Is it Possible to Install a New Roof in Winter?

People who live in cold climates quickly realize that the ideal roofing seasons are spring, summer, and early fall. People living in these areas understand how treacherous snow can be, so they choose to have their roofs replaced or repaired during mild to moderate temperatures. Of course, that does not mean that you can’t have roof work done in winter. With the right approach, a professional will have the tools and knowledge needed to work on a rooftop during the winter.

That being said, only minor rooftop repairs and replacements should be put off until more favorable conditions. Sometimes, accidents happen, leading you to need a new roof installed during the winter. Or maybe you have just bought a house that requires renovation, and a new roof is one of the necessities on that list. Then again, perhaps a strong winter storm blew through, and a tree had fallen on the roof, making it necessary to replace the rooftop.  

Things to Consider When Replacing Your Roof in Winter 

If you are in a situation where you need to have your roof replaced in winter, there are three things that you need to consider when it comes to roofing in the snow:

  • Performance of tools
  • Performance of shingles
  • Human needs (safety and morale) 

Performance of Tools in Cold Conditions 

Roofing crews have a lot of tools in their arsenal. Some won’t be affected by the weather conditions, while others will. Some of the most important tools may be affected by the weather, including nail guns and air compressors. The air used by the compressor is what drives the nail gun, and this tool is heavily affected by the humidity.

When the temperature is below freezing, the humidity can turn into water, freezing in the airlines. This reduces airflow in the lines, which can negatively affect the installation. After all, the nails must be flush with the shingles when driven in and, if there’s not enough airflow, that can’t happen. If the tools are not working properly during installation, this can lead to a dysfunctional rooftop down the line.

Performance of Shingles in Cold Conditions 

Shingles can be installed in cold conditions, as long as it is done carefully. Without the right approach, installing shingles in cold conditions can lead to long-term issues. Here are some things that the roofing crew should consider when installing a new roof in winter:

  • Asphalt material can’t bend when it’s cold
  • If shingles are brittle, they are likely to be over-driven by nails
  • Cold weather makes it harder to determine the pressure needed to drive the nails properly, but a meticulous crew can alleviate this issue.
  • Blow-offs are more likely when shingles are installed in cold conditions because the sealant strip on the shingles is less likely to activate when it’s cold. A good crew will pay attention to this and will seal the shingles by hand with roofing cement. 

Ensuring a proper installation is done can help guarantee your roof is long-lasting, functional, and safely assembled. Be sure to consider how cold weather can affect shingle installation to prevent issues caused by winter installation.

Human Needs in Cold Conditions 

When it comes to roofing, human needs are a bit more complicated. One of the keys to a quality roof is keeping morale unsafe conditions are more likely to take shortcuts to complete the job sooner. If tools are not working properly due to the cold, it’s probably a good idea to put it off until it warms up.

Tasks like ice-breaking and shoveling on a roof are difficult and dangerous. A reputable roofing company will be aware of this and will likely say no to a job that is too dangerous. Instead, they would recommend that the job should wait until warmer conditions. Rain or snow makes the job unsafe and sometimes scary. After all, it’s hard to maintain stable footing when the roof is slippery.

Finally, when installing a roof, the roofing crew must be able to use their hands and fingers properly. They can only wear thin gloves during these projects, which often leads to discomfort due to cold temperatures. In some cases, it’s impossible to get the work done properly, especially when temperatures are at or below freezing. 


The answer to the question is: yes, installing a new roof in winter is possible. That being said, it’s not always advisable. If you live in a colder climate, it’s best if you can put off your new roof install until spring, summer, or even early fall. This way, temperatures are mild to moderate and allow for pleasant, tolerable weather. If you require roofing repair or replacement, call A&J Reliable today to get a free estimate. We will be happy to work with you and address any questions or issues you might have.