Can You Do Roofing in The Rain? Can You Roof Over Wet Plywood?

by | Nov 6, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

What are the three basic structures that make up a house? The walls, floor, and finally, the roof. Since the roof is a fundamental part of what forms your house’s structure, it needs special attention; therefore, you need to know that either you can do roofing on a rainy day or not?

You need to wait for the roof to dry and schedule roofing on a sunny day. You should not conduct roof installation over wet plywood or any other type of roof sheathing. Trapped water under the roof will boil when the roof heats up in the sun, which ends up in shingles having small pits in places where the steam finally escapes.

Without a roof, your property’s lifespan and foundation will greatly decrease. It would barely last only for a few weeks or months if you do not have adequate protection from rain, storm, and strong winds. These would gradually destroy the walls and other structures of your property.

Without a doubt, your roof serves to be the first line of defense that your house has against the different weather elements found in nature. Therefore, it’s best to maintain and ensure that your roof is constantly in good condition to battle against it.

Most house owners residing in the United States’ southern area enjoy the luxury of being able to make repairs and replace their roofs under favorable conditions because of the dry roofs and sunny weather. However, some parts of the United States don’t favor roofing because of the inconsistent weather conditions. There are many homes situated in areas with a cold climate with very high levels of rainfall and snow.

Some homeowners have to get new roofs because of destruction caused by natural disasters or just repairing the existing roofs. However, if you started the repair process of your roof and bad luck caught up with you with sudden showers, then what can you do?

roofing in the rain
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Consequences of Water Damage

The main issue when shingling a roof is the rainwater. As unshingled roofs are exposed to the environment, a lot of rainwater tends to seep into the roofing structure, making it weaker. If you encounter such a situation, it would be a good idea to leave the roof open and wait for the rain to run down if the building needs to be shingled soon.

Here are some things that you may have to tackle or face due to serious consequences due to rainwater damage.

Shingles Won’t Fasten Well

A very common finding that occurs due to rainwater is the growth of fungal and other organisms that weaken your roof’s integrity. Not just that, but it also interferes with the installation process. Shingles and other roofing materials don’t work well when made to function under higher humidity levels.

Various components that make up your roof’s inner surface are susceptible to the effects of water damage. If you expose the roof to higher amounts of humidity, the roof shingles could warp and bulge. Moreover, these shingles can slip off the roof as the fastening and adhesive materials are being applied during cold weather.

Your Warranty Becomes Invalid

While most companies that manufacture and supply roofing materials provide service warranties that guarantee the top quality of their products, it could potentially void the warranty if you install it in an improper manner.

You need to have a set of advised conditions for the roofing or shingle installation process to make sure you yield the needed results to minimize the damage or installation problems.

Dangerous Working Condition

Besides your shingles not holding together when you fasten it during the stormy season, they can also make your roof slippery, which creates a hazardous situation. This is especially dangerous for workers when you have ice sheets forming on the roof due to a stream of water during winter seasons. Experts recommend going for a consultation with your local contractor before making any final plans and decisions.


Can You Do Roofing in The Rain? infographic explaining all
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Can You Roof Over Wet Plywood?

As we explained earlier, that installing shingles over a wet roof will invalidate any warranty you might be given from the shingle manufacturer.

Professionals set roofs’ rafters 2 feet apart, whereas the plywood decking is placed with a minimum thickness of 7/16 inch. Some builders also choose to use a thinner sheet of plywood deck that is only 5/16 inch in thickness to cut down costs. The thinner plywood, the more prone it is to cupping in between the rafters.

Rainstorms can cause a significant amount of water damage to the roof decking. Roofs are supposed to be framed with rafters or trusses, and you must cover it with sheathing or decking. Decking should be performed in places before other roof materials can be applied to it.

The materials most commonly used for this are plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). Here are some reasons why your roof decking will possibly never sustain water damage.

  • Installing roof material over wet decking is against the roofing code in most areas (and rightly so!)
  • Shingles will not stick properly to the wet roof decking like plywood
  • Keeping moisture trapped in roof decking causes the roof to swell up or buckle
  • Trapped humidity can cause mold and mildew growth, which deteriorates the condition of your property

However, if any roofer has started working on a residential roof’s installation process, and it suddenly starts to rain, they should act at once. First, they need to make every attempt to protect the roof decking and other exposed materials being used. In case the roof gets wet, the following things should be taken care of.

  • Dry it properly, especially if you feel its swelling
  • The roof can be sanded or replaced altogether

can you do roofing over wet plywood
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How Can You Protect Your Roof From Getting Wet?

Roofing that has gotten wet during the rainy or winter season can be covered with shingles only if allowed to dry out first fully. You have to make sure that the surface underneath the underlayment shouldn’t get wet, wrinkled, bubbled, or ripped.

If the felt is still wet, it may rip apart when you start placing down the shingles. If the surface underneath your roofing is wet, you may have a threat of mold and mildew formation.

It leads to the deterioration of the subsurface as well as the roofing felt. Wrinkles and warps that form in the feet tend to generate heat pockets that destroy the shingles over time while having rips in the surface compromises the felt ability to guard the roof.

As mentioned above, underlayment works to add an extra layer of protection for your roof. While the shingles perform the job of heavy lifting, if water finds it’s by any chance, the waterproof underlayment is present there to protect the decking that is present underneath.

The common question that often arises in users’ minds is that can provide the underlayment itself could shield the roof when it’s raining? Yes, for a few days, you can be protected from the weather.

Underlayment can be installed in the same way as shingles. We have to overlay the edges to ensure that every inch of the roof you have to protect is covered properly.

Due to this, it is beneficial to maintain the roof’s integrity as you lay down the felt foundation. However, you have to be careful that it’s not enough to stand strong through all of the whole winter. Therefore, sooner or later, you have to think about more viable options.



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