Can You Re-Shingle a Roof in the Winter?

As the winter season approaches, homeowners might be concerned about the condition of their roofs, especially if they notice damaged or missing shingles. The question arises: Can you re-shingle a roof in the winter? This article addresses this common concern and sheds light on the possibilities and challenges associated with winter roof re-shingling.

Professional climbing on roof to inspect section
Snow covered shingles on roof

Understanding Roofing Shingles

Before diving into re-shingling in winter, it’s essential to understand roofing shingles’ composition and purpose. Roofing shingles are thin, overlapping materials installed to protect against weather elements such as rain, snow, and UV rays. They play a crucial role in keeping the roof’s underlying structure safe from damage and leaks.

Winter Challenges for Roofing

Winter brings a set of unique challenges for roofing projects. The cold temperatures can affect the adhesives and sealants used in the shingles, making them less effective. Additionally, ice and snow on the roof can create slippery conditions and potential safety hazards for roofers.

Re-Shingling in Winter: Is It Possible?

Yes, it is possible to re-shingle a roof in the winter, but it requires careful planning and consideration of weather conditions. While some roofing materials are more suitable for warmer temperatures, technological advancements have made using certain shingles in colder climates feasible.

Benefits of Re-shingling in Winter

Re-shingling your roof during the winter months might have some advantages. First, roofing companies are less busy in winter, so you might have an easier time scheduling a professional roofing contractor. Additionally, some contractors offer discounts during the off-peak season, potentially saving you money.

Hiring a Professional Roofing Contractor

To ensure the success of your winter roof re-shingling project, it’s advisable to hire a reputable and experienced roofing contractor like Dwights Roofing. Look for a contractor with a track record of handling winter roofing projects and positive customer reviews. Professional roofers have the expertise and equipment to navigate the challenges of winter roofing.

Preparing for a Winter Roofing Project

Proper preparation is key to a successful winter roof re-shingling. Start by inspecting the roof’s condition and identifying the areas that require re-shingling. Measure the roof accurately to determine the number of shingles needed. Additionally, check the weather forecast for a dry and relatively mild window before starting the project.

Safety Precautions

Working on a roof during winter requires strict adherence to safety precautions. Before starting the project, the roof surface is clear of ice and snow. Use safety harnesses and non-slip footwear to prevent accidents. Having someone else present while working on the roof for assistance in emergencies is also a good idea.

Tools and Materials Needed

Gather all the necessary tools and materials before commencing the re-shingling process. This includes roofing nails, shingles, a hammer, a utility knife, a ladder, a chalk line, and a caulking gun. Using the right tools will make the process more efficient and yield better results.

Step-by-Step Guide to Re-shingle a Roof in Winter

Checking Weather Conditions

Before starting the project, check the weather forecast for at least two to three days of dry and above-freezing temperatures. Avoid working on the roof during rain, snow, or extreme cold, as this can compromise the adhesion and sealing of the shingles.

Preparing the Roof

Clean the roof surface from debris and remove snow or ice using a roof rake. Ensure the roof is dry and free from any moisture that could affect the shingle installation.

Removing Old Shingles

Carefully remove the old shingles using a utility knife and a shingle remover tool. Be gentle to avoid damaging the underlying roof structure.

Installing New Shingles

Start from the bottom and work up, installing the new shingles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use roofing nails to secure the shingles in place.

Sealing and Finishing

Apply roofing cement or sealant around the edges and seams of the shingles to create a watertight barrier. Check for loose shingles and ensure all the edges are properly sealed.

Insulation and Ventilation

During the winter, proper insulation and ventilation are crucial for maintaining a healthy and efficient roof system. Adequate insulation helps prevent heat loss from the house’s interior, reducing the risk of ice dams forming on the roof. Proper ventilation allows for escaping excess moisture and condensation, which can lead to mould growth and structural damage. Ensure that your attic and roof have adequate insulation and ventilation before re-shingling.

Dealing with Ice Dams

In regions where winter temperatures fluctuate, ice dams can form on the roof’s edges, blocking water drainage and potentially causing leaks. Before re-shingling, take preventive measures to address ice dams. Installing heating cables along the roof edges or using ice and water shield underlayment can help prevent ice dam formation and protect your newly re-shingled roof.

Choosing the Right Shingles

When selecting shingles for your winter roof re-shingling project, opt for those designed for colder climates. Look for shingles with high wind resistance and good adhesion properties to ensure they stay in place during winter storms. Discuss your options with the roofing contractor and choose shingles with durability and longevity.

Proper Roof Maintenance

Once you’ve completed the winter roof re-shingling, regular maintenance is vital to ensure its longevity and performance. Keep the gutters clean and free of debris to allow proper water drainage. Trim overhanging tree branches to prevent them from damaging the roof during storms. Conduct roof inspections at least twice yearly to catch potential issues early on.

Final Inspection

After completing the re-shingling process, perform a final inspection to ensure everything is in order. Check for loose nails, damaged shingles, and proper sealing. Address any issues promptly to avoid future problems. A thorough inspection will give you peace of mind and confidence in the reliability of your newly re-shingled roof.

Maintenance Tips for Winter Roofing

After completing the re-shingling project, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance to prolong the life of your roof. Inspect the roof periodically for any signs of damage or leaks and promptly address any issues.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q: Will re-shingling my roof in winter void its warranty? A: It’s essential to check the warranty terms provided by the shingle manufacturer. Some warranties might have specific requirements regarding installation during certain weather conditions.
  2. Q: Can I perform a DIY re-shingling project in winter? A: While it’s possible to perform a DIY re-shingling project, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional roofer, especially during winter, due to the added complexities and safety concerns.
  3. Q: What types of shingles are best suited for winter re-shingling? A: Asphalt shingles are commonly used for winter re-shingling projects as they offer good performance in cold temperatures and are relatively easy to install.
  4. Q: How long does a winter roof re-shingling project typically take? A: The project’s duration depends on various factors, such as the size of the roof, the weather conditions, and the roofing contractor’s expertise. On average, it can take a few days to complete.
  5. Q: Can I re-shingle my roof if it has multiple layers of old shingles? A: It’s generally not recommended to install new shingles over old multiple layers, as this can affect the roof’s integrity and lead to premature failure. It’s best to remove the old shingles before installing new ones.


Re-shingling a roof in the winter is possible and a practical solution to address damaged or aging roofs. Following the outlined steps and considering the winter-specific challenges, you can complete the project and enjoy the benefits of a secure and well-protected home. Remember to prioritize safety and consider hiring a professional roofing contractor for the best results. With proper planning, preparation, and maintenance, your winter roof re-shingling project will contribute to your property’s overall comfort and value for years to come.

Contact Dwights Roofing to learn more today!