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Can You Shingle a Roof in the Winter?

Frost line on a shingled roof as the sun rises and melts it

It’s never good news when you have to work on your roof, but finding out you have to do it in the middle of the winter adds all kinds of additional complications. Even experienced roofers have questions about what you can get done on a roof at this time of year. For example, can you shingle a roof in the winter?

Can You Shingle a Roof in the Winter?

While warmer weather is the logical time to work on your roof, you don’t always get to pick your timing. For example, if a winter snowstorm causes serious damage to your roof that a tarp can’t cover, a replacement or serious repair work may be in the cards.

You’ve probably heard a lot about why working on a roof over the winter is a bad idea. For example, cold temperatures can affect roofing materials in all kinds of ways, especially shingles and roof adhesive. However, deciding to postpone work until warmer temperatures can lead to big roofing problems later on. For example, a roof that is missing shingles in the winter can experience leaks, which can lead to serious damage if the water freezes between the parts of the roof. Replacing the shingles as soon as possible is the only way to permanently fix the problem. But can you shingle a roof in the winter?

Winter Shingle Replacements Are Tough But Possible

While popular wisdom would tell you that a winter shingle replacement isn’t possible, the truth is that experienced roofers can make it happen. There are just a few considerations and adaptations that they will need to make. It’s important to note that while shingle replacements are a relatively simple project when the weather is warm, winter presents complications that make it dangerous. Experienced roofers know that to work in winter, they need specialized safety gear that can stand up to the weather and keep them safe in slippery conditions. There are also steps that need to be taken to make the materials work in cold weather, and temperatures and weather conditions that make any work unsafe. In short, unless you’re an experienced roofer yourself, you need to leave this project to the professionals.

While it’s not a good idea to attempt this work on your own, it’s always a good idea to understand how a home repair works. In order to replace shingles in the winter, here’s what needs to happen:

  • An ideal work day will be in the 40s, with sunny weather. The work cannot be done if the temperature is below freezing, due to the materials involved. Work should be planned with an eye on the weather, and cold fronts and snowy days should be avoided if at all possible.
  • Shingles need to be staged carefully, as they are more prone to cracking in cold weather. Shingles should be kept as flat as possible until the time they are to be installed.
  • Shingle sealant can be affected by cold weather, and prolonged cold can cause cracks and other issues in a subpar sealant. The roofer will need to use additional sealant, as well as additional shingle nails, to ensure the job is not affected.
  • Winter weather membranes are also a tool that roofers can use in the winter to make jobs easier. These can seal existing roof structures and protect them from the elements while the job is getting done. This is especially important if the shingles are being replaced due to evidence of leaks.

If these conditions can be achieved, replacing shingles in the winter can be done by the right roofers. Be sure to work with an experienced team, and be flexible if weather issues arise.


Can you shingle a roof in the winter? If you work for Taylor-Made Roofing, the answer is yes. Give us a call and we’ll tell you how.

Are you worried you might need a new roof? If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for all your roofing needs. Our experts can help you explore new roofing options, maintain an older roof, perform emergency repairs, complete tear-offs and recovers, and perform remodeling services. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing options, ice dam prevention, and more, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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