Winter Roofing in Calgary

Winter in Alberta is often a long, drawn-out and bitter affair – our only respite from the cold and snow being our wonderful chinooks.  Many homeowners are concerned as to whether or not it’s safe to install new roofing in Calgary in the wintertime.  Customers often ask about shingles sealing properly or blowing off, or snow falling on the roof while work continues.  As Calgary roofers our work continues throughout the winter.  An inexperience or careless roofer can cause problems, but that applies any time of the year.  Here are some of the factors involved in proper winter roofing:

  • Snow – When snow is laying in the roof we put on our spiked shoes, climb our ladder, attach our safety equipment and shovel it off.  Once this happens the roof is the same as any other time of year.  Typically we don’t work when it is snowing, just as we don’t work when it is raining.  Snow is easier to manage however, as a quick pass with a blower clears the roof.  It is customary when roofing a house to only tear off what you can shingle that day, so a roof is never left torn off in the snow or other bad weather.
  • Sealing – Asphalt shingles have a strip of heat-activated tar between each row.  When the sun warms the shingles the tar bonds to the layer beneath, and the shingles essentially become one contiguous piece.  This bonding happens no matter what the temperature, although at sub-zero temperatures the process is a lot slower.  To accommodate for this we install extra nails to hold the material in place.  Once a chinook – a Calgary roofers best friend – comes along and the sun shines on the product, the tar will activate and seal.  In the years we’ve been operating since 2006, we’ve never once had to return to one of our roofs to fix shingles that didn’t seal properly.
  • Cold Shingles – Shingles are bit more brittle when cold, so an experienced roofer is required to ensure that the nails are being driven properly.  Poor nailing can cause damage to the nailing area, weakening the shingle.  In warmer weather the shingles are very soft, and over-driven nails are actually more likely to damage the shingle.  A professional roofing contractor is required at any time of year.  The preferred roofing products are Owens Corning Duration and Malarkey Legacy.  The Duration has a patented SureNail technology that totally eliminates problems arising from poorly driven nails, so cold is not a factor for installation.  The Malarkey Legacy – our premium brand of shingles – is comprised of rubberized asphalt.  The material is very tough, and combined with their patented Zone technology it is virtually impossible to install the nails incorrectly.

As experienced roofers in Calgary, our work and our livelihood revolves around managing the weather.  We continue work all throughout the year and while the cold and snow will slow us down, it by no means stops the operation.  Our busiest time of year is September through December, but a lot of work bleeds over into January and February.

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