Working in the winter has its own unique set of challenges.
Here are three tips for extending the working season through the winter months:
1. Practice Safe Winter Jobsite Prep
Inches of snow blanketing a roof is a common impediment to getting started on a winter roof job. The safest way to remove snow from the roof is with a roof rake, which allows your crew to handle the situation before accessing the roof. It's not a bad idea to have roof rakes on hand in the winter months!
Ice-covered sidewalks and roofs can create hazardous working conditions. While rock salt can help melt ice, it performs poorly at very low temperatures (becoming much less effective at 20 degrees and below). Consider using calcium chloride, which is far more effective down to sub-zero temps, and also more environmentally friendly for your customers' landscaping. Furthermore, calcium chloride is available in a flake composition, which is less of a slip hazard than pellet formulations or rock salt.
2. Use Shingles that Install Better in Winter
Shingles can stick together, become brittle and generally be difficult to work with below freezing. Consider focusing on selling SBS-modified shingles in the winter months. Shingles made with SBS have rubber-like characteristics that provide enhanced granule retention for longer life. A byproduct of that composition is superior cold weather handling - remaining flexible to temperatures as low as zero degrees! Homeowners will appreciate the peace of mind that comes with a longer-lasting shingle that retains its granules, while your crew will appreciate a shingle that is far easier to install in the winter.
3. Expand your Portfolio with Winter Maintenance Products
Consider adding roof maintenance products to your offering. Electric gutter cable can help eliminate ice dams, which can be a big source of stress for homeowners. This can be a great value-add for new roof sales, as well as an offering you can promote to previous customers to drum up more winter business.
Leaky roofs provide another opportunity when property owners need an emergency repair. There are many roof cements available, that work in wet or dry situations, which you can use to provide an effective emergency patch. You can then follow up in the spring to perform a thorough inspection, which could lead to a repair or potential replacement.
Wimsatt Works Winter With You.
Some building material distributors reduce their hours in the winter. But when you have work, you need your materials right away. Whether we’re in the heart of the season or the dead of winter, that doesn’t change. So why should our hours? The sun could be shining or the snow could be flying, but you can count on Wimsatt year-round to provide the same level of reliable service Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm, and Saturday, 7am-12pm. If you're working, we'll be here for you! And Wimsatt stocks the winter prep items you need to stay productive in the cold and snow, from calcium chloride and roof rakes to emergency roof repair cement and insulated gloves.
About Dave Karras
Dave Karras is the Marketing Manager at Wimsatt Building Materials.
March 03, 2019