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  • Roofing in Winter

    So, my wife and I are building our own house, and we've got the framing closed in and the roof sheeting on. Sunday we got a solid day of shingling in, but we're hand nailing, and it's just the two of us, so we've got less than half-done. Then yesterday we got about 8 inches of snow, so we didn't get anything done. So now the roof is covered in snow, and the plywood is very slippery to walk on and we can't even safely get up there to shovel/sweep the snow off. They're not calling for any snow tomorrow, but more coming the few days after that. It will get up to just below freezing, but that's about it.

    So, looking for advice from roofers - what would be your advice on what to do? Should we leave it for a few days and see what happens with the weather? Should we get up there however possible and get it swept off and shingled by any means possible ASAP? Should we bring heaters into the house and try to melt the snow off?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Ian

  • #2
    Re: Roofing in Winter

    Leave it till the weather breaks. Otherwise you risk falling off and injuring yourself. Shingles are brittle in cold weather - you also run the risk of breaking a bunch of shingles.

    Everything's wet now regardless of whether it's papered in or not. Hopefully you used plywood instead of OSB.

    I know how schedules can be, and not everybody can wait until the right time, but you'll pay the price down the road. The only type of roofing to do in the snowy winter is an asphalt alternative like metal.

    Hopefully you don't end up like a guy I talked to a couple of years ago who put his roof on in November and had the wind tear half of it off a couple of weeks later.

    When you have a system that depends on tar-based sealant, you better have the hot tar cooking, or at least have some warm weather.
    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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    • #3
      Re: Roofing in Winter

      I don't have to worry about the wood deteriorating if I leave it covered in snow for a week or more? It's 1/2" plywood.

      Ian

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      • #4
        Re: Roofing in Winter

        I would leave it alone, breaking you neck will not help you get it done any faster,

        If your in an area where there is wind, I would get some tar sealant and glue the tabs down as you go as well (just a dab is enough), it could take weeks or months for them to self seal if they ever do any more, (especially if your using three tab shingles).

        If you get it cleaned off (snow), I would if it is not all ready done, get the roofing felt on the deck it so it will repel moisture, and if it snows again just let it melt off, if necessary put some thin wood strips on the seams to keep it in place, (IMO).

        (on the ply some will depend on the quality of the ply if it will delaminate), but if it has exterior glue it should survive fine).
        Last edited by BHD; 02-23-2010, 09:19 PM.
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        • #5
          Re: Roofing in Winter

          leave it for now and wait for the weather to break. just not worth getting hurt over it. I know you are wanting to get it fininshed.

          Look at renting a roofing nailer to speed thing up, get your wife to lay the shingle in place and you nail it down.

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          • #6
            Re: Roofing in Winter

            What's done is done now, but we knew the snow dump was coming Monday mid-day. You never should have started on Sunday if you could not complete the job. All this week we will have on and off again flurries, without heat in the structure (and even with heating and good insulation) the snow is unlikely to melt this week. You have to wait it out till it melts (hopefully in the next few weeks). DO NOT WORK ON A SNOWY/ICEY ROOF!!! Don't worry about the plywood, it will be ok. BTW it's nice you went with 1/2" instead of the min code of 3/8" sheathing.

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            • #7
              Re: Roofing in Winter

              Originally posted by G3sprinklers View Post
              Look at renting a roofing nailer to speed thing up, get your wife to lay the shingle in place and you nail it down.
              I don't agree - I'd stick with the hand nailing, especially considering the winter weather. With a roofing nailer you can't "feel" the nail going in or whether it flies straight through a brittle shingle. Then you wonder why your roof is "doing the wave" during a spring wind.

              Tar is not happening in cold, so you might want to grab some tubes of Lexel to bead down your tabs. Lexel ain't cheap, but it's rubberized and will flow and stick in cold, wet weather.

              Might save you come spring windstorms........
              I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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              • #8
                Re: Roofing in Winter

                Started roofing in Mass. around 1962. All hand nail ,no lifts. Carried 2 ,80 lb bundles at a time of bird shingles up 2 stories on the old boston homes. I paid $7.20 a square for regulars. Square was 3 bundles,covers 100 Sq. Ft.
                and $8.20 for 235 wind seals. charged $25.00 per square for re-roof over the old 1 st course. New homes , We shoveled off the roof sheathing to Roof in snow. I still do roofing
                but could never carry that weight anymore. Have 6 coil nailers now. 40 and 140 gal.tar kettle. Do roofing repairs still . And still have My old ZAX. That's a slate hammer with
                cutter on handle.
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                • #9
                  Re: Roofing in Winter

                  Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                  Started roofing in Mass. around 1962. All hand nail ,no lifts. Carried 2 ,80 lb bundles at a time of bird shingles up 2 stories on the old boston homes. I paid $7.20 a square for regulars. Square was 3 bundles,covers 100 Sq. Ft.
                  and $8.20 for 235 wind seals. charged $25.00 per square for re-roof over the old 1 st course. New homes , We shoveled off the roof sheathing to Roof in snow. I still do roofing
                  but could never carry that weight anymore. Have 6 coil nailers now. 40 and 140 gal.tar kettle. Do roofing repairs still . And still have My old ZAX. That's a slate hammer with
                  cutter on handle.
                  Ah Tool, you bring back old memories. Did my first shingle job with my dad (building a new house for us) in Feb. 1948. He kept me home from school to help. 20 degrees below zero--my mom heated the nails in a roaster pan cover and we shingled with one hand without a glove. (Warm nails in the apron does wonders) IanMiller, we would starve to death in Minn. if we didn't shingle in cold weather and sweep the snow off if necessary. Go for it!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Roofing in Winter

                    Yes, if You like meat with Yer Taters, You do a lot ! Guys like You and Me, don't go hungry
                    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                    • #11
                      Re: Roofing in Winter

                      I was roofing houses with my buddy in the dead of winter up here in New England a few years ago. If we stopped because of the cold or the snow, we would loose 5 months of work. Get a good nail gun, and if your doing a hip, valley, or cap throw the shingles in the running truck to soften them up. You can feel what a nail gun is hitting after you run a few million nails through it and know it. Tool we still "handjob" them up the ladder but the pay is much better now. I only like roofing if it is a quick side job and I never leave the roof.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Roofing in Winter

                        We are a different breed back there. I have fond memory's of sandy neck Beach.

                        Summer nite ,Gas lantern near By. Casting a rebel from My surf rod. Hoping for that beautiful stripped Bass. All Quiet , a distant fog horn! I'm home sick
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                        • #13
                          Re: Roofing in Winter

                          You'll need to do something to protect your plywood.

                          Your timing is terrible.

                          Even if you get your roof on, your shingles will never properly when installed in cold weather.

                          The tar tabs won't seal from heat from the sun and wind will blow dust underneath so they can't ever seal.

                          The ONLY choice you have now is to install ICE DAM MEMBRANE over the whole roof once the plywood dries.

                          Felt paper won't work because the wind will tear it apart.

                          Use verticle furring strips every few feet to hold the rubber membrane down because the self-stick won't adhere either in the cold weather.

                          Proper roofing should be done in HOT weather.

                          Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Roofing in Winter

                            We never had seal tabs in the old days.We had 215 Lb. per square roofing. We framed all winter and roofs were installed all winter. When it gets warmer in the spring,they will seal. In construction, there's B.C , A.D. and B.P. I started B.P. [ before plywood ] Three boards,max on a joist. Wind bracing with 10" thrust blocks. studs 88" long.
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                            • #15
                              Re: Roofing in Winter

                              [QUOTE= BTW it's nice you went with 1/2" instead of the min code of 3/8" sheathing.[/QUOTE]

                              FYI Min Code is 5/8. most inspectors let 1/2 inch slide but never 3/8.

                              3/8 was used back in the 50s after ww2 on most gi bill built homes

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