When it comes to choosing roofing nails for your upcoming roofing project, whether it’s new construction or a renovation, you have a vast array of options in front of you. If you’re installing your shingles, or you’re hiring a professional to take on the job, you want to trust that you’re working with the best nails on the market for your exact, specific needs. Even if you’re working with an expert in the roofing industry, you want to know that they have the best interest of your home at heart, meaning that it can never hurt to arm yourself with as much information as possible about the types of nails available to secure your asphalt or wooden shingles to your roof.
To help you out with this process, we’ve created this guide to the best nails to use on upcoming roofing projects. We hope that this list proves helpful to you as you navigate the construction process of your roof and figure out how you can best serve the needs of your house over time.
Roofing Nail Types
Types of nails for roofing are going to vary in the style and intricacy of the shank. The shank of a nail is the tip of the nail that pierces into the material. Below, we’ll go into the types of shanks available for your roofing project and which shanks are going to put you in the best position to construct and maintain your roof.
Smooth shank nails
Nails with smooth shank are one of the cheaper options on the table, but you will lose some of the efficacy when it comes to the durability and security of roofing. Smooth shanks are the least intricate of all available shanks, which means that they are incredibly easy to hammer in. The central drawback of smooth shank nails is that they do not hold well and do not have a strong grip, meaning that they can warp or fall out of their placement quite easily. This will prove to be a nightmare when it comes to roof maintenance, so we recommend that you steer clear of smooth shank nails in your selection process.
Ring shank nails
Ring shank nails are rung along the shank in a serrated, corrugated style; this style of shank provides the nails with some grip, meaning that it can cling more effectively onto the material to which it is pierced and affixed. Ring shank nails maintain their placement with up to three times as much fortitude and durability as smooth shank nails, making ring shank nails the most desirable choice for roofing projects. We highly recommend ring shank nails for your roofing process.
Screw shank nails
Screw shank nails are visually similar to screws, with grooves that match up with the design of a screw. However, screw shank nails work spectacularly well for projects, such as roofing, that require a strong and maintained grip. However, screw shank nails for roofing come with a few drawbacks that might make ring shank nails a better choice. Screw shank nails are far more expensive, so the bulk purchase of nails for a roofing project might make this style prohibitively costly, considering the number of nails that will need to be ordered. Additionally, screw shank nails prove challenging when it comes to hardwood, making these nails laborious in the working process and, at the end of the day, not worth the extra security that they provide.
Square cap nails
Nails with square cap are not ideal for asphalt shingles, but they are a good choice when it comes to the underlayment of the roof. This kind of roofing nails either have a ridged or a smooth shank, and they have a square-shaped head instead of a round head.
Roofing Nail Materials
We also need to think about the roofing nail materials. Here is some things to keep in mind when it comes to the roofing nails.
Galvanized steel nails
This type of nails are the best choice for roofing, as the material is extremely weather and rust-resistant and generally resistant to many forms of damage and stripping over time. Galvanized nails are made out of steel and then coated in a layer of zinc, which makes them the strongest option on the market.
Stainless steel nails
Stainless steel nails are less desirable than galvanized steel nails, but they are a stronger choice than those made out of aluminum. They will hold up better than aluminum, but they will wear away more quickly than galvanized steel nails. However, if galvanized steel nails are out of your price range, stainless steel nails will do well enough for roofing materials including slate.
Aluminum nails are the cheapest on the market; for the most part, aluminum nails do the job at a reasonable cost and will stand up to the test of time. However, in areas near the coast, aluminum nails should not be used, as they can easily rust and strip away due to the salt in the air. If you’re renovating your house by the ocean or near saltwater, it is best to stay away from aluminum nails.
Copper nails are the most popular choice when it comes to slate roofing. While copper nails are a far more expensive option, as they are stronger than steel, they are not appropriate for all kinds of roofing materials and should mostly be applied to slate roofing. Copper nails are not necessary for asphalt shingles because the zinc coating on galvanized steel nails might only wear off after the lifespan of the shingles themselves; on a slate roof, however, the slate is guaranteed to last at least 75 years, meaning that the zinc on galvanized steel nails will wear away far sooner than the slate will need to be replaced.
While there are many different types of nails available for roofing, it will become clear that there are definitely preferred types from which to select.
If you are careful in your process and consult with the proper professionals as you go about the process of constructing or renovating your roof, you’ll end up with the roofing nails that will best serve the needs of your house and add to the long-lasting durability of your roof.
At BEST PRO BUILDERS we offer a full range of professional construction services and solutions to fit virtually any need or budget. From full design/build services to installing that backyard patio and outdoor kitchen you’ve been dreaming of, you can trust our team to deliver.