Can My Roof Still be Worked on When it’s Raining?

Updated: July 17, 2020, for the COVID-19 Pandemic in Marin.

During these hot, sunny days, you may not be worried about whether your roof can be worked on when it is raining. If you live in Marin, Sonoma or Napa, you may want to think again. The devasting fires of the last few years and the ensuing rebuilding efforts are keeping contractors of all stripes very busy. That includes roofing contractors. This year’s fire season may make things even worse, as wildfires are currently burning throughout the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also exacerbating already strained construction crew schedules and availability. It is also complicating efforts to bring more individuals into the trades through formal apprenticeships. The skilled labor shortage has been noted for years, with no solid solutions in sight. All this to say, you may well discover you can’t get on a roofing company’s calendar until after the rains begin this winter.

So, back to the question of whether your roof can be worked on when it is raining? You might be surprised to find that the answer is yes. A roof repair or even replacement can be done when it is raining. The exception would be a flat roofed structure.

Safety is always a primary consideration for roofers and roofing in the rain requires caution. But it probably wouldn’t come as any surprise to know that roofers find working in cooler temperatures a perk. Summer sun and high heat make working in a little rain a viable option. For you as a homeowner, the contents of your home are a priority.

How Do Roofers Work in the Rain?

Working in the rain requires a measured approach. In fact, rain can give a roofer a chance to see if the water is draining effectively or pooling in sections that could point to a problem. If large areas of the roof are being repaired, the areas that still need repair can be tarped.

That works, whether they are repairing a contained area of your roof or doing a complete tear off for a roof replacement. Either way, the work can be done in sections targeting the damaged sections of the roof, one area at a time.

Tearing off a roof in sections allows for those individual sections to be re-shingled before moving on to the next area. If a project is started on a sunny day, when rain is predicted the next, working one section at a time allows for the roof to remain intact, essentially throughout the project. When that predicted rain turns into an unexpected high wind and thunderstorm, your roof remains secure. In turn, the contents of home are also secure.

Predicting what measure of rainfall we’ll receive in the Bay Area seems more impossible every year. Parts of Northern California are in a moderate drought. Yet, that could change on a dime, if we get heavy rains this fall and winter. If you are worried about possible leaks, or your roof hasn’t been inspected in years, you can call for an inspection as the first step. As we mentioned in an earlier post, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), recommends that a roof be inspected twice each year.

Since even the weather experts have trouble predicting rain, we recommend flexibility when you are considering a roof replacement. A little rain won’t stop the process, but a rain or windstorm can cause delays.

We know many homeowners are concerned about staying safe during this time of shelter-in-place, with restrictions on who is open for business and who is not. Guidelines for construction crews are updated on a regular basis. Booth & Little staff stay informed, as indicated by our post earlier this year. Marin Builder’s Exchange is another good resource guiding the construction industry during COVID-19.

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If you have concerns and want answers, contact us for a no-obligation, free estimate.

Booth & Little Roofing is the second oldest roofing company in Marin, established in 1923. Many of our staff have been with us for 20 years or more. When one of our team provides an inspection, you can trust you’ll be talking with a roofer and not a salesperson.