Can You Re-Do a Flat Roof in the Winter?

October 26, 2016

There is a popular myth that is echoed in a way that makes it seem as though it is an iron-clad rule in the roofing industry: you can’t install a flat roof (any roof for that matter) in the winter. (By winter, we mean temperatures that are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit). While this is true for some flat roof systems, it is not true for others, and you just need to know which is which so you can properly re-do your flat roof in the winter.

What flat roof systems can be installed in the winter?

There are essentially only two roof systems that can be used to re-do your flat roof during the winter months: thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC). This is all thanks to the way these thermoplastic single ply flat roof systems are installed; hot air welding is used to connect and seal their seams.

 

The equipment used to hot wield the seams reaches temperatures of 800-1100 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that even though temperatures outside are cold, the equipment’s temperature is still hot enough to seal the seams.

What flat roof systems cannot be installed in the winter?

If you are a fan of rubber flat roof systems, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber and modified bitumen, the bad news is that these cannot be installed in the winter. This is because they require the use of adhesives, which do not work as intended when they are exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

 

 

These rubber roofs are the most common types of roofing systems used for residential and commercial properties, so it is understandable why one would consider them first when thinking of installing a flat roof. But if you happen to find a roofer who claims they can install them for you in the winter, just know that they are going against the instructions outlined by the manufacturers of rubber roofs. You could just be setting yourself up for failure.

 

At this point, you might be wondering why we said adhesives don’t work the way they should in cold temperatures. When adhesive is applied to seal the rubber roof, it is supposed to create a strong bond as it dries due to the glue molecules sticking together. When it is cold outside, the adhesive doesn’t harden and stick but freezes and breaks.

 

At this point, it means the integrity of the roof is compromised since it has not been sealed properly. This means the most likely result is that you will be saddled with a leaky roof, and the leaking problem can only get worse with time.

 

Need to re-do your flat roof in the winter? Don’t hesitate to contact Wolfenburg Flat Roof Ottawa on 613-800-90-58 or email us at info@wolfenburginc.com today and we will come and recommend the best flat roofing system that suits your needs at an affordable price. We know how uncomfortable it is to live under a roofing system that has failed, especially during the winter, and we are more than delighted to assist you.

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