Embracing cold climates: the strength of asphalt shingles in winter conditions

January 3, 2024 by

As we navigate the diverse world of roofing materials suitable for various climates, it’s particularly relevant to begin by addressing the challenges faced in one of the most common climates across the United States: cold and often harsh winter conditions. Winter introduces a distinct array of challenges for roofing materials, encompassing issues from brittle shingles due to below-freezing temperatures to heavy snowfall, ice dams, and cracking shingles. The phenomenon of “cold curl,” where shingles may curl up at the edges in extreme cold, further complicates the situation, emphasizing the need for a roofing solution adept at handling these diverse winter conditions.

Previously, we provided a broad overview of climate considerations for asphalt or composite shingles. Now, we’re homing in on the specific advantages and challenges of using asphalt roof shingles in cold climates. These conditions demand a roofing solution that excels not only in durability but also in insulation and moisture resistance. Surprisingly, asphalt roof shingles emerge as a robust option in such environments, offering reliability across the diverse landscapes of the U.S.

In this post, we’ll explore the inherent qualities of asphalt roof shingles that make them particularly effective in cold weather. We’ll discuss their exceptional insulation properties, crucial for states like Illinois and Pennsylvania, where keeping warm is a top priority. We’ll also delve into how they aid in snow and ice management, a significant concern in regions like Michigan and Ohio. Furthermore, we’ll examine their ability to withstand the rigors of freeze-thaw cycles, a common occurrence in places like Indiana and Connecticut.

An important aspect that cannot be overlooked is the need for proper installation and maintenance, vital for maximizing the performance and life span of shingles in very cold weather. This is where professional expertise, such as that provided by Gunner Roofing, becomes invaluable.

Join us as we uncover why asphalt shingles are a top choice for homeowners in cold regions of the United States. Whether facing a blizzard in Maine or preparing for a frosty winter in Nebraska, this post will offer valuable insights into the suitability of asphalt for your winter roofing needs, combining practicality, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

Expert-grade insulation

At Gunner, our priority is to ensure that homes across America remain warm and inviting, even during the most severe winter months. We’ve honed our expertise in selecting and installing GAF asphalt roofing shingles, widely recognized for their superior insulation properties. These shingles are specifically engineered to retain heat, a crucial feature in areas where temperatures can plummet drastically.

The secret behind the high-insulation capacity of asphalt roofing shingles lies in their construction. They consist of a dense, waterproof layer topped with ceramic-coated granules. This structure not only provides a barrier against the cold but also reduces heat loss from your home. The result is a noticeably warmer living space that maintains a consistent temperature, key for comfort during chilly winters.

Moreover, this enhanced insulation extends beyond just comfort. It translates into tangible energy savings. With the GAF asphalt system from Gunner, homeowners can expect a reduction in their heating costs. This efficiency is due to the shingles’ ability to minimize the amount of heat that escapes, reducing the workload on your heating system. Consequently, you’ll notice a decrease in your energy bills throughout the winter months, a benefit that resonates with cost-conscious homeowners.

Furthermore, our team ensures that these shingles are expertly installed with proper ventilation and underlayment. This installation process is crucial, particularly in northern states where roofing must contend with snow and ice. Proper installation maximizes the insulative properties of the shingles, ensuring that your home is not only warm but also protected from the potential damage of ice dams and moisture accumulation.

Polar wrap insulation being applied to home

Mastering snow and ice management

In the winter months, the management of snow and ice becomes of paramount concern for homeowners, particularly in states where heavy snowfall is a regular occurrence. Asphalt shingles, with their distinct granular texture, offer an effective solution to this seasonal challenge. At Gunner, we recognize the importance of this aspect and have tailored our services to address it efficiently.

The effectiveness of asphalt shingles in snow and ice management lies in their design. The granules on the surface of these shingles not only provide aesthetic appeal but also play a functional role. They create a rough texture that helps to prevent snow and ice from sliding off the roof in dangerous sheets, which can be a hazard during the thawing period. This is especially crucial in regions like Pennsylvania and Ohio, where the freeze-thaw cycle is frequent, leading to potential ice dam formation.

Ice dams, a common issue in colder climates, occur when melted snow refreezes at the edge of the roof, creating a barrier that prevents further meltwater from draining. This can lead to water seeping under the shingles, causing leaks and significant damage to the structure of the home. Our expertise at Gunner comes into play here. We ensure that the asphalt shingles are installed with optimal techniques that enhance their inherent ice dam prevention capabilities. This includes proper attic insulation and ventilation, which are key factors in mitigating the risk of ice dams.

Ice and water barriers play a pivotal role in safeguarding roofs against the detrimental effects of freezing temperatures and snow accumulation. These barriers serve as essential protective measures, effectively preventing the intrusion of ice and water into critical areas of the roof structure. When winter weather threatens to create potentially damaging conditions, these barriers act as a robust defense, inhibiting the formation of ice dams and the seepage of melting snow beneath the shingles. By establishing a barrier that wards off ice and water, these roofing techniques help preserve the integrity of asphalt shingles and the overall durability of the roof, ensuring long-lasting protection for homes and structures in cold climates.

Moreover, in areas with harsh winters, the weight of snow and ice on roofs is a concern. Asphalt shingles are designed to bear this weight without compromising the integrity of the roof. This durability, coupled with their ice-management properties, makes asphalt shingles an ideal choice for homeowners in these regions.

Tackling freeze-thaw challenges

In the challenging climates of regions where freeze-thaw cycles are a norm, the durability and resilience of roofing materials are put to the test. Asphalt shingles, recognized for their flexibility and robustness, are exceptionally suited for these fluctuating conditions. Unlike more rigid roofing materials that can crack and degrade under the stress of repeated freezing and thawing, asphalt shingles maintain their integrity, ensuring the long-term protection of your home.

The ability of asphalt roof shingles to adapt to temperature changes is crucial in areas like the upper Midwest and parts of the Northeast, where winters can be particularly unforgiving. In these regions, roofs regularly transition from being snow-covered to experiencing direct sunlight within short spans, causing materials to expand and contract rapidly. Asphalt shingles, with their inherent elasticity, can withstand this dynamic without sustaining damage, making them an ideal choice for homes in these areas.

Moreover, the value of choosing a quality roof goes beyond enduring a single winter season. In states where severe winters are a recurring challenge with continual ice storms, strong winds, or blizzards, it’s essential to have a roofing material that can withstand multiple freeze-thaw cycles over several years. Asphalt shingles excel in this aspect, preserving their protective properties throughout various seasons.

At Gunner, we emphasize the importance of proper installation to enhance the benefits of asphalt shingles in freeze-thaw conditions. A meticulously installed roof ensures that each shingle remains secure and functional, allowing for the necessary movement during temperature fluctuations without becoming loose or compromised. This meticulous installation approach extends the life span and efficacy of the roof, offering homeowners a dependable and long-lasting solution.

In essence, the adaptability and durability of asphalt shingles make them a wise choice for homes in regions experiencing harsh freeze-thaw cycles.

side view of red house covered in snow

The Gunner promise: quality installation and maintenance

At Gunner Roofing, our commitment to excellence as roofing contractors goes beyond providing high-quality materials. We understand that the true efficacy of asphalt roofing materials in cold climates hinges on expert installation and comprehensive maintenance. Our team of seasoned roofing professionals is equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure that each installation meets the highest standards, tailored to confront the harsh realities of winter weather.

Meticulous installation practices
The installation process of asphalt roof shingles is a critical factor in determining their longevity and effectiveness, especially in cold climates where weather conditions can be particularly unforgiving and can make work extremely hazardous. Our technicians at Gunner are trained to address the nuances of installing asphalt shingles in these environments. This includes the strategic placement of shingles to allow for proper water runoff, ensuring that each shingle is securely fastened to the roof deck to withstand heavy snow, and installing adequate insulation and ventilation systems to prevent ice dam formation and to maintain energy-efficiency. We’re cognizant that cold temperatures can make shingles more brittle, increasing the risk of breakage underfoot. To mitigate this, we utilize special roofing equipment and techniques, such as employing a caulking gun for precise application of roofing cement and using nail guns to securely fasten shingles, even in below-freezing temperatures. This meticulous approach ensures that shingles lay flat and are installed successfully, providing a seamless and durable roof surface.

Our approach to installation is not just about placing shingles on a roof; it’s about crafting a comprehensive roofing system that stands up to the rigors of cold weather while enhancing the overall structural integrity of your home.

House wrap and foam insulation being installed on home

Dedicated maintenance services
Beyond installation, regular maintenance is crucial in extending the life and preserving the performance of your asphalt shingle roof. Gunner places a strong emphasis on proactive maintenance measures. Our services include routine inspections to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Activities such as gutter cleaning, removing debris from the roof, and checking for signs of brittle shingles or wear and tear are integral parts of our maintenance regimen.

Regular maintenance not only ensures the optimal performance of your roof but also helps in identifying areas that may require repairs, thereby preventing costly damage down the line. In cold climates, where roofs are subjected to extreme conditions, this kind of attention to detail is essential for maintaining the longevity of your roofing system.

Why choose Gunner?

Opting for Gunner Roofing means you’re selecting a partner who excels in the complexities of roof installation and maintenance in cold climates, taking into account extra considerations vital for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your roofing solution. Our dedication to providing a quality roof is matched by our wealth of experience in handling asphalt shingles, a preferred roofing material known for its durability and insulation properties in colder weather. We ensure that your home transcends being just a structure; it becomes a sanctuary of warmth, security, and energy-efficiency during the challenging winter months.

Gunner’s solutions are not just robust and reliable; they are also cost-effective. We understand the importance of having a quality roof material that can withstand the rigors of winter without compromising on energy-efficiency. Our installation and maintenance practices are designed to ensure that your home stays well-insulated, reducing the need for excessive heating and thereby lowering energy costs.

Trust Gunner for all your roof replacement needs in cold climates. As professional roofers, our expertise in installing and maintaining shingles in cold weather guarantees a home that remains protected, efficient, and comfortable, regardless of winter’s severity. Choose Gunner Roofing, where we blend quality, durability, and customer satisfaction to deliver roofing solutions that you can depend on season after season.