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

Updated June 2022

Now that we are entering into a time of 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, Napa, or anywhere in California, you may want to think again. The devasting fires have started again and the supply chain delays for construction materials to rebuild homes are keeping contractors of all stripes very busy. That includes roofing contractors who employ experienced roofers to tackle your roofing installation.

Whether you will need asphalt shingles, clay tiles, or metal roofing materials, they may be in short supply for some time. The prices, according to SRS Distribution will be going up for a variety of roofing products, including lumber, “… we are announcing a 10 – 15% increase for asphalt shingles and residential roofing accessories effective on or after April 11th, 2022.”

The continuing concern about the new COVID-19 strains are also exacerbating already overburdened construction crew schedules and availability. That includes roofing professionals. 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 fall and winter.

So, back to the question of whether a roofing job can be done when it is raining. You might be surprised to find that the answer is yes. A roof repair or even roof replacement can be done in the rainy season. The exception would be a flat roofed structure. The risk of water damage is greater in situations with a flat roof.  The roofing installer needs to be familiar with the special conditions that exist with the flat roof residential installation process.

How To Prevent Damage During Roof Replacement or Repair?

Safety is always a primary consideration for roofers, and roofing in the rainy season requires caution. There is no reason to put a crew at risk in a dangerous situation. In the event of storm damage, emergency situations may arise when you need a professional roofer to help you with temporary emergency repairs to properly tarp the area to prevent potential water damage. The effects of water damage can lead to mold. That thought may drive a homeowner, during this difficult time, to get on a ladder and climb up on the roof alone. That is not a good idea, especially in hazardous conditions without the correct safety procedures. Sadly, it can also be a difficult time to find quality roofers to address the problem, without a previous connection to a local roofing company, since calls during storms are common.

No one likes to work during inclement weather, but emergency roofing repairs are not unfamiliar to quality roofers. It probably wouldn’t come as any surprise to know that roofers find working in cooler temperatures a perk. The most favorable roofing weather is in the Spring and Fall when the weather is temperate with less chance of rain or a wet surface from fog which can cause slippery conditions. That is when you want roofing specialists on the job for proper installation. Summer sun and high heat make working with the chance of a little rain a viable option. Roofers have access to variety of durable tarps  that are water repellent to protect your roof. For you as a homeowner, protecting the contents of your home is your primary consideration.

roof damage and rain

How Do Roofers Work in the Rain?

Working during the rainy season requires a measured approach. In fact, rain can give a roofer a chance to see if the water is draining effectively or pooling in a section of shingles that could point to a leak or mold. If large areas of the roof are being repaired, the areas that still need repair can be protected by a water repellent tarp to prevent harmful water damage.

That works, whether they are repairing a contained area of your roof or doing a complete tear off for an entire roof replacement. Either way, the work can be done in sections targeting the damaged sections of the roof, one area at a time. So don’t let the rain clouds scare you. Wet conditions simply slow things down.

Tearing off a roof in sections allows for those individual sections to be shingled, tiled or covered with new metal roofing material before moving on to the next area. If a project is started on a sunny day, when rain is predicted for the next day, working one section at a time allows for the roof to remain intact, essentially throughout the project. When the forecast says rain, but it turns into unexpected high winds and thunderstorms, your roof remains secure, while your roofing company waits for the storms to pass, diminishing the risk of injuries. In turn, the contents of your home remain secure.

Naturally, a light rain is preferred to a series of heavy rains for roof repair or roof installations to progress according to plan. Humidity and damp can impact the roof sealant used, so less humidity is desired. A quality roofing contractor and the client must always leave open the option of project delays through work stoppages when the weather forecast is for wet weather or high winds. An experienced roofing firm will advise homeowners about the inconvenience rain can cause.

Predicting what measure of rainfall we’ll receive in the Bay Area, seems more impossible every year. California is in its third year of severe drought.  Yet, that could change, 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, or repairs, if your roof has damaged shingles such as asphalt shingles that are cracked and worn. Roofing conditions determine whether you can get away with a repair, or if a complete roof installation is needed. If the rain hits when your roof is unfinished, protecting it with a blue tarp may feel unsightly, but it will help to protect from rain damage. Either way, a little rain won’t stop the entire process, but heavy rains or a windstorm can cause potential delays.

Unfortunately, dishonest roofing contractors crop up during times like this, when qualified roofers are in short supply, along with a short supply of building materials. When you are vetting residential roofing services, be sure to ask any questions you have about roofing replacements or repairs, your locale’s building codes, product warranty, workmanship warranty and whether the contractor has proper insurance, including Worker’s Comp.  Be sure to ask if their workers are employees or subcontractors. Subcontractors may not be covered, so, if an injury occurs and the subcontractors are not self-insured, you as the homeowner could be considered liable for the injury.

We know many homeowners are also concerned about staying safe during this unpredictable time of COVID variants with confusion around whether to mask or not to mask. Guidelines for construction crews are updated on a regular basis. Booth & Little staff stay informed, as indicated by our post earlier in the pandemic. Marin Builder’s Exchange is another good resource guiding the construction industry during COVID-19.

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.