In the grand scheme of installing or repairing a roof, roofing nails serve an immense purpose. In this article, we take a more in-depth look at what roofing nails are, the different types, and the safety that they bring to any roofing project.
Defining roofing nails
The term ‘roofing nails’ applies to what are otherwise known as clout nails, used regularly on roofing projects across North America. Roofing nails can be manufactured from a wide range of different materials and come in different sizes. The exact type of roofing nail is defined by its ‘grade’ which is an assumed number derived from its inch and gauge. The inch, naturally, is the length of the shank and the gauge is the measurement of the diameter of the wire used to make the nail. The average roofing nail will see varied lengths between 1 and 2 inches, and gauges between 10 and 12, though there are other grades available.
The many different types of roofing nails
When it comes to further differentiating roofing nails, one can separate them according to the material used to make them. Roofing nails can be manufactured from copper, stainless steel, aluminum, and galvanized materials (i.e. hot-dipped, hot-galvanized, electroplated, and mechanically plated). In addition to the differences between materials, there are also some pretty sizeable varieties of roofing nails when it comes to the type of shank employed, which range between smooth, ring, and screw.
Here are the top three uses of roofing nails
During a roofing installation, roofing nails are generally used for three specific jobs. Their main use comes in the installation of shingles, fastening them down and securing them to the board. For these, galvanized or aluminum is recommended however if the roof is expected to come into contact regularly with salty air, stainless steel roofing nails are more adequately recommended. Depending on the exact type, shank length and gauge will vary. The second use comes in the form of roofing felt, which is waterproof material made from glass fiber or polyester. Roofing felt requires fastening, in order for it to take effect as waterproofing. Though staples and other materials can be used to fasten felt like this, roofing nails are the most common option. Thirdly, roof flashing (such as sheet metal to wood) is where roofing nails get a good amount of use. If the roof is in a wet region, roof flashing is common for moisture prevention.
Why roofing nails are used on almost every roofing project
Depending on a range of factors, roofing nails are typically required for at minimum certain tiles. The total amount needed for a job can vary and requires calculation for each job. As with the roofing materials recommended, the weather plays a big role in determining what roofing nails are most appropriate for a project. The ultimate key to remember when it comes to roofing nails is that, as they are multi-purpose, any professional roofing contractor should know how to use them properly and should have adequate amounts on hand to get the job done.