With warmer weather comes the start of many home improvement projects, including roof repairs and replacement. Aside from it being difficult to work on a roof that is covered in snow and ice, roofs tend to be replaced in warmer months because heat is necessary for shingles to seal. But, how much heat is really needed, and how long does it take for your newly installed shingles to seal?
Sealants on shingles are not of the “peel-and-stick” variety. When shingles are installed, they require a period of sufficient RADIANT heat for activation of the sealant. As we discussed in our blog “Is It Okay to Roof in Cold Temperatures?” radiant heat – and not air temperature – is the key to shingle sealant activation. Radiant heat refers to the heat that “radiates” from a warm object (e.g., the sun) to people or objects (e.g., your roof). Even on cool days, the sun can warm surfaces such as your skin and your roof. If it is 30 degrees and sunny, your roof can be over 100 degrees, allowing your shingles to seal even if installed when it is cooler out. However, the length of time it takes for this activation to occur is difficult to estimate. This is because sealant activation depends on a number of factors, including where your home is located (e.g., under a bunch of shady trees or in full sun), the direction your roof slopes are facing (in the northern hemisphere, the south facing slopes will receive the most sun, and thus, the most radiant heat), the slope of your roof, and the climate you live in.
The good news is that your shingles will seal, even if you feel like all the odds are stacked against them! Many shingle manufacturers have added substances that enhance the sealants “tackiness” and hardiness, making them seal more quickly, in more adverse conditions. If your shingles were installed correctly and you have chosen a reputable contractor who will stand behind their work with a workmanship warranty, you can trust that your shingles will seal in due time!