Anyone working in the construction industry knows that buildings can show structural issues at any time of year. However, many of these problems are caused or exacerbated by winter weather. Roofs in particular take a battering during the season as temperatures plummet and strong winds and rain are frequent occurrences.
Common winter roof problems
The most common roof problems that come to light during the winter months are usually related to damp. Unsealed or damaged flashing allows water to work its way into ceilings and walls. Re-freezes can cause ice dams which prevent water running off the roof, causing leaks. Icicles can damage guttering and contribute to the rotting of materials around the roof edge which is more vulnerable to harm from wet weather. In addition, tiles slipping or falling off the roof is typical following aggressive winds. You should be prepared for all of these eventualities between December and March.
Challenges of winter roofing jobs
While it is relatively easy to predict the issues that you will face during winter, it is not as simple to get the jobs done. Although roofing is a year-round job, there are several things working against industry professionals during the UK’s harshest season.
Adverse weather conditions
Not only will the adverse weather conditions of winter cause damage to roofs, but they will also make it more difficult for roofers to make the necessary repairs. In particular, take care with jobs scheduled for cold snaps – snow and ice can make roofs slippery and too dangerous to work on. If you do suffer an injury as a result of working in an unsafe environment, personal injury lawyers are available to help, but it is better to be safe than sorry and reschedule the job for a different day.
Lack of light
As well as the low temperatures and windy wet weather, winter also means shorter days and a lack of natural light. This means that you have less time to complete each job compared to when you are working during the spring and summer months.
As most roofing problems present themselves during winter, it is likely that this season will see you getting increased demand for your services. On top of the limited time to complete jobs and interruptions to your schedule due to severe weather, this is likely to create a backlog of requests.
How to prepare for roofing this winter
Although it seems like everything is working against those in roofing during the winter season, with the right preparation you will find it to be a manageable challenge. Warn clients of potential delays due to adverse weather and try to reschedule as soon as possible if a job is missed to ensure minimal client complaints. Kit out your team in the correct PPE and ensure that you are following all essential guidelines when it comes to preserving their health and safety.
Finally, prioritise urgent jobs and keep space for emergency call-outs but schedule whatever can wait for the spring and summer. It is important not to overwork yourself and your team so that you can continue to deliver a high standard of service to your customer base. After all, shoddy work will only lead to having to do more repairs, which will make your schedule more unmanageable. Once again, make sure that clients with non-urgent issues understand that their roof will be safe and secure through the winter and stress that the job will be prioritised as soon as possible when the spring arrives.