What do roofers do in the winter?

As a professional roofing contractor serving Rapid City, Pierre and Sioux Falls South Dakota, we get asked the question a lot. The answer is simple. 

We roof when we can.

The most common type of roofing material in North America, standard asphalt shingles, requires constant temperatures of about 40 degrees to properly seal in a reasonable amount of time. Asphalt shingles are self sealing. This means they feature a temperature activated adhesive strip on the bottom portion of the back of the shingle. This adhesive strip, once heated, will stick the the shingle below in on the under lapping portion. If the shingles do not seal they will flap up and possibly blow off in high winds. Resulting in possible leaking through your roof. 

All through out South Dakota, we do get a few days a month of suitable shingling weather. We must close attention to the weather forecast when scheduling asphalt shingle roofing projects during winter. This greatly affects our production so we go from being able to complete 5 roofs per day in the summer to 3-5 roofs a month from December to March. 

Other types of roofing materials such as metal roofing, does not rely on heat to seal together. We install butyl tape on the seams of metal roofing and can install metal roofing year around. That being said, it is not pleasant to work outside, up on a roof in 20 degree weather. We are able to complete metal roofs year around as long as the weather is safe for workers to be outside for long periods of time. 

We stay busy with other trades.

We also offer siding and window services. We can install siding year around as long as is is safe for works to be outside for long periods of time. The siding and caulking on your home does not improve your R-value in a substantial amount that would be affected if the siding were missing. Replacing your siding in the winter does not affect the heat inside your home. There are certain precautions we do need to take when siding in the winter. We must be careful to not leave caulking tubes outside for long periods of time as the caulking will freeze and not not properly cure to the new siding. We keep the caulking inside a heated vehicle until its needed and then caulk as needed as we go. We also may forgo the caulking until a warm day when we can return and apply the caulking as needed. 

When installing windows in the winter, there are additional precautions that must be taken. We take time to prep the opening as much as we can with the existing window in place. This means that we will remove the exterior trim and caulking, double and triple check the measurements to ensure the new window fits, and have all the necessary supplies and tools laid out and ready to go at the site of the opening. We then close the interior door to that specific room that the window is located in to seal it off from other rooms of the home. We pull out the old windows and set the new window in 2 quick motions to ensure the opening is not open for long. We then are able to complete our work of leveling, insulating, and caulking the window. 

As residents of South Dakota we have adapted to the cold

Our timelines are longer in the winter months but we still work as much as we can. That is why is is imperative for us to work long hours and weekends in the summer so that we can get as much done as possible before winter slows us down.