Ring shank nails are the best nails for roofing applications.

You may have noticed a nail pop at some point on your roof. It’s more than a cosmetic problem, it is a problem that will not go away and requires immediate assessment. In this blog post, the roofing contractors at Shanco will walk you through the following: 

  • What is a roof nail pop and what causes them? 

  • What to do if you have a nail pop. 

  • What problems can a nail pop cause for your home 

What Are Nail Pops on The Roof? 

Shingles are installed on your roof decking using nails. They can be installed using a hammer or a pneumatic nail gun. Every shingle needs several nails to secure it in place on your roof.  

Each nail has rings around the shank. These rings grip the wood and are difficult to remove. The nails also need to be flush and driven flat (not at an angle). This is to create a seal to prevent leakage. 

A nail pop is when a nail head pops up out of the wood and sticks up slightly above the roof shingle.  

What Causes Nails to Pop on The Roof? 

If you get a nail pop, there is something going on with your roof system. It will take an expert to take a look at it to understand why nails have popped out.  

Installation Issues 

Proper installation of your roof shingles is key. Any of these installation issues can create the conditions for a nail pop. Your roof needs: 

  • Straight driven nails 

  • Proper amount of pressure to create a seal but not break the shingle 

Poor Attic Ventilation 

A properly ventilated attic will move hot and humid air out of the vents. If your attic is improperly vented, the hot and humid air may be trapped in the attic. This will cause the roof sheathing to expand and swell. Any damaged nails (or smooth shanked nails) will slowly work their way up and out and create an opportunity for leakage.  

Use The Correct Nails 

A nail is a nail, right? Not so fast! Roof nails are purpose built. We’ve mentioned ring shank nails and how they grip the wood when nailed into place. Using the proper ring shank nails helps hold your shingles down. 

Worn Out Materials 

Roofs can sustain damage and lead to soft spots in the wood. These soft spots will not hold a nail. Additionally, if you’ve kept the same sheathing through multiple roof replacements, your sheathing may be weakened and need replaced during your next roof project.  

Are There DIY Fixes for Nail Pops? 

There are DIY fixes. Those fixes do not include driving the nail back down into the roof sheathing and hoping that will work. A nail pop can occur from wear, rust, and more.  

Driving a worn-out nail back into a hole will not help. In fact, the hole may be damaged too. It may seem like a good idea to consult YouTube, grab a hammer, and get it fixed, but we recommend calling a professional for a roof inspection. 

Does A Roof Warranty Cover Nail Pops? 

The most important consideration of a popped nail is if you have a roof warranty.  

Can unauthorized roof repairs invalidate a roof warranty? Absolutely.  

Don’t risk it. If you have a roof warranty, talk to the experts that installed it. There may be two warranties; materials and workmanship. A nail pop may be covered under the workmanship warranty (not all roofers offer workmanship warranties). 

Will Nail Pops Cause a Roof Leak? 

Absolutely. As the nail lifts, it brings the shingle up with it. Wind driven rain can get under the shingle and into the hole.  

It may start as a slow leak where the decking can get wet and start to rot. Larger leaks can occur with the typical water spots and damaged drywall or plaster. 

Leading Roof Repair from Shanco 

Shanco is the leading roof repair experts in the Washington DC metro area, NOVA, and Richmond. We’ve been helping homeowners for over 20 years. During that time, we’ve earned many accolades for our commitment to service. Contact us today to book a free roof inspection.