The success of any given roofing project is determined to a large extent by the quality of the materials involved. Yet while many homeowners realize the importance of using high quality shingles, fewer stop to consider the nails they use to attach those shingles. If you would like to increase your knowledge about residential roofing, read on. This article will present two important factors to keep in mind when purchasing roofing nails.
Type Of Metal
Not all roofing nails are made from the same type of metal, and it is important to choose the most appropriate type for your roofing project. There are three different varieties, which differ primarily in terms of price and their degree of resistance to corrosion.
Aluminum roofing nails are the least expensive variety, while still offering a fair degree of corrosion resistance--depending on the climate they're being used in, that is. Aluminum doesn't take well to excessive moisture or salinity. Thus those living in rain-prone and/or coastal areas are advised to invest in a more suitable type of roofing nail.
At first, you might not think steel roofing nails would be much better in terms of corrosion resistance. And they wouldn't be--if they were made of pure steel. Galvanized steel roofing nails, are coated with zinc. This provides a high degree of protection against rust in almost any climate. However, if that zinc exterior becomes scratched, bent, or otherwise compromised, rust will soon set in.
Stainless steel roofing nails manage to avoid this problem completely. That's because the chromium added to stainless steel makes its inside just as rust resistant as its outside. As a result, stainless steel roofing nails have a much longer lifespan than other types. Just be aware that this is an advantage you'll have to pay more for up front.
Length Of Nail
No matter what type of metal your nails are made from, if they're not the right length they won't be worth much in the long haul. You see, it's important that your roofing nails are long enough to penetrate all the way through the roof sheathing into your attic. There's an easy way to determine whether the nails that are already in your roof are an appropriate length.
All you have to do is head up to the attic with a flashlight, a ruler, and preferably a helper or hired roofing company. Have your helper shine the light on the underside of the sheathing while you measure the amount of nail protruding. Ideally there should be at least 3/8" of nail shank exposed. If so, you can use one of these nails as a guide when purchasing replacements; if not, plan to buy longer nails for your project.