When is the Best Time to Replace a Roof?
Have you looked up at your roof recently and wondered if it’s time to get it replaced? Or, worse, has an indoor leak go you rushing to call a roofer? Many people ask us at Eagle Watch Roofing, “When is the best time to replace a roof?” The answer is that it’s best to replace your roof before it becomes an emergency. You want to have the opportunity to plan your roof replacement around your schedule and at your convenience. There are also busier and slower times of the year when prices tend to rise and fall. Roofers work all year round, but there are temperatures and weather that can affect your roof replacement. So the key is planning ahead and not waiting for a disaster. Beyond that, here are some tips to figure out the best time to replace your roof.
Before a Disaster
Most homeowners naturally wait to get their roofs repaired or replaced. They are simply trying to get as much use out of their roofs as they can before spending their money on something new. Usually, using your belongings for as long as you can before replacing them makes good financial sense. But when it comes to your roof, there are some other considerations. To start, consider the job of your roof. Your roof exists to protect the rest of your home from the elements. If your roof is failing, your home is not as well protected. So stalling on a needed roof repair or replacement could end up costing you in other ways.
If your roof is beginning to reach the end of its life, you run the risk of damaging your home by avoiding replacement. Of course, the most obvious damage people think of is water leakage. It’s true that water leaking into your attic or other parts of your home can be a disaster. Water damage is serious and can have some pretty expensive results. But another issue many homeowners overlook is the insulating quality of your roof.
Along with the insulation in your attic, your roof works to help keep your home at a steady temperature despite the weather outside. If your roof is falling apart, you may slowly watch your heating and cooling costs rise.
Replacing a Roof in the Fall
Part of the pricing of roof repair and replacement is a matter of supply and demand. Most construction contractors have busy and slow seasons, and roofers are no different. The busiest season for almost all roofers is late summer and fall. That’s when people look at their roofs and start to think about bad weather and whether their roofs are up to the challenge. It’s also a great time, from the roofer’s perspective, to replace a roof. However, the busy season more work, less competition, higher prices, and longer waits to get your job started.
Temperature can play a role in roof installation, especially with asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingle is self-sealing, but to seal properly, the temperature needs to be above 40 degrees for at least a few days. That’s not a problem here in Georgia except for the coldest months. But heat can also be a limiting factor. As the temperature rises to about 85 degrees, asphalt shingle can be hard to work with. The tar becomes softer and stickier. Shingles can stick together. Nail guns need to be adjusted appropriately for the softer material, or they’ll send nails ripping right through the shingles. As everything is softer and looser, shingles are also more prone to ripping or damage from foot traffic. So fall weather, when the temperature usually stays in the 70s during the day, is great weather for asphalt shingle.
September and October also tend to see the driest weather here in Georgia, making them ideal months for roof installation. One of the biggest concerns with any roof installation is avoiding rain or other precipitation that could damage the roof while the shingles are removed. Roofers have ways of minimizing the risk and dealing with rain, for example with tarps, but dry weather makes it easier.
Replacing a Roof in the Winter
Many homeowners feel like winter is not a time to be working on construction projects. But roofers do work all year. Depending on the type of roof you are installing, the winter weather may not even be an issue. For example, standing seam metal roofs can be installed any time of year. The only type of roofing that is particularly affected by weather is asphalt shingle. Asphalt shingle is self-sealing. That means that the material on the underside of the shingles forms a watertight seal with the shingles below, but that seal requires the natural warmth of the sun. Luckily, the heat required is pretty low. As long as the temperature is above 40 degrees for a few days, the roof will seal. Here in Georgia, that would only cause a problem in the coldest winter months.
Another issue with roofing in the winter is the lack of daylight hours. As the days are shorter, it may take more days to install a roof, especially on a large home. Also, the cooler weather can make asphalt shingles more brittle and harder to work with. They can even crack or be damaged by foot traffic. However, any weather between 40 and 85 degrees is ideal for asphalt shingle, which includes most of the year here in Georgia.
One advantage of replacing a roof in the winter is that it tends to be a slow season for most roofers. That means that there is more competition for the smaller number of jobs out there, so prices tend to fall. If you plan ahead and don’t wait for a disaster to replace your roof, planning for a winter roof replacement could save you some money.
Replacing a Roof in the Spring
Springtime is Georgia can sometimes feel brief. Often, the temperature shifts from the cold of winter to the heat of summer in just a few weeks. But if you plan ahead and are able to choose when you get your new roof installed, there are some advantages to a springtime roof installation. Spring, like fall, tends to see fewer rainy days. That means that it’s safer to replace a roof and there is less chance of a rain delay. Spring is also usually one of the slower seasons for roofing so you may get a better price both on labor and materials.
Regardless of your roofing material, springtime is perfect weather. Asphalt shingle is right in the sweet spot, not too hot and not too cold. For other types of roofing, temperature matters less. But the mild weather means that roofers are more comfortable. While most roofers always aim to do a good job, weather can still be a factor in the quality of work. Especially with less reliable roofers, when it’s too hot or too cold, roofers may be tempted to cut corners and spend less time on a job. The same is true in the busy season of late summer and fall when workers can be pressed to complete more jobs more quickly.
Replacing a Roof in the Summer
Summer can begin to get busy for roofers. Busier roofers means there may be a premium charged for materials and labor. It also means that you may have to wait weeks or even a month or more to get your job started. This is especially true of established, reliable roofers who do lots of jobs all year round.
Summers in Georgia can get hot, and the added heat can have some adverse effects on asphalt shingle. Hot asphalt gets soft. It is more easily damaged and even torn. Nails also go through hot asphalt more easily, so roofers need to change the pressure on their nail guns and be a little extra careful not to tear through the shingles.
The absolute best time to replace your roof is when you have planned ahead, and not when you are faced with an emergency. Plan out the best time for your schedule and convenience. You can also shop around and see what different roofers will charge and what times of year are cheapest. Eagle Watch Roofing is happy to come to your home for a roof inspection and no-obligation quote. Planning ahead allows you to get the time you want with a reliable roofer like Eagle Watch Roofing.
Don’t wait for an emergency. If your roof is aging, or if it has been 3-5 years since your last roof inspection, contact Eagle Watch Roofing today to find out how your roof is doing!