Nailed It! Tips for Nailing Shingles to Your Roof

DIY Disasters: Improper Roof Nailing

You’re ready to start your DIY roofing job, so you tear off the old roof and put down the underlayment. Now, you’re ready to nail the shingles to the decking. Make sure you pause and do your homework before taking this important step in the roofing process. Improper nailing and using the wrong nails causes leaks that end up undoing the project you’re about to undertake. This article offers a few tips for properly nailing shingles to your roof.

Number of Nails Per Shingle

Did you know that you’ll need 4 nails per shingle? If you nail more than that, you could risk opening your roof for water to seep into your home. Six nails per shingle would be way too much; however, refer to the shingle manufacturer’s recommendation. Four is the number to shoot for here. Refer to the shingle manufacturer specs to make sure you’re using the right amount of nails per shingle. The general consensus is four nails per shingle.

Nail on the Nail Strip

If you look at a shingle, you’ll notice it has a nailing strip. It serves as a guide for where you should nail. This ensures that the shingle will be secured in the strongest spot possible. Remember, using the nail strip will catch the underlying shingle, so in actuality, about 8 nails will hold each shingle in place.

Not Using Enough Nails

If you use too few nails to secure the shingle to the roofing deck, you could be looking at loose shingles in the near future. A thunderstorm or even a March wind could shear a shingle from the roof, which opens your home up to water seepage and damage. Remember, keep in mind that at least four nails per shingle is best. Using less than 4 will put your roof at high risk for damage. Proper nailing involves using the right number of nails per shingle in the right place, and it’s required by the International Building Code.

Here are a few tips to guide you in nailing shingles to your roof:

  • Always choose corrosion resistant nails
  • Use at least 4 nails per shingle. Refer to manufacturer specs for guidance on number and place to nail.
  • Use your nail strips if the specs do not specify the nailing positions.
  • Choose the right size, type, and grade of nails as specified by manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not use staples.
  • When shooting the nails into the shingle, drive them straight and flat with the surface.
  • If you break the shingle surface, throw it away.
  • Nail from side to side, so the shingle lays flat on the roof.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s spec for guidance on nailing special areas of roof such as the slope and high wind areas.
  • Always follow local building codes.
An experienced roofing company like TruBlue Roofing can help you choose the right shingles and roofing materials that will last for many years to come. Give us a call today at (919) 589-7290 to schedule a free no-obligation roof inspection and estimate.

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