If every day was sunny, mild, and a pleasant 75 degrees, there'd be little reason to wonder about the best time to replace a roof. Of course, not everyone lives in areas with ideal weather conditions, as climates vary greatly across the country.So if a client ever asks, "When is the best time to replace a roof?" your answer will likely vary based on where they live and what each season is like. However, you can share some general pointers in response. Here's what to consider for each season to help answer the question, "when is the best time to replace a roof?"SpringSpringtime is traditionally recognized as the kickoff of roofing season, as outside temperatures begin to warm and activity increases. Thanks to melting ice and snow, it's also the time of year that homeowners may want to have their roofs checked out for damage.While spring offers outdoor temperatures that are more friendly for workers, the season also typically comes with an increased chance of severe thunderstorms (and potentially tornados, depending on the region). Spring is usually a good time to schedule a roof replacement if you just monitor the weather forecast for major events to help reduce the chance of delays.SummerWith spring showers in the rearview, most areas of the country see longer stretches of nice weather during summertime, which lends itself well to working outside. Accordingly, summer tends to be the most ideal time for installing a new roof.But with potentially hot days, when is the best time to replace a roof in the summer? Workers will need to start as early in the day as possible because temperatures are usually cooler in the morning. Depending on the forecast temperatures, the job may need to be spread over a few days, so most of the work can be done in the morning hours before it gets too hot. It's also wise to remind customers that workers will need to have breaks in the shade and access to water to stay hydrated.FallThe autumn months can be an equally good time for a roof replacement as summer, as the hot and hazy days have passed, and severe weather isn't as common. The only exception to this is if you're working in an area prone to hurricanes. Hurricane season runs through the end of November and can cause project delays.In addition to the favorable weather, fall is a popular season for roof replacement because many property owners want to fortify their homes and buildings with a new roof before the winter months.WinterIn some areas of the country, it may be possible to continue roofing installations year-round, including during the winter. In southern regions, for example, roofing replacements can often be completed in the winter, as there's less chance of inclement weather. Temperatures may drop, but not as drastically as in areas that see ice and snow more regularly. Of course, it's still important to reference the relevant local forecast when scheduling upcoming work.Sustained stretches of very cold weather does not constitute suitable weather for the installation of asphalt shingles. All self-sealing shingles must be exposed to warm, sunny conditions for several days before they completely seal. Before sealing occurs, shingles are vulnerable to blow-offs and wind damage. Shingles installed in fall or winter may not seal until the following spring. Shingles that are not exposed to direct sunlight, adequate surface temperatures, or that are not fastened or installed properly may never seal. Failures to seal, blow-offs, and wind damage under these circumstances result from the nature of self-sealing shingles, and are not covered under most manufacturer's warranties. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper installation. While most provide guidance about cold weather installations, it will ultimately be up to you to exercise discretion about when to move forward with an installation vs. postponing the work until more favorable weather conditions are present.Other Factors That May Affect Project TimingWhile weather is likely the leading factor that can disrupt scheduled roofing work, if you want to best answer your client's question of "when is the best time to replace a roof?" you'll need to take other factors into account when setting timeline expectations for property owners. One such consideration is the lead time needed for materials. If your customer chooses an uncommon color or a specialty product, it may take longer for materials to arrive.Another factor to weigh is your own backlog. If your production calendar is booked weeks out, clearly communicate the timing to your customers with the knowledge that weather events could impact the schedule. Regularly communicating with customers and setting accurate expectations are key to a positive experience.Looking to learn more roofing best practices and further expand your knowledge base? Check out GAF's CARE Contractor Training Center to help build your skill set and receive valuable training.
By Authors Karen L Edwards
February 12, 2024