Missing Shingles

The Impact of Roof Shingle Nailing on Wind Damage!

Although it may seem as if a roofing project should not be difficult, it is actually a complex process involving much more than simply putting down an underlayment and nailing shingles onto that layer. DIY’ers can be seriously misled at this point as can many professionals who make the same mistakes, and errors that could result in roof failure in a relatively short amount of time in comparison to a normal roof life expectancy. Therefore, it is essential to hire a contractor with a good reputation, who is knowledgeable and understands the critical connection between proper nailing techniques and the prevention of wind damage.


The best way to illustrate the importance of proper nailing to a building top is to first explain the procedure. When using standard asphalt shingles, the first step is to read the manufacturer’s instructions on where the nails should be placed, since requirements vary depending on brand and type. It is important to tack only in the recommended spots, as manufacturers have tested their products and know what works best. Just as important is driving the head of the nail so that it is flush with the shingle surface; it should be neither dimpled nor raised which would practically guarantee either premature aging or damage during heavy winds. To ensure that nails are properly fastened, it should be done by hand with a hammer and not with a nail gun.

Pneumatic Guns

The reasons why pneumatic guns are inappropriate for securing asphalt shingles vary; however, the most important reason is the inability to control the depth at which a nail is sunk. Most of the time, nails are sunk in too hard with the heads being pushed below flush, creating a dimple or even a crack. If this happens, that shingle and those beneath it will be ruined. Most contractors using pressure guns are more interested in getting finished quickly than in doing a precise job. Sometimes they simply do not know the huge mistake being done by this technique.

Correct tacking also depends on the nail being driven perpendicular to the roof surface angle which can be better controlled when being driven in by hand. With a pneumatic gun, it is very easy to sink a nail at the wrong angle, leaving one side of the head sticking out while the other side is sunk too deep. This can eventually become a weak spot and the perfect place for wind to get under shingles and start peeling away. Just imagine the problem if an entire building top is fastened this way!

In a few specific situations, the use of a pneumatic gun may be a better solution than hand-driving such as when it is questionable how much weight the decking can support. Thankfully, such instances are few and far between. The use of a pneumatic gun still causes the issues mentioned above; however, sometimes it is the only option for installing a new roof without causing damage to the decking and structure itself.

Although it may seem counter-productive, the truth is that hand nailing remains the best and most efficient way to install shingles, especially for preventing wind damage. There is no benefit in a job being finished quickly if the product is damaged in the process. Particularly disturbing is that such issues do not surface for several years and they do, the structure will most likely require repair or even replacement. Therefore, it is important to find a builder who understands the importance of hand-driven nails when installing shingles in order to have a roof that will stand up against the toughest weather conditions for years to come!

Is it time for you to find a Conroe roofer for your building top project? Call the trusted experts with Schulte Roofing at 800-367-7663 to help Houston area customers with any roofing projects needed!