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Central Ohio’s #1 Roofer

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How to Properly Drive a Roof Nail

It is absolutely essential for a homeowner to have proper driving techniques. And no, I’m not talking about on the road. I mean it is vital to understand how to properly drive a roof nail into their roofing system. You may think just any method will do, but this carelessness can result in a sloppy appearance, leaks and even shingle damage on your roofing system. Read on to find out how to ace your (nail) driving test!

Drivers Ed: Learn about standard nail driving techniques

First and foremost, you must place nails within half an inch of the nail line on three-tab shingles or a quarter inch on other types of shingles on your roofing system. While wearing protective gloves on your hands, hold the nail on the appropriate location of the roof and lightly tap it with a hammer, guiding it into place with your hand until it is secured. Make sure to drive the roof nail in straight and not too deep into your roofing system, which can cause damage to the internal structure. By the same token, avoid under driving the nail, meaning that the nail head is raised about the roofing surface, and is not fully installed/secured. Luckily, an under driven nail is much simpler to correct than an overdriven one. Just use a few light taps of the hammer to finish the installation.

What about metal roofing?

If you have a metal roofing system, the procedure for driving roofing nails will be a little different. First, you must drive nails through the ridge portion of the metal roofing. You will need to use more force with the hammer than you would on other roofing systems. Second, drive the nail into the wood support located under the metal roofing. The rubber washer should be compressed between the nail head and the metal roofing, being careful not to allow the rubber to extend above the bottom of the nail head. Lastly, if any nails bent during the driving process, you might have holes in your roofing system. To fix this, use a larger screw with a bigger rubber washer to fill the hole. Then caulk around the hole to prevent any leaks from occurring.

A nail gun will make the job more fun.

Investing in a nail gun will make driving nails in your roofing system a whole lot easier. That’s because each shingle on your roofing system will require several nails, and using a regular hammer to do this will take a lot more time and energy. Nail guns, on the other hand, have enough power to drive a roofing nail simply by pulling the trigger. There is a large variety of nail guns to choose from, so you can customize what works best on your roofing and weigh the pros and cons for yourself. For instance, spring-loaded nail guns are very reliable due to their few moving parts; however, they have less force than other types of guns. On the flipside, combustion nail guns are capable of a large driving force, but they have higher maintenance needs. Before purchasing a nail gun for your roofing system, you should consider these factors as well as comfort, swiveling connectors, nail loading and nail flexibility of each unique gun.

Need assistance with your roofing project?

Contact Able Roofing, the largest residential and commercial roofing contractor in Columbus, at 1-614-444-ROOF. We’ll come to your home to provide a free inspection and no-obligation estimate.

Now it’s time to get to work on your roofing system; good luck!