Wondering if anyone can tell me whether a roof can be replaced in the winter?  I'm in MI and the temps are below zero with windchill, plus we have about 7" of snow on the ground.  I desperately need a roof, and the roofer(s) is/are telling me that it is fine to replace now, and in fact they would rather sweep off snow than deal with the leaking in the spring.  But....I always thought you needed warmer temps for the glue or tar etc.  This is not really an "old" house so I apologize if I should be asking on this forum.

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You should be fine with having a rood put on now.  I agree it is not the ideal time and I bet your roofers would too.  It is painful to be out in that cold for hours on end.  I have had 2 neighbors, here in northeren Iowa where it is just as cold, who had their roof replaced in the last few weeks.  Any other time of the year being without a roof, in the rain can damage a lot of things inside. I personally had my roof off during a spring storm, the tarp blew off, and I had 6" of water between the windows and the storms on the first floor.  I don't think there is a perfect season for a new roof.  Good Luck

Thanks - I'm a bit worried about their safety too - heavy winds on high pitched roof.  Just doesn't seem like a great idea but I can see what you are saying about the potential for rain damage during a warmer season.

Yes, but it is not a good idea.


The crew doesn't really want to be there.

The shingles are cold and crack easily.

Nail guns, if used, regularly drive nails right through brittle shingles.

Ice and water shield does not stick well.

If you have to, put a tarp on till spring. Get your estimates in the spring when contractors are looking for work, and schedule the job for early summer for the best job.

this is what I'm worried about....safety and quality of work.  thanks

I agree with the safety issue. It's ugly out there and no one likes a slippery roof in the blowing wind.  The economy is pretty bad, + winter is not an ideal time to put on a roof for most contractors.  Hence, I could see a contractor wanting to get a job. Any job. Just make sure they'll licensed and have workman's comp.

agree, and the economy has been so bad, that is what I was wondering, if they just need the work so pretty much willing to do anything...but does concern me.  I'm thinking maybe we had better wait.  thanks

I would feel that way as the last thing I would want is someone getting hurt.  I hope you're able to find a safe way to button up any leaks during the harsh MI winters.

I've done my share of roofs and I do not understand why anyone outside of an unemployed roofer would be saying it's ok to apply in freezing weather.


Even the instructions on the shingles say to not apply under a certain temperature ( I think 40F ).  Imagine them cracking like dinner plates under the stress of a pneumatic roofing gun and then trying to find all the broken shingles in the Spring when your roof is leaking.


As stated before, shingles get very brittle and to properly install the roof, you need to bend shingles into valleys and over the hips.  I was roofing when it was 45-50 degrees and I could barely bend the shingles without cracking them.  I also could not get the roofing cement out of the caulk tube.  I quit for a warmer day.  It's inconceivable to me that anyone would apply asphalt shingles when it's below zero F... they could shatter like glass when struck a certain way.


If you still have any doubt, call the manufacturer... I'll bet they won't warranty the shingles if they're not applied above freezing.

Thanks!  All good points.  We have pretty much decided to wait and hope that we can patch as we go once it warms up (tomorrow I think actually, should be about 39) and based on what you've said, I will check what the mfgr. of the shingle recommends and we will just have to figure out how to manage until we get to that temperature point.   Thanks again!

Buckets catching leaks in the attic for a few months is not ideal but it's a lot better than any alternative that involves being on a roof during winter.


Believe me, I've been there.


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