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Roofing in the Rain: Is it as Bad of an Idea as it Sounds?

April 6th, 2021 BY First American Roofing

When it comes to executing a roof repair or roof replacement, immense planning has gone into making sure all of the materials and tools are ready to go, plus timelines and a detailed plan of how this project will get done. But one thing that cannot be planned, no matter how hard you try, is the weather. Rain, in particular, can make roofing jobs very hazardous, among other issues that keep contractors from getting the work done. Although technically you could probably roof in the rain, it doesn’t come without a unique set of challenges that you may want to avoid.

Is it Safe to Roof in the Rain?

Installing a roof when it’s not raining and conditions are dry is one of the riskiest jobs out there, so you can only imagine that adding slick surfaces and unideal weather can make it even more hazardous. Rain can also bring with it lightning and strong winds which can complicate the entire job by blowing off tarps or roofing materials. That falling debris can then make its way down off the roof and create a falling hazard for any contractors down below. No matter what, the slick conditions drastically increase the risk of injury for the roofers and damage to the property. We highly warn against it. This goes for both roof repairs, new installs, replacements, and even roofing inspections.

roof lightening

How Does Rain Affect Roofing Materials?

In addition to the hazardous conditions caused for the roofing installer, rain can also severely impact the roofing materials and how they are installed. In fact, the rain can make it nearly impossible for shingles to be properly installed. Both rain and high humidity can create enough moisture to prevent shingles from adhering properly to your roof. Plus, any moisture or water that gets trapped underneath these newly installed shingles can cause the wood underneath to rot and grow mold. This is just starting on the wrong foot altogether and could be completely avoided.

If your roofing job was set to begin on a date where it’s supposed to rain, it’s best to mitigate any damage before waiting for it to rain. By tarping the roof if the shingles have already been removed and tightly securing it on the edges, you can protect the wood and roof decking from harmful water damage, and it will be ready and dry when the weather clears up.

As far as commercial roofing goes, particularly those installing roof tar on flat roofs, some rain might be ok. Like rubberized roofing tar, some types of this material are actually designed to withstand the rain and should be just fine and dry well even if it’s installed during the rain. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, will not adhere to any wet surface, and the slick wood underlay may affect how evenly the shingles are installed. If you want the roof done right, avoid installing in the rain at all costs.

roofing in the rain

What to do if it Rains While Roofing?

Preventing and avoiding roofing in the rain can be relatively easy by watching the weather and just taking those precautions early before it can happen. But what happens if it starts to rain mid-roofing job? If a light rain with just a few drops and low wind won’t generally cause enough issue to have to halt the process. But if a heavy downpour occurs, contractors must quickly tarp the roof and all materials as soon as possible. Even if the rain passes in a few minutes, that bit of water can create enough damage to have caused irreparable damage.

The risk of continuing work as it rains is both damage to the property and especially risk of injury to any contractors working. Contractors should always be prepared in the event that rain or a storm comes during a job. They should have plenty of tarps handy to cover the square footage of the homeowner’s roof, or at least the section they are working on. They should also make sure they have the safety procedures down to quickly and carefully descend during any severe weather. And if they have metal ladders, and lightning is happening, they should leave those alone and not risk further injury. Just quickly and swiftly cover the roof (if it is safe to do so) and get down and to cover to wait out the storm.

Will Warranties Cover Damage During Installation?

Warranties are going to cover the materials after installation and how well they hold up over time. But they are more than likely not going to cover any damage done prior to or during installation due to things like rain or other problems. So attempting to install any roofing material under warranty will likely void that warranty and any protective coverage to replace damaged shingles. And even if the roof includes a workmanship warranty, this may also be void if water damage occurred during the installation. However, if n negligence from the roofers is what caused the damage during installation and impacted the workmanship, there may be a loophole to get it covered. Check with local contractors to check those limitations.

Proper installation is key to ensuring a roof lasts for its intended lifespan. Even the smallest bit of water damage can completely ruin a newly installed roof by damaging a home’s interior as well as degrading the integrity of new materials. It is absolutely critical to wait until the weather is clear to do any roof work.

The exception is in cases where emergency repair must be done to patch any leaks or collapses. This work must be done quickly and although water damage is likely, the quick repair helps prevent even further damage to a home’s interior. In the event of storm damage or other inclement weather, First American Roofing can jump to a homeowners aid and include tarping and protecting the existing roof while repairing or replacing a brand new one. You can count on our services to get your home back in tip-top shape.

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