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5 Tips To Picking The Right Roofing Nails & Best Roof Nails

Posted on : December 22, 2022

5 Tips To Picking The Right Roofing Nails & Best Roof Nails
You may be wondering what type of nails you need to use for your roofing project. Roofing nails are designed to install and hold roofing materials in place. One of their main uses is to attach roofing shingles and underlayment to the roof deck. While these nails may vary in size or material, they all share these helpful characteristics. At McClellands Contracting and Roofing LLC, we know that choosing the right roofing nails can be confusing. That's why we want to share our top five tips for picking out the best roofing nails. As you read over our guide and compare roofing nail materials, sizes and types, keep in mind that it's always best to refer to your building codes and the guidance of your manufacturer. Building codes may call for nails "fasteners" along with staples and screws. Don't let confusion hold you back any longer. Let us guide you toward the perfect choice for your project!

How To Choose The Right Roofing Nails

Not all roofing nails are created equal. That's why we've put together this guide to help you choose the perfect roofing nails for your project.

1. Determine The Type Of Roof You Have

When it comes to roofing nails, you need to make sure you're using the right ones for your roof. Different types of roofs call for different types of nails, and the right ones will ensure a durable, secure installation. For instance, if you have asphalt roofing shingles, you'll need a different type of nail to install them than if you have wood shakes. It's essential to choose nails that are compatible with your roofing material to avoid any issues down the line. Make sure to use the right nails for the type of roof you’re planning to install. Not only will it compromise the stability and longevity of your roof, but it could also void any warranties or guarantees on roofing materials such as asphalt roof shingles.

2. Consider The Size Of The Nail

Another important factor to consider when choosing roofing nails is the size of the nail. As you may know, these nails come in a variety of sizes, and the size you choose will depend on the thickness of your roofing material. It's essential to select nails that are long enough to effectively penetrate through the roofing material and reach the underlying deck of the roof. Roofing nails come in a range of lengths from one to two inches. When choosing the right length for your project, it's important to consider the thickness of your sheathing, the thickness of your shingles, and the length of the nails. For instance, if you're using typical architectural shingles and 3/8-inch thick sheathing, you'll need 1-inch nails. On the other hand, if your building codes require thicker sheathing, you'll need a 1 ¼-inch nail. When installing thicker shingles, use a longer nail so you can drive the nail deep enough to penetrate the underlying sheathing. Additionally, when installing ridge and hip shingles, you'll need nails that are about half an inch longer than standard nails. This is because ridge and hip shingles are installed over two layers of shingles instead of one, so the nails need to penetrate more layers before they reach the roof sheathing. You can ensure a secure and long-lasting installation by carefully considering the size of your nails and ensuring they are long enough to reach the underlying layer effectively.  roof nails

3. Choose The Right Material

When it comes to choosing the right material for your roofing nails, it's important to consider the specific needs of your project. There are a few different options to choose from, including aluminum, stainless steel, and galvanized steel. Each material has unique properties and benefits, so it's essential to select the one best suited for your needs. For example, if you are working on a roof in a coastal area, consider using stainless steel nails. These nails are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them ideal for damp or humid environments. On the other hand, if you are working on an asphalt shingle roof, consider using galvanized nails. Galvanized nails are coated with a layer of zinc, which helps to protect against rust and corrosion. Copper is another strong material that naturally resists rust and corrosion. If you are working on a roof with other copper accents, copper nails may be a good choice for your project. Despite the fact that aluminum is weaker than steel and copper, some roofers still use it on asphalt shingle roofs. Moreover, these nails are more prone to corrosion, as well as chemical and salt damage, compared to steel nails. When selecting the right material for your roofing nails, be sure to consider your specific needs and the properties of each material. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure a secure and long-lasting installation.

4. Think About The Long-Term

When it comes to choosing the right roofing nails for your project, it's important to consider the long-term costs. While it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option, lower-quality nails may only last for a while and may need to be replaced more frequently. Not only will you need to replace the nails frequently, but you also may have to replace any shingles or other roofing materials that blew away since they were not securely attached. This can end up costing you more in the long run. When budgeting for your roofing project, keep in mind that a small, 5-pound box of smooth-shank galvanized steel roofing nails can cost around $10. It's also worth noting that nails for roofing felt tend to be more expensive than regular nails. To get the best deal on your nails, it's a good idea to compare prices at different suppliers. Keep in mind that prices can vary based on location, so it's worth taking the time to shop around.

5. Look For A Reputable Brand

It's understandable that you want to save money on your roofing project, but it's important to remember that choosing lower-quality nails may not be the most cost-effective option in the long run. Poor-quality nails may not last as long and may require more frequent replacement, which can ultimately end up costing you more money. To ensure a secure and long-lasting installation, it's worth investing in a reputable brand with a proven track record of producing high-quality nails. Look for brands that have a good reputation and take the time to research and compare different options before making a decision. This will help ensure that you get the best value for your money and avoid any costly mistakes in the future. When working on roofs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we use nails offered by our manufacturer, Beacon. They provide us with two of the highest-quality roofing nails on the market: TRI-BUILT and Grip-Rite.  TRI-BUILT is a private brand under Beacon whose nails come in a range of sizes for all your roofing needs. Grip Rite nails have been a standard, trusted nail in the industry since 1975, and the company provided an even larger collection of nails and screws under their brand.

Which Are The Best Roof Nails?

If you're working on a roofing project, we have the two best nails for whatever type of shingle or roof underlayment you're using.

#1 Ring Shank

Choosing nails that will hold up under the stress of high winds and heavy loads is important. That's why we recommend ring shank nails. These grooves around the shank split through the wood fibers and hold onto them, improving removal resistance. This makes them a popular choice among roofers, especially in areas with high winds. If you're looking for a nail that's great for fastening tiles of all types, consider using ring shank nails.

#2 Square Cap

If you're looking for a nail to fasten felt underlayment, square cap nails may be the way to go. These nails have a square-shaped head, rather than the more common circular head found on other nails. Square cap nails may have either a smooth or coiled shank. It's important to note that these nails are typically not used for asphalt shingles. Keep this in mind as you consider your options for your roofing project. best roofing nails

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, picking the perfect roofing nails for your project is an important decision that can greatly impact your roof's overall quality and longevity. We hope our tips have helped you understand the various factors to consider when choosing roofing nails, including the type of roof, size of the nail, material, and brand. By following these tips, you can ensure that you select the best roofing nails for your specific needs and achieve a secure and long-lasting installation. Remember, it's always better to invest in high-quality nails that may cost a little more upfront, as they can save you money in the long run by requiring fewer replacements.


How Many Nails Per Square?

The number of nails per square will depend on the specific roofing material and the manufacturer's recommendations. As a general rule, asphalt shingles typically require five nails per shingle, which will end up being about 320 nails per square.

How Do You Seal Exposed Nails?

To seal exposed nails, you can use a roofing sealant or caulk. Apply the sealant over the exposed nail head. This will help prevent water from seeping through the nail hole and causing leaks or damage.

Can You Use Roofing Nails For Siding?

While roofing nails can be used for siding, it is generally not recommended as they are not designed for this purpose. Siding nails are better for siding installation as they have a larger head and a wider shank, providing more holding power.

Where To Nail Roof Shingles?

When nailing roof shingles to the deck, following the manufacturer's recommendations and local building codes is important. The preferred order is to apply one nail in each corner of the shingle, followed by three to four nails evenly spaced across the shingle. Another acceptable method is to apply one nail in the center of the shingle, followed by two nails towards the top and bottom, and then another two nails towards the left and right. Ensure that the nail is flush through the roofing material, but that it’s not cutting into the surface of the material itself. For professional installation services or any other roofing needs in Pittsburgh, look no further than the team at McClellands Contracting and Roofing LLC. We have years of experience installing roofing materials for homeowners in Pennsylvania. If you need help replacing your roof, don’t hesitate to call us at (412) 353-5660.

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