A truly difficult question to answer
This is a question that we are presented with all the time, from customer and other roofing contractors alike. We wish there was an easy answer here but it really comes down to preference more then anything. Lets face it, working in the cold sucks and lots of people just don’t want to do it. That’s fine as long as they have structured their business properly, planning for the lack of income throughout the winter months. This isn’t an option for some crews and businesses and there are some that actually enjoy the weather.
When it comes to the logistics of roofing in colder weather, several extra precautions need to be taken. The compressors need to be calibrated correctly to start, snow shoveled off roofs which adds a lot of labor, and extra safety precautions need to be taken as it is very slippery in certain areas. The shingles will obviously take a lot longer to seal flat so we often get calls from customer complaining that their new roof looks bumpy. This is a common occurrence and rarely causes any issues. The last thing we take extra care to address is the cleanup as many times you just cant see the hidden little nails all over the place. To take care of this we simply plan to come back when it has warmed up to do a second sweep of the yard. Some of the advantages include driveway and landscaping protection. It is not all muddy so that makes it a lot easier to walk around the property, and because the ground is frozen solid it makes it much less likely that the delivery truck will break the driveway. In the summer time we have to be worried about the shingles getting to hot and scuffing, which is not a concern in the winter.
Every roofing contractor needs to make their own decision whether working in the winter is for them or not. It sounds very appealing to take the winter off and go down to Florida to relax on the beach. The problem we have with that is that we want to be there if our customers need us no matter when. God forbid they have in issue that last thing they want to hear is that the owner of some owner of one of the top roofing companies in Michigan is off drinking away the season, playing in the sand. We have a strong commitment to our service department and customer base which includes offering the less prestigious services such as gutter cleaning and snow removal. This is an important part of the roofing business as it shows that we are 100% focused on customer satisfaction. Lastly, lets face it, whether we like or or not unexpected things happen. This can include a roof leak at the worst of times, mid winter with two feet of snow on the ground. We take pride in being able to handle these type of problems when no one else is capable or willing. Our crews are as dedicated as we are and actually have learned to like the harsher conditions, to an extent. Keeping them well practiced and fed throughout the winter has been a great practice for our company.