Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter?

Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter

Winter weather has arrived, and you may have noticed you have some roofing problems. You may have missing shingles or leaks may have appeared in your attic. Now you may be asking yourself “can you replace a roof in the winter.” The answer to that question is yes, but there are certain steps that must be taken when replacing a roof during cold weather.

Best Temperature for Roof Installation

Asphalt shingles should be installed at temperatures between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the northeast, it is not unusual to have winter days with temperatures above 40 degrees, but there are also periods of long cold snaps as well. When asphalt shingles are hammered at temperatures below 40 degrees, they can crack, even if they are of high quality. When it comes to pricing, however, you may find that roofing contractors offer lower prices, but there may be a delay in installation since the contractor will need to wait until the temperature will remain above 40 for a few days.

Issues with Adhesive

Another problem your roofing contractor could face in winter is that self-adhesive shingles may not stick properly below 40 degrees. If your contractor will be using self-adhesive shingles, the answer to the question “can you replace a roof in the winter” will be “as soon as the temperature will remain above 40 degrees.” Sealing strips on self-adhesive shingles attach better in the spring and summer, but they can be installed in the winter during warmer days. Even if you choose a different type of roof covering, you may need to wait for the weather to warm up. Fiberglass shingles can fracture in the winter and cedar shakes may break if temperatures are close to freezing.

Winter Roof Replacement Guidelines

There are a few other guidelines for installing a roof in winter. These include:

  • Store shingles in a garage or warehouse to keep them warm before installation.
  • Consider hand-sealing shingles to insure that the shingles bond properly.
  • Use care at the rakes and eaves as these are the most common areas where shingles may be damaged in cold weather.

In addition to asking “can you replace a roof in the winter,” you also need to perform regular maintenance on your roof, especially in cold weather. Avoid walking on shingles when the weather is cold. Inspect your shingles often and reseal any that appear to be peeling away from the roof. Clear ice and snow from your roof whenever possible to avoid damage. Keep debris out of gutters to avoid ice dams that could cause additional damage. For more information, contact Tri-County Exteriors by giving us a call or filling out the easy form online.

Before You Hire: What Questions To Ask A Roofer Before You Hire

Before You Hire What Questions To Ask A Roofer Before You Hire

When it comes time to replace your roof, or if you are in need of a roof repair, you want to be sure that the roofer you choose will complete the job efficiently and thoroughly. For this reason, you will want to know what questions to ask a roofer before you hire them to protect yourself and your family.

What is the Name of Your Company and the Address?

It may seem like an obvious question, but you would be surprised how many people talk to roofers and fail to get the actual company name and address. There are many fly-by-night companies out there, so you want to find a company that has a valid address and whose company name you can research. If the roofer provides a post office box as an address, beware as roofers need a physical location to store supplies and materials.

Are You Insured?

When it comes to knowing what questions to ask a roofer, one of the most important is whether they have insurance. You want to be sure they have liability insurance as well as worker’s compensation to protect you if there is an accident. Worker’s compensation protects the roofing company employees should they get hurt and liability insurance protects you if damage occurs during the repair or replacement of your roof. If the roofer does not have worker’s compensation, you could be held liable for any injuries their employee suffers and the injury may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Do You Use Subcontractors?

Ask the roofer if they will use just their own employees or if they will subcontract out any of the work done on the roof. If they do plan to us subcontractors, you will want to ask them the same questions you ask the roofer, especially the questions regarding insurance.

Are You Licensed?

Each state has their own licensing requirements and your local city or county may have additional licensing regulations. Ask the roofer for a copy of their license and then verify that the license is valid. You should also be able to find out if there are any violations filed against the license. A business license and a contractor’s license are not the same thing, so make sure that your roofing contractor has all the licenses necessary to perform the job.

Can You Provide References

A qualified roofing contractor will gladly provide you with references from previous clients. Get addresses so you can check the workmanship as well and be sure to call any references that provide telephone numbers to get their viewpoint on the roofing contractor. Check online review sites and the Better Business Bureau as well to see if there have been complaints filed against the company.

Are There Any Warranties?

Although the manufacturer of your roofing material may offer long warranties, contractors may only offer a warranty of one year. This means that if something goes wrong with the material, the manufacturer will replace the faulty items, but you may still have to pay the contractor for their replacement. Some contractors do offer longer warranties, so it is important to ask before you hire to avoid surprises in the future.

Once you know what questions to ask a roofer, you are better prepared to make an informed choice. At Tri-County Exteriors, we have extensive experience with roof repair and replacement. We can provide you with references and warranty information as well as a valid address, insurance information and will provide you with information on our licensing. Give us a call today or complete the easy form online to learn more.

How To Choose A Roof For Your Pennsylvania Home

How To Choose A Roof For Your Pennsylvania Home

When it comes to choosing a roof, there are many factors to take into consideration before making a decision, which usually has to be lived with for a number of years. Homeowners today want a roof that is not only safe but has longevity, stability, durability and can be easily maintained, plus they want an attractive look to their roofline that provides curb appeal and lasting resale value.

Material Selections

The actual materials that go into creating a roof can be a big part of choosing one, and a final selection has to be one that meets the taste and standards that many homeowners want and demand today. With the number and type of natural and man-made products in the marketplace, it can be difficult to know what to choose. Whether your home is in need of a replacement roof, or you are planning and building a new home, there are selections out there that can meet the design and style of your home.

Natural or Man-made

Natural materials such as slate and wood may be good choices for some homeowners while others require manufactured materials like asphalt, metal and polymers. These different groups have their advantages and disadvantages, and with a little investigation, research and examination, a final choice can be made that suits your needs and the needs of your home.

Before making a material choice, there are factors to be considered to determine exactly what course to follow, and those factors include:

  • The lasting value of a particular roofing material
  • The durability of a particular material and whether it can withstand weather extremes and fire damage
  • Material weight and whether its heaviness will affect roof framing
  • Sufficient roof slope for certain materials
  • Material choice that will coordinate with housing style
  • Materials are recyclable and environmentally friendly
  • Building codes permit particular types of roofing materials
  • Material costs
  • Product guarantees and type of warranties available


There are limitations when it comes to different types of roofing, as some may or may not be suited for a particular home. Selections can depend on the slope of a roof and the stability of its framing. Other factors depend on a region’s susceptibility to disastrous storms and wildfires, so material choices should include high fire and wind resistance ratings. The roofing installation process should include guidelines as to how a number of roof types can be improved upon for fire and wind resistance.

Different Roofing Materials

Roofing materials consist of a number of different types that include:


Asphalt shingles make up a large percentage of shingles used today. They are popular and economically feasible. Asphalt shingles are comprised of either paper mat, which is beneficial for both low temperatures and wind, or fiberglass that is resistant to fire and moisture. Fiberglass is infused with asphalt and contains a coating of mineralized granules. Asphalt shingles come in 3-tab shingles or what are called architectural shingles, which are thicker and laminated. They are conservative in their weight and could be more durable, but they can be used on lower to steeper sloped roofs and are recyclable, though they are not as environmentally friendly as other products.


Metal roofing may be a bit more costly than asphalt but it lasts longer, is more durable, is resistant to fire and wind and absorbs considerably less heat than asphalt. Metal roofing is usually comprised of aluminum, steel, cooper or zinc alloy and is either zinc coated or finished in paint. If a metal roof is totally copper, it will remain unfinished when installed and will gain a patina protection as time progresses. Metal roofing comes in sheet or shingles and is installed with hidden or visible fasteners. It is lightweight, environmentally friendly and is made for both low or steep sloped roofs.


Synthetic roofing shingles are reasonably priced, durable, yet lightweight and long lasting. They are quite similar to high end slate or wood shakes. They are molded from plastic polymer materials and are environmentally friendly as they can be formed from recycled materials as well as recycled when they require replacement. Polymers are wind and fire resistant and are usable on both steep sloped and more moderate roofs. They are reasonably priced.


Clay tiles, though expensive, heavy and somewhat fragile can endure and are extremely fire resistant, plus they are easy to maintain. They are made from natural clay that has been fired and are Spanish or Italian looking in appearance, but they can be fashioned to resemble slate or shakes. Since clay is a natural material it is environmentally friendly, but it does take significant energy output to produce them. Clay tiles are heavy and do require reinforced framing for support. They can be utilized on steeper and moderate roofs. Clay tile is fire resistant, but its resistance to wind is not as effective.


Though subject to possible breakage, concrete tiles are not as expensive as their clay counterparts, yet they are enduring and resistant to fire with limited wind resistance. They are made from sand and Portland cement and can appear to look like wood shakes, clay tiles or slate. Concrete tiles can have color within or applied to its surface. They are long lasting and heavy and do require roof framing that is reinforced to support their weight. They are both usable on steeper sloped and more moderate roofs.


Slate has been utilized as a roofing material for a considerable time. It is very expensive and breakable, but it is durable and resistant to fire and wind. It is natural slate rock that is dark gray in appearance and is environmentally friendly. Slate is heavy and requires a reinforced structure to support it, and is designated for steep sloped roofs. Specially trained and expert installers should be used with any slate roof installation.

Wood Shingles/Shakes

Wood shakes are made from woods that are resistant to rotting and require treatment to lower their resistance to possible fire. Cedar is usually the main wood used, but they can also be made from redwood that is also resistant to rotting. Wood shingles are natural in appearance, environmentally friendly and eventually weather to a silver gray in color. Wood shakes are available in sawn or cut shingles or split shakes that are thicker. They are moderate in cost and weight and can hold their own in wind but, again, do require retardant treatment to resist fire. Their lifespan is short and even shorter without routine maintenance. They can be used on both steep sloped and more moderate roofs.

The Big Picture

Choosing a roof involves looking at the big picture and weighing all the factors, limitations and material costs, coupled with the intricacies of the installation and the labor costs. Guarantees and warranties also need to be taken into consideration to protect the investment. These areas need to be seriously deliberated before taking the plunge into making a final roofing selection and signing the contract.

If you are trying to choose a roof for your home, or simply need information on how to go about the process, complete the online form and a roofing expert will help guide you through the process of choosing a roof that is right for your home and your budget.

How Long Should A Roof Last? The Average Lifespan Of A Shingle Roof

How Long Should A Roof Last The Average Lifespan Of A Shingle Roof

It is the proverbial question that every homeowner or business owner asks and wants an answer to when it comes to installing or replacing a new roof. How long should a roof last is the question, and the answer does not have to be confusing if it is explained in terms of materials used, the climate concerns of an area, ongoing maintenance, original installation standards and warranty and guarantee coverage.

Materials Used

The lifespan of a shingled roof or other type of roof really hinges on the materials used. The various materials that are commonly used on roofs and the average time that they last include the following:

  • Asphalt Shingles that are 3-tab usually last from 15 to 18 years.
  • Architectural Asphalt Singles can last anywhere from 24 to 30 years.
  • Metal roofing material is enduring and can last from 30-45 years.
  • Concrete tile has longevity as well and can last from 35-50 years.
  • Modified Bitumen or Built-Up Roof Membranes (BUR) refer to tar and gravel roofs that are made up of layers of bitumen and reinforcing materials that help create a finished membrane. This type of roof can last anywhere from 10-16 years.
  • EPDM (synthetic rubber membrane) is a durable oil and natural gas derivative of ethylene and propylene utilized in low-slope roof construction. It can last anywhere from 10-16 years.

Common and Other Types of Roof Coverings

Asphalt shingles are the most common of roof coverings and have been in existence for over 90 years, so they have endured the test of time. Most homes that are built today incorporate asphalt shingles for new and holder homes, and they have become the usual option of most homeowners. Depending on the asphalt shingle manufacturer, shingles can last anywhere from 20-40 years.

More organic type shingles consist of a composition of a considerable amount of asphalt (40%) as opposed to standard fiberglass shingles. The increased amount of asphalt saturation and the overall composition of the shingles gives them considerably more weight, stability, durability and wind and water resistance.

In comparison to organic shingles, glass fiber or fiberglass shingles are comprised of a fiber mat of reinforced glass that is configured in a shingle’s shape. The mat is coated with a asphalt filler that sticks to the mat, which enables waterproofing. A final coating of adhesive and ceramic granules covers and seals the mat. The granules actually protect the shingles form UV rays that can age and damage shingles.

There is a cost factor with organic shingles, so fiberglass or glass fiber shingles usually win out over their counterpart. They are less expensive to manufacture and are cost effective for both homeowners and roofing contractors.

Climate/Temperature Variations

The climate of a region can definitely affect the longevity of asphalt shingles and that factor also depends on temperature variations, proper installation and the location of the installation. With the average life of shingles being around 20 years, shingles that have been installed in cooler regions, like the North or Northeast, are going to last from 19-20 years; whereas, in the extreme climate environments of the West or Southwest, the lifespan of asphalt shingles is going to be about 14 years.

Temperature variations also influence a shingle’s life. When up and down temperature extremes occur, shingles are unable to expand and contract as they should, which usually results in cracks, splits and water damage.

Other Factors that Affect a Roof’s Longevity

Water damage can occur through the accumulation of water in cracks and slits on a roof, which can precipitate fungal and algae growth. These problems usually arise during colder parts of the year as the expansion of water in cracks and splits on roofs can bring on further shingle damage. Even more damage can arise in colder months because of inadequate attic ventilation. The appropriate amount of ventilation will further the life of shingles and other roof parts.

Here’s a list of conditions that affect roof longevity:

  • Color of roof – A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan
  • Angle of roof slope – Higher pitch roofs tend to last longer.
  • Orientation of roof surface – A roof slope facing south will get more sunlight, and have a shorter life.
  • Multiple-layer roof – A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
  • Quality of roof material – “Economy” roof materials have a shorter life.
  • Installation – Sloppy or improper installation shortens roof life.
  • Attic ventilation – An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Trees near roof – Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof shortens its life.
  • Harsh climate – Severe weather, both harsh winters and hot summers, along with big temperature swings within a 24-hour period, also shorten lifespan because of the expansion and contraction of roof materials.

Additional Factors that Relate to Longevity

Something as simple as a roof’s color and the color of shingles can jeopardize a roof’s lifespan. Dark roofs absorb heat and lighter shingles can repel heat. A roof’s angle, slope and directional orientation can affect a roof’s life as well. Roofs that are higher pitched endure while those with a southern exposure will retain heat and have a shorter lifespan. More than one layer of roof over another will also compromise the life of a roof. More importantly, the quality of roofing material assuredly affects a roof’s life as does the proper installation of roofing materials. An improper or careless installation can shorten the life of a roof.

Ventilation and Barriers

Another factor that goes along with a roof’s longevity that was previously mentioned is an attic’s ventilation as well as actual physical barriers around the roof of a house, like trees and debris accumulation in gutters and openings in cracks of a roof. Skylights, chimneys, vents and any other structures on a roof can also play havoc with a roof’s function and hinder the life of a roof.


Maintenance and playing watchdog with a roof are two important elements that can prolong the life of a roof. Taking care of roofing issues, like curling and deteriorating shingles as soon as they are identified, and following through with roof maintenance on a regular basis are two factors that keep a roof in stable condition


Warranties are another important aspect concerning a roof’s longevity. If there are material defects or manufacturing flaws, it is relevant that a warranty be carefully scrutinized for coverage as well as proper installation requirements and other essentials before making any commitments. Warranties through shingle manufacturers go from 20 to 40 years and longer.

Even with all the available information concerning the lifespan of a roof, there still may be questions and inquiries as to how to prolong the life of shingles or other parts of a roof. The professionals at TriCounty Exteriors are more than willing and able to answer any questions about extending the life of your roof. Just complete the online form and a roofing expert will get back to you with the answers you need to keep your roof in shape and add to its longevity.