As a business owner, you may have concerns about replacing your commercial roofing during the winter months. Freezing temperatures, wind, snow, melted snow, freeze thaw and ice dams all pose issues for roofing installation.
A frequent question we often receive is if it is possible to replace a commercial or flat roof in the midst of cold weather. The simple answer is yes—with the help of experts.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF COMMERCIAL ROOF TO INSTALL DURING WINTER?
Hopkins Roofing offers a variety of roofing systems for your commercial needs:
- TPO/PVC roofing
- Commercial metal roofing
- EPDM roofing
- Built-up roofing
- Modified Bitumen roofing
Not only is TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) durable, it is also able to be installed in cold weather. Whereas EPDM relies on glues to bond with the surface, the seams of TPO membranes are sealed using hot-air fusion welding, so you can secure your TPO roofing in even the chilliest temperatures. We highly recommend choosing a TPO/PVC roof for your winter installation!
Commercial metal roofing
At Hopkins, we highly recommend metal roofing for commercial applications in winter. Even on installation days well below freezing, metal roofing will be unaffected by cold. With a sleek appearance, impressive durability, and the benefit of energy efficiency, metal roofing is the best choice for a winter replacement—and we’ll install it for you, even in the snow.
While EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a great choice for a commercial roof, we do not recommend laying rubber roofing like EPDM in the cold. Temperatures below freezing will prevent primers and adhesives from properly adhering the EPDM roof membrane to your roof’s surface.
Although built-up roofs are incredibly cost effective and ideal for buildings with low-slope roofs, installing one in the winter might be difficult. Built-up roofing is mainly composed of asphalt and ply sheets, and the asphalt component should be kept at the proper temperature throughout installation to protect your roof from any issues.
Modified Bitumen roofing
Like built-up roofing, modified bitumen is an excellent choice for flat or low-slope roofs. However, as an asphalt-based material, it must be installed in warm or temperate conditions unless installers take additional measures—and more time—to prevent cracking in stiff membrane rolls or improper adhesive bonding.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF REPLACING A ROOF IN WINTER?
Preparing your commercial roof for replacement in less-than-ambient conditions is not ideal. Besides the safety hazard that ice and wind pose for roofers, low temperatures lead to other issues.
For instance, cold temperatures can affect the tools we use to replace your roof. Adhesives used in rubber membrane roofing will take more time to cure—or crystallize—effectively gluing the material to the building’s surface. Some materials will even grow stiff or brittle in the cold and be more difficult to work with, or become prone to cracking.
But don’t worry! Your choice in roofing materials, coupled with extra precautions taken by Hopkins, make winter installation possible. Regular inspections and roof maintenance will also keep your commercial roof top-notch—no matter the time of year.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE MY ROOF?
You can be proactive in caring for your roof by clearing drainage systems and checking ventilation. If you experience any of the following, however, it’s time for a repair or a replacement:
- Leaks or moisture infiltration
- Visible cracks in the roof itself or in interior paint
- Stains on walls and ceilings inside the building
- Areas of warping or missing materials on the exterior
Roofing issues are not always visible to the eye, but it may be time for your roof to be repaired or replaced. Through our roof inspection process, we will help guide you through your options as a business owner and find a solution that’s best for your needs.
Ready for a roof inspection or consultation? Call your roofing contractor experts at Hopkins Roofing today!