In a city like Vancouver, you’ve simply got to face the fact that rain happens. It’s a part of life, and a big part at that. In 2017, there were 154 days of rain and in 2016 the number of rainy days was a whopping 186. That’s pretty much half the year! As roofers, the rain is something we’ve had to learn to deal with. Of course, roofing in the rain is certainly not ideal, but roofers can’t take half the year off. (Although, wouldn’t that be nice?) For those of you thinking ahead to schedule roofing services or others that need emergency repairs, you might be wondering: What happens if it rains during roof repairs?
It’s a question we get asked a lot. And the answer varies, depending on a few factors.
We do closely watch the weather report and try to plan around it. Our busiest time of year is in the summer, and that’s when we schedule the largest jobs that need the longest stretches of dry weather.
On the other hand, many emergency situations happen because of the rain— stormy weather knocks a tree onto a roof, or a leak gets noticed because it’s been raining for a week.
So what happens when the weather changes quickly or there is an emergency repair needed?
Here are some scenarios and how we handle them in Vancouver’s rainy climate.
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To replace a flat roof, we must tear off the old one before putting on the new one. Occasionally we will scrape down the old roof and apply a new layer of asphalt primer—depending on the condition of what we’re working with. Next we add the new membrane on top, and use roofing sealant around edges like chimneys, vents, skylights and fans.
As you can imagine, when we tear off the old roof, we need dry weather. If the weather looks questionable in any way whatsoever, we’ll reschedule or work section by section so that if clouds do suddenly roll in, we won’t be in too much trouble.
For shingled roofs that need repairs or replacing, we first tear off the old shingles and underlay. We try to remove them all in a day, or if it’s a large job, we approach it in sections.
Then we usually install a waterproof synthetic underlay, which is great for keeping out any surprise showers. After that, we nail down the shingles and, if we do our job properly (which we always do!), the roof will be ready to face any and all weather conditions.
If a storm causes major damage like a fallen tree or torn shingles, call a roofer as soon as you can. There’s not much that can be done in middle of the storm but at least a professional can come and assess the damage as soon as possible.
During extreme weather or if there’s severe damage, the most important thing is to stay safe. It’s best to stay inside and wait out the storm, and take precautions when assessing damage (or wait for a professional to arrive).
If you need a roof replacement or repairs, even in the rain, don’t hesitate to call. We’re here to help, no matter the weather.