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  • Writer's pictureScott G.

Proper Shingle Nailing 101

Updated: Mar 13

To often we come across roofs that are being replaced or repaired before the life of the shingle is over. Proper nailing pattern, placement and number of nails is crucial in making sure your roof lasts 35 or more years.

Improper Shingle Nailing
Shingle damage from improper nailing

Nails must be properly seated in the shingles. To much or to little penetration on the shingles can cause them to fail over time. We have found dialing the nail guns pressure back will prevent over penetration. If for some reason the nail head is to high to grip the shingle, we use a hammer to drive it the rest of the way.

GAF calls for a minimum of 4 nails per shingle in the standard nailing pattern. Given the area of Alabama we live and our susceptibility to high winds. We have found the advanced nailing pattern of 6 nails per shingle to be the only way to insure full wind coverage on shingles. Number of nails to be installed per shingle should always be specified in the contract. When the work is being done you can listen and watch to count how many nails you are receiving per shingle.

Typically we use 1 1/4" roofing coil nails to install our shingles. Shorter nails are available as long as they are long enough to penetrate at least 3/4” (19 mm) into wood decks or just through the plywood decks.

Make sure your roofer is up front about size and type a number of nails to be used. This will help insure you have a qualified roofing contractor and a roofing system that is built to last. Call Birmingham Roofs today if you suspect your roof has improper nails installed or to set up an appointment!


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