When It Rains, It Pours

Perhaps you left that roofing project to the last possible second. Now that all of the paperwork has been filed, the services have been paid for, and the equipment has been brought over, the weather decided to rain on everyone’s parade and, well, rain. Standing inside of your house, you may not initially understand why construction has stopped. After all, if it’s raining, and your roof is only partially finished, then you may be concerned about the water potentially leaking into your attic.

Considering the damage water can do to your home, this is a legitimate concern. However, there are reasons why roofers are unable to continue construction during the rain. This post will go over what occurs when it rains on an incomplete roof.

Slippery Slope

One of the initial reasons that roofers will refuse to work on a roof during the rain is because the wet exterior of the shingles actually makes them quite slippery. Since many roofers have contractors insurance and compensation demands that they will have to pay if their workers are injured, then they simply don’t allow their roofers to work on the roof in inclement weather. The shingles can become slippery and actually brittle if not fastened well due to the rain. As a result, a worker can easily slip and fall and potentially harm himself, others, and your roof.

So, to ensure that this amount of damage isn’t caused, roofing is avoided altogether during the rain. While some companies may let their workers work in the rain, especially during an emergency, by and large, you can probably expect to sit and wait until the rain has passed before any further construction can occur.

Access To The Attic

Perhaps the scariest consequence that can occur when it rains on a partially shingled roof is the access to the attic. Because there are spaces between the incomplete roofing project, these gaps allow water to enter your home. This water can get into the wooden beams that make up structural elements of your house. As a result, they can begin to rot away. Given enough time and moisture, these structural elements can crumble, and you may find certain parts of your home starting to collapse.

Moisture in the wood and other parts of your home can also act as a homing beacon for mold, mildew, and pests. Mold and mildew can easily spread as the moisture expands. This can eat away at the wood and other structural components, and like before, it could crumble away and collapse parts of your home. In regards to pests, there are insects that enjoy wood–let alone wet wood–and can make themselves right at home. They can spread from wood structure to wood structure until your entire home is filled with them. You may find that your house is too damaged by the mold and pests to be saved.

Shingle Deterioration

For shingles that are not properly installed due to a sudden change in the weather, the rain can actually help to destroy them. There are other components of roofing such as barriers, OSB boards, felt, and the like that can also be damaged by the rain. They’re not made to be water-proofed, and so as rain touches them, they become spoiled and warped. Roofers will have to replace them–if they notice the damaged components at all, that is.

It might also just make the materials start to warp or bubble. Because this allows further moisture to enter into your home, most roofers will have to redo those portions of the roof that have begun to warp. This likely means you’re going to be paying a bit more on materials since the initial ones were damaged. While warranty may protect you, if you asked the workers to work in the rain and they do, it’s likely because insurance has decided to waive your warranty. This means it won’t cover for additional expenses. Since roofing is already a relatively expensive project, you don’t want to have to pay more just because you wanted the job done faster.

The warping or bubbling shingles also just looks ugly. If you intend to sell your home one day, and you don’t want to do a roofing project before then, it is crucial that your roof looks the best that it can. Bubbling or warping roofs is not going to sell your home. Potential buyers are going to look at the warping and see a pricey repair. Considering that they have their own wallet to worry about, they’ll probably just drive right on by to another home that doesn’t have warping or bubbling roof shingles.

Adhesive Issues

Another issue that arises when it rains on a partially shingled roof is the adhesive. If the project was started, and it suddenly starts raining, that means the main layer of the roof is now wet. In turn, when the roofers attempt to stick or attach shingles to that layer, the adhesive isn’t going to work because shingles don’t like to adhere to wet or slippery materials. Eventually, your shingles are going to slide right off and leave the area even more exposed to the elements. This can allow water to trickle in, and as mentioned before, that can play havoc on your house’s foundation.

Too often, the shingles that are attempted to be placed down end up warping themselves because they’re unable to stick to the layer beneath it. Again, you’ll be left with those unattractive bubbles and either have to have them, or your entire roof replaced later on. Either way, you’re going to end up paying even more to have the roof put on how it should’ve been in the first place.


Because of how damaging rainwater can be on shingles and the materials beneath them, it’s best to either wait for better weather, or have a protective tarp in place until the rain finally stops.

For any questions on how to fix your damaged roof, give us a call: (503) 854-7200 and ask one of our in house roofing professionals how to properly address any issue you may have.

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