Installing Asphalt Shingles in the Winter

Considering our weather, and both abundant sunshine and hail storm damaged roofs, installing asphalt shingles during the Winter season will occur. This may not be the easiest season to coordinate roof installs, yet it will still be a necessity. In this reading, we will consider several weather variables and explore shingle manufacturers information regarding cold weather installation of asphalt shingles.

Many shingle manufacturers are hesitant and wisely avoid giving magic formulas for winter installations. Everyone with asphalt shingles during the Winter needs to pay serious attention to the weather. The manufacturers biggest concern in low temperature environments is the possibility of the adhesive strip not activating due to low roof surface temperatures. So, one would ask, “What is the minimum temperature that shingles can be installed?” The answer to this question is somewhat complex in nature. We’ll begin with the answer that we get from manufacturers, chemist, and product engineers at shingle manufacturing facilities. A good rule of thumb is forty degrees Fahrenheit on the roofs surface.

The outdoor temperature can be colder while the roof surface is 40 degrees. One of the benefits of installing shingles in the Winter in Texas is the abundant sunshine. The suns radiant energy is of significant importance in heating the roof surface to a minimum of forty degrees in the Winter. Again, 40 degrees is not a magic number, nor is it concrete, but it’s a safe temperature for installing shingles. I’ve seen roofers installing shingles in temperatures just a little above zero degrees. Hoss Roofing & General Contracting will NOT install shingles when it’s this cold. Any contractor that has been roofing in cold weather for some time knows that roofs can be installed with an ambient temperature as low as 30 degrees, in the most extreme measures. 

Ideally, asphalt shingles should be installed when the air temperature is above 40 degrees, and with an abundance of sunshine expected to come. Texas roofing contractors should install shingles when possible in direct sunlight. This will help activate the self adhesive sealant strips on the back of the shingle. This is extremely important for long term performance all of the strips should adhere to the underlying shingle. When the self sealing strips on asphalt shingles do not activate within a few days or weeks dust and debris may blow underneath of the shingles and prevent any possibility of these asphalt shingles from sealing. Shingles that are installed in the Winter may not seal on the day of the install. That is perfectly fine when multiple factors are taken into consideration.

As long as the shingles seal before a long period of high winds occurs, forcing dust and debris in between the sealant strip and the adjoining shingle, than everything will be fine. Many roofs are installed in the Winter, and within a couple of weeks, all of the adhesive strips will have activated and solidified the mass of shingles into one large unit. Installing asphalt shingles in the Winter is an acceptable practice for all roofing companies Texas has to offer. The roofer must be educated in the safety and preventative measures and adjustments necessary.  It is not recommended to move forward with your project if your contractor seems sub-par. 

Homeowners need to be aware that asphalt shingles, when installed in the Winter, will look bumpy and wavy on the roof. In the Winter, the asphalt shingles are less malleable and will reflect the shape of the shingles when they are packaged, bundled and stacked on the roof. It may take several months of radiant heat for the shingles to lay down flat on the roofs surface. This is standard and it will not impact the serviceability or performance of the shingle. There is a slight possibility that some of the shingles asphalt sealant strips may not bond to the next shingle. If this happens to a few shingles here and there, you will not have an issue. However, if this were to occur in large sections of the roof, then these shingles will need to be sealed/replaced.

It is recommended to install 6-nails per shingle, which is the best roofing practice. While technically stating six nails per shingle, the reality is twelve nails are being installed per shingle. When installing this many nails per shingle even if in a few areas the adhesive doesn’t activate, you’ll have more than enough nails to keep the shingles in place. Overall, there is no issue with installing asphalt shingles during the Winter, as long as the roofer exercises normal roofing protocol, everything will be okay.

Remember, that the shingles will look bumpy, wavy or some may even say they look wrong when the asphalt shingles are cold. I agree, they will look that way until they are heated up enough to a point where the asphalt becomes malleable and the weight of the shingles and gravity forces them to lay flat on the roofs surface. This may take up to several months. Patience and trust is required on the part of the homeowner, for the asphalt shingles will eventually lay flat on the roof. If you’re not willing to have this temporary appearance, then your roof will need to be installed in warmer weather.




How to choose your roofer during storm season when there are so many options literally knocking at your door:

This is what a full tear off is supposed to look like BEFOR the new roof material is installed - HIT PLAY!

Residential & Multi-Family





The law as it is written states:

"Texas law requires a person insured under a property insurance policy to pay any deductible applicable to a claim made under the policy. It is a violation of Texas law for a seller of goods or services who reasonably expects to be paid wholly or partly from the proceeds of a property insurance claim to knowingly allow the insured person to pay, or assist the insured person's failure to pay, the applicable insurance deductible."