Why You Shouldn’t Replace Your Roof in Winter: The Dangers of Snow and Ice
When winter comes around, most homeowners think of the harshest seasons as being a time to avoid outdoor activities. However, this is also the perfect time to tackle some serious home renovations. The roof of your house is one of the most important structural components you have if you want to keep your home insulated and protected from the elements. When snow and ice begin falling from those dark skies in November, it’s natural to assume that now is not the best time to get up on your roof and begin replacing tiles or shingles. Unfortunately, this is a very common misconception among untrained homeowners that can actually be quite dangerous during this time of year. If you are thinking about getting your new roof installed before winter comes around, keep reading for some essential advice on why you shouldn’t replace your roof in winter.
Why You Shouldn’t Replace Your Roof in Winter
In order to understand why you shouldn’t replace your roof in winter, we must first understand why you would even consider doing so in the first place. There are multiple reasons you might choose to replace your roof in winters, such as shingles that are old or damaged, missing shingles, or mismatching shingle styles. Roofing companies typically see an uptick in business during the winter months for these reasons. However, it’s important to bear in mind that winter is a much more dangerous time for roofing companies to be out on the job. There are many reasons why this is the case. When it comes to replacing your roof in winter, the biggest issue is that snow can get caught in the shingles, causing them to tear and rip as they are being removed. This is especially true when dealing with asphalt shingles, which are the most common roofing material in the United States. Once asphalt shingles have gotten drenched in melted snow or ice, they can tear very easily. This makes them very dangerous for workers to handle since torn shingles are more likely to be sent flying off the roof and causing injury to others. Ice may form in areas of the roof that have been exposed to snow and ice, making it very difficult to tell what type of material is underneath the ice. A roofer could easily mistake ice-covered shingles for missing tiles and tear up the roofing even further as a result.
Snow and Ice are Dangers to Roofers and Installers
Shredded shingles and torn tiles are not the only hazards that roofers must be concerned with in winter. There are several other risks that come from working on the roof during winter, most notably, the risk of slipping and falling due to ice. Since there is often a lot of moisture in the air during winter, it’s all too easy for that moisture to freeze on a rooftop, causing slippery conditions for anyone walking across it. This is especially true on flat roofs, which don’t have the same type of barriers to protect workers from falling as a sloped roof would. In many cases, workers are asked to wear special winter boots or even crampons to help them keep traction on a slippery rooftop. However, even these precautions are not always enough to protect workers from slipping. In addition to the risk of slipping, there is also the risk of falling through unstable roofing or even through a broken roof. If the roofing is weak or compromised, there is always a chance that a worker could fall through it. Falling through a roof could result in serious injury, even death, for the person involved. In fact, more injuries and deaths occur on rooftops during winter than at any other time of year, according to OSHA.
Falling Snow and Ice May Be Confused for Shredded Tiles or Shingles
Even if workers are able to avoid tearing up the roofing due to ice and snow, there is still a chance that snow and ice may be mistakenly identified as missing shingles or tiles. This could lead to an unnecessary tear-off of an entire section of the roof when only a couple of damaged shingles were present. This mistake could lead to the unnecessary expense of having to replace the entire section of the roof that was mistakenly identified as damaged, not to mention the increased risk of injury to the workers performing the tear-off. Another risk with this scenario is that snow or ice could also fall down into the house, causing damage or even injuring living occupants. This is especially true if snow and ice fall down into the attic area of the home, where it could cause damage to the insulation and ductwork.
Cold Temperatures Are a Danger to Employees Working on the Roof
The cold temperatures that are common in winter often make working on the roof uncomfortable, if not dangerous. When temperatures drop below freezing, workers on the roof will likely have to wear special winter gear to stay warm. This gear can include multiple layers of clothing, special winter boots, and even warm jackets designed to be worn while working on rooftops. Unfortunately, even with all of this protective gear, workers on the roof are still at risk of getting caught in dangerously low temperatures. This means that workers could experience symptoms such as shivering, dizziness, and even hypothermia. Roofers work outside in all types of weather, which means they are constantly exposed to dangerously cold temperatures.
It’s Dark Out, Which Means Employees Can be at Risk of Falling
Another serious danger that comes with replacing your roof in winter is the fact that it is significantly darker than any other time of year. This makes it difficult for workers to properly see the roof, which increases the risk of them falling off the side of the roof. If a worker is standing on the roof and does not have proper footing, then he or she could easily slip and fall off the roof. Falling off the roof could result in serious injury or even death. In order to mitigate these risks, roofers will often work with lights to light up the roof while they are working. However, not all lights are suitable for working on a roof in winter. Many standard light bulbs have a very short lifespan in freezing temperatures, which means they will often burn out very quickly. This could result in roofers being forced to take longer breaks in order to replace bulbs that have gone out.
Summing it Up
When winter comes around and the snow starts to fall, it’s easy to assume that now is not the best time to replace your roof. However, this is a very dangerous misconception that could put workers and homeowners at risk. If you are thinking about getting your roof replaced in winter, make sure you keep these dangers in mind so you can be sure you are taking proper precautions. If you are concerned about the safety of having your roof replaced in winter, it may be best to wait until after winter ends. This will allow you to get your new roof installed before the next winter season begins, which will make it easier to avoid these dangers during the installation process.
To learn more, contact The Roof Whisperer at 844-878-1360 or Contact The Roof Whisperer for an Appointment