07 Mar Roofing Nails: How Little Things Make A Big Difference
There is one integral aspect of the roofing process that we have not discussed in any of our blogs. We have discussed how some roofers prefer hand nailing and others like using power nail guns. But we have not discussed the actual physical roofing nails or their application. At Peak Roofing we use exclusively 1 ¼ inch nails like these. These roofing nails are provided by a variety of wholesalers and are produced for use in an air nail gun like this. Tools like these only came into use in the last the last thirty years but they have revolutionized the industry.
Nail guns are a roofers most important tool and properly used they are incredibly effective at increasing speed while ensuring quality of installation. It takes most roofers a few years to make sure they are installing shingles properly while increasing their speed. When Daniel and I were roofing in Alberta we used to watch the best shinglers on our crew shingle a single car garage in an hour without any mistakes. Our boss at the time, Dean Babowal, once bet the number one shingler on his crew that if he could beat him on one side of the aforementioned garage without any mistakes that the whole crew would get a $100 bonus for that day, and the number one shingler won! We were very happy that day. 🙂
There are a few aspects of the nail that affect shingle installation. The first and most important part is making sure that the nails are put in the right place on the shingle. At Peak Roofing we have a detailed set of rules that we ask our roofers to follow:
1: Never place roofing nails where they will be visible, this exposes them to the weather and has the potential to create leaks.
2: For shingles that have sealant on the top, put the nail below the sealant strip, but make sure that does not result in an exposed nail.
3: Under no circumstance should roofing nails be closer than 1” from the edge of the shingle.
4: If a nail does not drive all the way in it is probably because of a knot hole, crack, or space in the roof deck. Make sure that the head of the nail is tight against the shingle.
If these rules are followed, there should not be any issues with the installation of shingles on the flat parts of the roof. Of course, the most complicated aspect of roofing is the valleys which we will discuss in a later post. The key to a quality roofing job is following a set of rules but to make sure that you are creative enough to come up with solutions when you encounter problems that are unique to a particular roof. A one size fits all approach will not get you anywhere in this profession!