Roofing nails may seem choose a small part of roof installation, yet they’re actually among the most important items for gaining your task done right. If you usage a smooth stainless stole nail wherein you should have used a galvanized ring shank, yes a strong likelihood you will do it experience troubles sooner quite than later.

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Just as essential as the kind of roofing nails you use is how numerous per shingle, the length of every nail, and also overall job coordination inquiries such as how plenty of roofing pond you must buy.

Keep analysis for a complete rundown top top all her roof pond questions, beginning with the materials used to produce the fasteners.

Table the Contents

Most usual Roofing nail MaterialsPopular species of Roofing NailsSmooth ShankIdeal pond Sizes; Length, Diameter, GuageWhat size roofing nail should I usage (diameter)Purchasing & task PlanningHow countless shingle nails carry out I must buy?Nail total vs. Hammer

Most typical Roofing nail Materials

The steel a pond is make from have the right to make every the distinction not just in exactly how well that holds down a shingle, but likewise how lengthy it lasts over time. The many common species of roofing nails room made from aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized steel, and also copper. We do not recommend every one of these types, but that doesn’t stop some building contractors from using them.


Aluminum nails because that roofing are an extremely common because of their cost. These species of nails space the “good enough” kind used for simple roof projects in numerous parts of the country.

It’s ideal to protect against the usage of aluminum nails in coastal towns and also counties because of the salty air. Salt can reason aluminum to easily rust and deteriorate, which have the right to then compromise the shingle hold and also cause blowoffs. The last point you desire for your beach area home is to find absent shingles on a 5 year old roof, simply because aluminum to be used rather of a an ext resilient stainless stole option.

Stainless Steel

The advantage of making use of steel nails end aluminum is the they’re less corrosive however not as expensive as the galvanized alternatives we’ll perform below. For this reason, some home builders prefer stainless stole roofing nails in locations where salt in the air deserve to be a factor however project expenses must stay low. 

Since lock stronger, pond made that stainless steel space sometimes wanted for fastening more tough roof tiles favor slate and also ceramic. Overall, stainless is a good but not great nailing alternative for your roof. Much better than aluminum, yet not as good as the following choice…

Galvanized steel (Best Choice)

Galvanized steel roofing nails, often called “galvanized nails” or “hot dive galvanized roofing nails”, space made with a steel base climate coated in zinc chemicals. The zinc coating create an ultra rust-resistant pond that is the ideal nail because that roof instead of in coastal regions, and in our opinion, the finest nail for any type of roof you desire to be covered under warranty.

On optimal of rust-resistance, the nail’s zinc exterior provides it stronger than both aluminum and also stainless steel options. For every these reasons, galvanized steel is the finest roofing nail material and one of the many popular options for certified roofers that ago their job-related with a trusted warranty.


Copper is a higher-cost roof nail option that is suitable for some yet not many roofing projects. Copper roof nails space stronger than steel and also are commonly used with slate roofing.

Why are copper nails well-known in slate roofing? because they last longer than galvanized roofing nails, which can display signs of destruction once the zinc coating starts to wear off. If this may not it is in a huge deal for an asphalt shingle project, that is crucial for slate because slate roofs room expected to last for 100+ years. Slate roofing is additionally prone to damage, so in these cases, the copper spikes have the right to be an ext easily gotten rid of without breaking the slate itself.

Copper is a dark brown/ gold color, i m sorry is different from the materials noted above.

Popular types of Roofing Nails

Besides the material, isn’t a nail a nail?

Not quite…

The nail’s shape provides a huge difference in how effective it will certainly be for roofing, and also how efficiently it can be used throughout the environment process. Over there are varieties to consider.

Smooth Shank


Smooth shank nails space the most usual nail form you’ll find on building and construction sites, however not necessarily the most effective nail for roofing. They are the least facility of every shanks, making lock the cheapest to manufacture.

Smooth shanks are totally smooth and cost-free of grooves, unequal the screw and ring shank layout nails we’ll cover below. These determinants make them very easy come drive through a hammer, which is why they’re favorable because that framing, finishing, and other carpentry tasks.

Withdrawal Resistence (Smooth Shanks Are bad for Roofing)

You shouldn’t use smooth shank nails for roofing since they do not have the hold needed because that architectural shingles or any kind of other form of tile.

Contractors who use smooth shanks end up through unhappy customers under the road. In an ext technical terms, smooth shanks space not proper for roofing services since they absence the withdrawal resistance needed to hold a shingle in place.

According come the Poo, McNatt, Lambrechts, and Gertner in the Forest commodities Journal, “direct withdrawal resistance of nails and staples is the force required to traction imbedded fasteners indigenous the wood.” In the group’s research, lock reference direct withdrawal resistance together a measure up of the nail’s holding power. High organize power is good! It method the nail will host what it’s expected to organize under a wide selection of conditions. Vice versa, low host power is bad!

When it pertains to roofing, you desire to stop smooth shank fasteners due to the fact that they have very low hold power. If you usage them, they will certainly not help a shingle hold up to the winds it will experience throughout that lifespan.

Ring Shank


According come the Skulteti, Bender, Winisorfer, and Pollack at the American Sociery of biological Engineers, ring shank nails have roughly twice the withdrawal resistance the smooth shank nails with the very same diameter. Given these facts, it do not do it come as a surprise that they are a wanted nail roofing product.

The long, pointed part of a pond is dubbed a shank. Ring shank pond have tiny grooves around this shank that give it a ribbed feeling as soon as touched. When driven with wood, this grooves help displace the wood’s yarn to create an uneven hold. This may sound undesirable, however it actually boosts withdrawal resistance because the rings integrate with the deformed hardwood to do removing the nail an ext difficult. Together an example, let’s think around a nail vs. A screw in drywall…

If you use a smooth nail, you deserve to pull the nail straight out of the wood with ease. But if you usage a screw, it becomes much more daunting to pull the end of the wall! A ring shank go not have actually as much resistance together a screw, yet the instance is tho a an excellent one to assist us understand the helpful wood displacement led to by the rings.

This result explained over gives ring shanks much higher hold than smooth shanks when exposed to high winds. As a result, they space a popular an option amongst roofers everywhere the unified States. For this reason if you’re searching for a pond that’s great for fastening tiles of every types, we recommend the ring shank.

Screw Shank


Screw shank nails closely resemble screws, therefore the name. Because they have the grooves of a screw, they are trusted together a superb fastening pond for residence projects that call for maximum hold. Screw shanks have the highest level of tap the money resistence out of all the different classifications of nails the end there, however despite being superior holders, screw shanks no the most well-known nails for roof replacement. There space two factors for this:

First, since screw shank-style nails space far more expensive than ring shanks.

Second, since they are too challenging to nail into hardwoods due to the high thickness of hard wood. While a screw shank is an ideal fastener because that decking and also flooring jobs that need maximum organize regardless that cost, they carry out not make feeling for most roofing jobs.

Ideal pond Sizes; Length, Diameter, Guage


You can’t lock a shingle into place if you don’t have actually the correct length and also size nail. Learning the finest dimensions for her roofing nails is an important before beginning a project.

What dimension roofing nail have to I use (diameter)

There room two methods to measure the dimension of a roofing nail; diameter and length.

Shank diameter

According to the International building Code’s (IBC) 2018 Edition, “fasteners for asphalt shingles should be a minimum of a 12-gauge shank”. While the is common to discover nails v a shank diameter that 13 inches, they can not be smaller than 12 gauge (2.67mm) and still comply with the IBC.

Head diameter

According come the IBC, the minimum head diameter for a roofing nail that’s in compliance through IBC indict is 9.5mm. Favor with shank diameter, girlfriend can uncover nails through a larger head width than 9.5mm, yet smaller have to never be used.

How lengthy should roofing pond be?

The International structure Code does no specify specific lengths for shanks, however does state that the nail need to “penetrate v the roofing materials” and “must no be less than ¾ customs (or 19.1mm) into the roof sheathing.”

The guidelines for nail size are an ext vague than diameter, therefore you’ll uncover a greater variance the size depending upon the shank type. Lumber shingles call for a much longer shank 보다 an architecture shingle and fiberglass shingles space the same as asphalt-style.

Purchasing & task Planning


If you’re part of the do-it-yourself crowd, simply learning the differences in between the nail styles noted above is not going come be sufficient information for you to effectively re-roof your house. Listed below are some common DIY roofing project questions the will assist get you turn off the ground.

How countless shingle nails perform I must buy?

Quantity is simply as important as quality and classification as soon as it pertains to roofing nails. If you don’t have the ideal number top top location, then you’re going come run into a trouble towards the end of your project.

Nails per shingle

According come GAF’s asphalt shingles guidelines, you need to use “secure through 4, 5, or 6 nails every shingle per GAF’s application instructions or local codes,” however, many of GAF’s shingle currently (and many local structure codes) require 6 nails per shingle.

You need to use 6 nails every asphalt shingle to effectively adhere all materials to the roof surface. The six nail requirement is particularly important because that high wind shingle application locations where a 5 pond per shingle pattern would not it is in sufficient.

Nails every roofing square

One square of roofing is around 100 square feet that roof material, and also one bundle that shingles covers about ⅓ the a roofing square. With this gift said, you’ll require three bundles of shingles per square.

Each shingle bundle will certainly contain around 28 shingles, for this reason you have the right to expect to have actually 84 shingles every square in total.

How many roofing nails every square? When utilizing a 6 pond strategy throughout roof installation, you’ll need an average of 506 nails per square. Don’t hold yourself come this exact count because every brand is different, yet this math deserve to be supplied as a guide for your planning.

Nail total vs. Hammer

Are friend going to usage a pond gun or a hammer for her roof replacement?

Both will do the job, but we recommend choosing your device of choice before beginning the project since it will influence your nail selection and how long it takes to replace your roof.

Nail weapons are substantially faster 보다 hammering nails by hand, the course. Particularly with asphalt shingles whereby you’ll have to fasten at the very least six nails every shingle in stimulate to qualify for any sort of warranty.

The defect of using a pond gun because that roofing is the potentially higher price. You will do it either must rent one native a local hardware save at a dissension amount per day, or purchase one from a big box retailer like house Depot or Lowe’s. One of two people way, the going to price you an ext money than a hammer.

If you walk the hammer route, you’ll desire to usage 1.25’’ or 1.5’’ loose roofing nails. These pond come in 1 pound, 5 pound, or 30 lb boxes so you can pick the load (amount) that suits her remodeling needs.

If you usage a pond gun for your roof project, the same box size are obtainable and you must look to purchase electro galvanized roofing nails because that all nail guns.

Coil Roofing nails for pond Guns

If you choose to usage a pond gun device, then you can’t simply buy simple boxes that nails.

Nail weapons require unique nails that come attached to each various other in “coils” therefore they have the right to be quickly fed with the pond gun.

Can I usage staples because that roofing?

You can use staples because that the underlayments and also ice and also water shield, however not especially for shingle application.

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We repeat: do not use staples for roofing shingles! Doing therefore is a recipe for disaster together they have exceptionally low holding power compared to any type of shank length nail you might choose.