Most roofers would quite understandably prefer to do repair jobs during the warmer months, and you too may be tempted to let minor issues go until then. But if your roof is leaking or has developed weaknesses that could cause imminent leakage, you’ll want to go ahead and make those repairs even during the winter months. Here are some examples of roof repair projects that needn’t (and shouldn’t) sit until springtime.
Shingle and Flashing Fixes
Assuming that your shingles and roof flashing aren’t buried under a mound of snow, you should be able to make repairs to these components even in the dead of winter. That said, it’s best to wait for a day when temperatures have broken the freezing mark before re-glueing or replacing your shingles, which can become inflexible enough to crack under conditions of extreme cold. As for the metal flashing around your roof pipes or chimney, your roofer can either use pre-formed standardized parts or custom-cut new flashing to fit your needs.
Errant Nails that Cause Leaks
If your roofer tells you that you might have a “shiner,” don’t go looking in the mirror — he’s talking about a roof nail responsible for leakage. Shiners are nails that weren’t driven into the roof frame correctly, so that the end sticks out right through the roof sheathing into your attic. Moisture then drips down the shaft of the nail, freezing and melting until you eventually notice little water stains on your ceiling. Fortunately, you don’t have to venture out into the cold to fix this issue. Get a pair of pliers and cut the offending nail right off at the sheathing. Problem solved!
Full-scale Roof Replacement
Believe it or not, you can actually embark on a complete roof replacement even during the winter months. The only requirements are dry weather (which may be a difficult thing to predict, depending on where you live) and a sloped or angled roof (because flat roofs can only be replaced when the temperature hovers above 32 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s not always easy for the average homeowners to evaluate whether replacement makes more long-term sense than repair — especially if you have an asphalt roof, which can show signs of wear after just a few years. The short answer is that if you see problems occurring in isolated places, then repairs are probably a smarter option; if the entire roof is looking decrepit after 10 to 20 years of service, it’s probably time to replace it. Schedule a detailed roof inspection to get an expert opinion.
Of course, the best way to solve a problem is to prevent it. That includes taking the necessary steps to prevent water from freezing into ice dams in your roof gutters, which can cause serious problems and leave you with an even bigger repair bill once that ice finally goes away. That’s why we recommend that homeowners invest in products such as Moonworks Gutter Helmet to help keep their roofs in better shape all year round. Contact Moonworks at 1-800-975-6666 to learn more!