What Are the Different Types of Roofing Nails for Shingles?

Roofing nails might seem small, but they play a big role in helping your roof to protect the inside of your home and last as long as possible. The right nails help your shingles stay put, protecting your home from leaks and weather damage.

This article will help you understand the different types of roofing nails and what they’re made of. We’ll also cover which nails to use for different types of roofs so you can make the best choice for your home or DIY project.

construction worker using a nailer to put roofing nails into new shingles

What Are Roofing Nails?

Roofing nails secure shingles, underlayment, and other roofing materials to a roof deck. They typically have a wide, flat head to prevent the shingles from tearing and a sharp point for easy penetration into the wood. 

Choosing the right type of roofing nail is crucial because it ensures that the shingles stay firmly in place, even in harsh weather conditions. Properly selected nails also prevent leaks, wind damage, and other roofing issues.

Types of Roofing Nails

Most roofs last 25 to 50 years. One way to extend the life of your roof is to use the right type of nail. Here are the most common types.

  • Smooth Shank Nails: Smooth shank nails have a plain, untextured shank, making them suitable for general roofing applications. They are easy to drive in but may not provide the highest holding power, so they are best used where extreme weather conditions are not a concern.
  • Ring-Shank Nails: These nails have ridges or rings along the shank, offering a superior grip. They are ideal for high-wind areas because the rings provide extra holding power, preventing the nails from pulling out and helping the shingles remain secure.
  • Square Cap Nails: Square cap nails feature a large, flat, square head and are commonly used to secure roofing felt and underlayment. The large head keeps these materials in place during installation, preventing them from tearing or shifting.

Materials Used for Roofing Nails

Just as different materials are used for roofs, different nails have their own composition. Here are the common materials used in roofing nails.

  • Steel Nails: Steel nails are strong and long-lasting. They are often galvanized or made from stainless steel to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Copper Nails: Copper nails are known for their corrosion resistance and visual appeal. They are ideal for roofs with copper flashing or accents, as they blend seamlessly and prevent staining.

Aluminum Nails: Lightweight and rust-resistant, aluminum nails are particularly suitable for coastal areas or places with high humidity where corrosion is a significant concern.

Choosing the Right Nails for Different Roof Types

Choosing the right nails for different roof types is essential for strength and long-lasting performance. For asphalt shingles, use galvanized steel or aluminum nails to prevent rust. 

Wood shingles and shakes benefit from stainless steel or copper nails to avoid staining. Slate tiles need strong holding power, so copper or stainless steel nails are best. For metal roofs, use nails or screws designed specifically for metal to handle expansion and contraction.

Get a Free Estimate on Electric & Automatic Nailer Gun Rentals in Portsmouth & Hampton, New Hampshire, with Tri-Rent-All

If you are planning to install or replace the shingles on a roof, having the right equipment can make all the difference. At Tri-Rent-All, we offer electric and automatic nailer guns for half-day, daily, weekly, and monthly rentals for residents and contractors in New Hampshire. With locations in Hampton and Portsmouth, we provide high-quality tools and equipment with flexible rental times to fit your project’s needs. We can also help you choose the right nails for your specific roof type to ensure a durable, long-lasting installation. To view our available products and get pricing estimates, visit our website or contact us today!

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