Canadian winters are renowned for their relentless snow and bone-chilling low temperatures. While we can escape these extreme elements inside our heated homes, the roof must withstand. Thus, homeowners often face problems like ice dams and cracked shingles in the winter. When the damage is severe or pervasive enough, it may necessitate a new roof. But can one be installed in the middle of winter or is it wiser to wait until warmer weather returns?
Thermal shock, the expansion and contraction of materials in high and low temperatures (respectively), is the leading cause of roof failure. Different materials experience thermal shock at different rates, which puts stress on the joints bonding them together. Over time, cracks and holes may develop.
The materials themselves also weaken during extreme thermal shock. For instance, shingles grow brittle when they get cold, so installing them as such can lead to cracks and breaks. Moreover, the lack of flexibility also makes it difficult to lay them down evenly.
Shingles come with a tar strip that warm, sunny weather activates and softens. While the winter sun is also strong, the lack of heat prevents shingles from properly bonding. Thus, contractors need to use additional roofing cement to make sure the shingles stick. Not enough of it can result in loose or falling shingles.
Some contractor tools suffer in the cold. For instance, compressors and nail guns cannot generate the same pressure because the water in the lines will freeze, causing partial or complete obstructions. Even if the tools work, the nails may not be driven as deeply, which can affect the durability the shingles over time.