When is the Best Time for a Roof Replacement?


The best time to replace a roof depends on a few variables. The first step is determining if the roof needs replacement or if a few repairs can prolong the life of the existing roof. If it is determined that you need a replacement, it is necessary to be mindful of the weather in your area. The final thing you must do is schedule your roofing contractor well in advance. Let’s review each of these aspects of roof replacement in more detail.

Does Your Roof need to be replaced?

There are several factors that determine if your roof really does need to be replaced.

  1. What is the age of the roof?
    Most roofs will last 20 to 25 years in the northeast. That assumes that it was properly installed with skilled labor. If the roof is more than 20 years old, it is time to take a close look at the condition it is in.
  2. Have you noticed any unusual leaks?
    While leaks can occur from a deteriorated roof, they can also be the result of an isolated storm with wind-driven rain, clogged gutters, and downspouts, deteriorated flashing in specific areas, ice dams, a broken pipe inside the home, or condensation from attic HVAC equipment.
  3. Do you notice wear and tear on the roof?
    Some of the things to look for are shingles that have blown off or ones that have curled or buckled on sloped roofs. On a flat roof, look for bubbling, scaling, or cracking of the roof membrane. If you can easily see these defects, you should take measures to determine if the roof is indeed failing.

If you suspect that the roof might be past its prime or significantly deteriorated, this is the time to contact a professional roofing contractor to perform an inspection. A good time of year to implement a roof inspection is after the winter snow has melted and spring has arrived. You want to have the inspection completed before the summer.

If the inspection reveals that the roof does need a full replacement, this is a good time of year to take steps to put financing in place and to get on your contractor’s schedule while the weather is still in your favor.

Local Weather Does Impact Roof Replacement Timing

As mentioned above, spring is a great time of year to have your roof inspected. The northeast often gets hammered with snow and ice in the winter. You want to be sure the roof is clear of any snow or ice so that the roofing expert can perform a thorough inspection.

Roof replacements are best conducted late summer into early fall in our area. Roofing work is labor intensive and can be impacted by either very hot summers or very cold winters. The temperature is really perfect for both the materials and the crew when the days are around 75˚F and the evenings don’t dip below 40˚F.

Composition or asphalt shingle roof materials are somewhat temperature sensitive, as these are installed using a “cold” method. By “cold”, we mean that the material is not being heated when it is applied, unlike a hot-rolled roofing membrane material. The sealing strips on the roofing tabs (shingles) benefit from warm temperatures to heat up a bit and to allow for better adhesion. As well, shingles are more pliable when the weather is warmer.

While installing a roof in the winter is absolutely possible with excellent results, the materials can be a little less forgiving and harder to work with resulting in a bit more waste. Shingles can become brittle and may even require hand nailing to prevent splitting with the force of a nail gun. Skilled installers understand this.

Another thing to consider is that some roofing companies may reduce their workforce in winter or take on different types of construction projects. This is also a great time for contractors to take vacations, especially around the holidays.

Despite winter being a little less desirable for a roof replacement, Fortified Roofing does run a year-round operation with crews that are familiar with cold weather roof installations. In fact, it might be easier to secure an appointment because work tends to slow down in the colder weather. We would be happy to discuss the process of installing a replacement roof in any season.

Scheduling Your Roof Replacement Job

Once you have an inspection of the roof completed, it is time to get on your contractor’s schedule. It is advised that you allow for plenty of time before the work commences. Many roofing contractors schedule several projects starting in the spring. You want to be sure to get on that schedule fairly early on, as there might be a wait.

A qualified, licensed, and insured contractor will only use a skilled crew, not laborers that are pulled from a random pool. While making a profit is important in any business, quality always trumps quantity. This means you might have to allow for some lead time to ensure that you will not be getting a mediocre job.

Established roofing companies completely understand that many people need to arrange for financing for their roof replacement. Having a clear conversation with your professional about how much time you need to put this in place will make everything run smoother. Make sure you get a detailed estimate of the work to be performed so that you can plan appropriately.

Roof Replacement Plan

A good plan of action to follow is:

  • Have a roof inspection after all the snow melts
  • Get a detailed estimate and recommendation of work needed
  • Discuss potential scheduling
  • Put your financing in place
  • Reconnect with your contractor to secure a spot on his or her schedule
  • Leave enough time to be sure you are on the schedule for late summer or early fall before the weather gets bad again, if feasible

If you suspect you might need a roof replacement, call the experts at Fortified Roofing to discuss the options. Our professionals will be able to inspect and recommend the best option. If you only need repairs, we will be transparent about suggesting that as an alternative or temporary solution.