow piling up would almost be worse since it gets everywhere before melting. And then, consider the difficulty of keeping your house warm while the outer layer of your insulation is removed. The potential weather damage can even cause problems with your attic insulation. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up having to replace it as well! And we cannot overstate how proper attic insulation is essential for your home and roof. So, prepare ahead of time! For example, get a tarp or similar material that you can use to cover the floor and other sensitive spots of your attic.

Be careful with ice dams and snow

When faced with the question of how to organize your house renovation, you absolutely must make sure you are prepared as well as you can be. This goes double for any renovation or construction work done during winter! Therefore, if you need to repair a roof in the winter, make sure to prep it beforehand. Mainly, this means eliminating the threats to the safety of your workers. And few things are as horrible to work around as snow, ice, and ice dams. They make the roof a slippery minefield, where a single wrong step could mean a tumble to the ground below. The snow, at least, is easy to handle. You can clean it. Ice dams and layers are when things get tricky. Thankfully, you can knock down the dams and handle layers with heaters, blow-dryers, or similar. 

Ice on a roof
Ice dams can seriously hinder repairs if not removed.

You will need special materials or equipment

New homeowners need to know that roof shingles are actually kept together through a thin layer of tar, in addition to them being nailed down, of course. This is the most common way of sealing them. Unfortunately, this is only another annoyance when it comes to repairing a roof in the winter. You see, for tar to take and finish sealing, it requires an approximate heat of sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Which, during winter, can be very hard to come by. One way to combat this is by using a blowtorch or a heater. Of course, the difficulty, and the inherent risks of doing something like that on your roof, make it a much less desirable option. Your other option is using special adhesives, which can work in the cold. They have their own downsides, however.

Know that it will take longer

Finally, you should be aware that the process itself will take longer than you might be expecting! Several factors cause this. We have mentioned already that you’ll need special materials if you are doing the job during winter. However, it will also take longer for the shingles to seal. This is caused by both the temperature and the nature of the materials. Secondly, keep in mind that winter working conditions are very hazardous. Climbing a roof to work on it is tricky, even during the mildest summer weather. In winter months, when there is harsh wind, ice, and other complications to account for, the danger shoots up even more. This means that your contractors will be forced to slow down their work. Safety comes first, and professionals are well aware of this! So, know that you can expect a lengthy experience when fixing a roof during winter. 

A roofer working safely
The safety of your roofers comes first!


The fact that you need to repair a roof in the winter can be daunting. We hope you now have a slightly better idea of what you need to do, at least! Just remember: Prepare, prepare, prepare! This is the only way you can expect the whole thing to go down smoothly. If you do not take the time to find a good, experienced team of roofers, then the repair might be subpar. Do not plan appropriately for protecting your home from the elements, and the damage can spread to the rest of it. If you do not account for the longer time required and special materials needed, you can run out of money or resources. So, always look ahead!

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