Lengths of Roofing Nails to Use

Planning and executing a good roofing job requires knowledge of every aspect of the job. Using the correct size of roofing nail will ensure that your roof stays intact for many years to come and can help you avoid the common problem of roofing nails that extract themselves over time and cause you to lose shingles. There are some simple strategies to use when it comes to choosing the correct nails for a roofing job, and all it takes is an understanding of the materials you are working with and the roof you have.

Asphalt and Dimensional Shingles

Two major kinds of shingles are used in the United States. An asphalt shingle is the most common kind. It comes in a three-tab variety which means that each section of asphalt roofing is made up of three distinct tabs. If a roof is done properly with asphalt shingles it looks like the roof is made up of thousands of individual shingles. Dimensional shingles get their name from the way they give a dimensional look to a roof. They are also made up of three tabs, but they are the equivalent of two asphalt shingle pieces bonded together. Random divisions in the different layers of the shingles give it the dimensional look. The dimensional shingles last longer and can withstand winds over 100 mph, but they also retain fungus easier than asphalt three-tab shingles.

Felt Only

According to Roofhelp.com, the thickest decking material that should be used on a roof is classified as a plank which is a little less than an inch thick. The more common roof thickness is 3/4-inch decking. When installing asphalt shingles on felt only to any grade decking you should use 1-inch long roofing nails. When installing dimensional shingles to felt only, Roofhelp.com recommends you use 1 1/4-inch nails.

Layers

If you are putting a layer of asphalt shingles over an existing layer of asphalt shingles on to a 3/4-inch deck or a plank deck then you should be using 1 1/2-inch nails. If your decking is less than 3/4 inch then a 1 1/2-inch nail will suffice. For dimensional shingles being installed over a layer of existing dimensional shingles you should always use a 1 1/2-inch roofing nail.

Nail Information

According to HomeDoctor.net, a roofing nail has an diamond-shaped sharp tip to help it nail through decking without splitting it. That is why it is important to use roofing nails when doing a roofing job. Roofing nails are made of galvanized steel to protect them from the elements. When installing roofing nails always make sure the nail is flush to the shingle. A countersunk nail will rip the shingle, and a nail that is not completely nailed down will eventually work its way out.


George N. Root III

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.