Winter Roofing Work: What To Expect When The Weather Gets Icy

snow covered roof

Working on the roof of any structure requires that our team pays extremely close attention to weather conditions. Things like snow, wind, and temperature can affect how we proceed with our work. When it comes to winter roofing, there are several considerations to take into account in order to ensure both the safety of our team and the efficacy of our materials, which can be affected by extremely low temperatures. So how do we determine if your roofing work is going forward on a cold day? Here are our top considerations:

1. The weather forecast

Of course, the first thing we look at when determining if roofing work is safe to proceed is the weather forecast. We make plans based on projected forecasts, and pivot our plan in the event of poor weather. In order to have the most accurate prediction possible, we look at multiple forecasts as well as animated weather radar maps from Environment Canada to determine if there are any weather conditions to be concerned about, and whether it will affect the local conditions on site. We make a call on each worksite location early in the morning by 7:00 most days, and always err on the side of caution to protect the client’s property, quality of work and safety of the crew.

2. Daylight hours 

Preparation and coordination of daily work is often dependent on how much daylight there will be. In the winter, daylight is at its shortest, and there are often stretches where there is no direct sunlight for days at a time, making the preparation of daily work areas more difficult.

3. Wind conditions at roof level 

Posted weather conditions are all based on readings at the ground level. Almost always, the conditions at roof level are different than those on the ground, which can sometimes mean significant safety risks. As a general rule, the higher a building is, the more likely it is that the wind will be a serious concern during any kind of roofing work. Things like tunnel effects, exposure, and elevation of the work area relative to surrounding areas can make conditions on the roof unsafe for workers. In the same vein, anything that is variable due to these winds, such as rooftop deliveries of materials by crane or metal installation would likely have to be postponed if the wind at roofing level was a concern.

4. Standing Water

Especially in the winter months, standing water can take a lot more time to evaporate due to reduced hours of sunlight. Repairs and maintenance are unlikely to proceed immediately after snow or rainfall, or if standing water has turned into ice. For more information on ponding water, click here.

5. Location 

Some areas of the GTA have specific weather conditions that are unique to their regions. For example, the region of the Golden Horseshoe, where weather conditions can be more unpredictable. Working in any area that is close to water also poses a weather issue, as temperatures tend to be significantly lower, and winds much stronger near bodies of water.

6. Building occupants

Safety during our roofing projects is always a top concern, and that extends beyond our employees. If the structure we are working on has significant outside foot traffic or is a children’s playground or school, we will factor this in to make sure that our work is done safely, and the risk exposure for building occupants is minimized.

Roofing work during the winter months is something that needs to be done with expertise and preparation, but with the right team, your roofing project can be done safely and successfully. At Elite, we take the utmost care to ensure that your project goes off without a hitch so that your structure can continue to function at its peak. If you require winter roofing maintenance or repair, don’t hesitate to give us a call, or chat with us during working hours. We also have an emergency line that is available 24/7. Remember, at Elite, we are always here to help. That’s the #eliteadvantage.