A type of exterior siding, T1-11 panels are at the mercy of their fasteners; if the panels' screws or nails corrode, the siding will loosen, rot and eventually crumble. Along with resistance to corrosion, T1-11 fasteners must provide sufficient gripping and holding strength to brace the panel against the natural movements of a structure's frame and occasional extreme weather conditions. Ultimately, the right fastener for your T1-11 product depends on local building codes and manufacturer recommendations. An understanding of of the common options will allow you to identify and purchase the right nails for your siding project.
When exposed to exterior conditions, standard steel fasteners will corrode and deteriorate long before T1-11 siding rots. If you fasten T1-11 with standard steel fasteners, the siding will eventually become loose and unstable. Building codes and manufacturers specify corrosion-resistant fasteners for exterior siding applications. Hot-dipped galvanization and electro-galvanization are the most common treatments for T1-11 nails. Hot-dipped fasteners generally have a thicker protective coat and last longer than electro-galvanized fasteners. Stainless steel nails last longer than both types galvanized nails, but they can be prohibitively expensive.
Nail Type and Size
The most common types of nails for T1-11 siding are siding nails, common nails and box nails. With relatively blunt tips and thin shanks, siding nails reduce splitting during installation. Common nails and box nails are general-purpose woodworking fasteners; manufacturers and building authorities commonly recommend them for siding installation. Box nails have thinner shanks than common nails and generally pose less risk of splitting T1-11 panels. Nail size depends on the thickness of the T1-11. In general, 6d nails are suitable for siding below 1/2-inch thick and 8d nails for thicker material.
Specialty Siding Nails
Specialty siding nails include ring-shank nails and spiral-shank nails. As suggested by their names, these nails' shanks are lined with nails and spirals. The specially designed grooves increase holding power, which prevents the nails from popping out or loosening under harsh exterior conditions. Other specialty siding nails include nails with heads painted to match common house paints and nails with small, barely noticeable heads. Small-headed nails are similar in concept to finish nails, but designed with exterior siding applications in mind.
Loose Nails vs. Nail-Gun Nails
Both standard and specialty siding nails are available either loose or in coiled nail-gun strips. Loose nails cost less than nail-gun nails, but require more time and effort to install. Some siding gun nails fit-general purpose nail guns, while other varieties only mount to specialty siding nail guns. Manufacturers always list acceptable nail gun models on their nails' packages.