Using ring shank nails is the first step to prevent nail pops on your roof.

Nail pops are a problematic sign that something is going on with your roof. They aren’t strictly a cosmetic issue. In fact, they signify that you need to contract a roofing contractor to inspect your roof. In this blog post, Kearns Brothers will answer the following questions: 

  • What is a nail pop? 

  • What causes them? 

  • What problems can nail pops create? 

  • Can you fix a nail pop, or do you need a whole new roof? 

  • Does my roof warranty cover nail pops? 

What are Nail Pops on a Roof? 

First, let’s dive into roof nails and how they are critical to proper asphalt shingle installation. Shingle nails have a feature different than a standard nail. They have a ring shank, which are small rings around the nail.  

These shank nails are driven into the wood roof decking. The shank grips against the wood fibers to prevent the nails from being easily removed. 

When installing a roof shingle, the nail needs to be put in straight. A straight nail hole will hold the shingle in place and seal against the roof decking. 

A nail pop occurs when there are conditions that prevent the nail from resting in the nail hole and the nail is forced up. When the nail is forced up, it can bring the shingle with it ever so slightly. This slight shingle lift creates places where water can penetrate your roof.  

These conditions can occur in several different instances. 

What Causes Nail Pop Shingles? 

Proper roof installation matters. Poor installation can lead to many roof issues that will require roof maintenance due to damaged shingles.  

Old Roof Decking 

Your roof decking is the foundation on which your shingles rest. The foundation needs to be solid and rot free.  

When a popped nail occurs, water slowly permeates the roof decking. The decking will start to rot over time. It may be a small leak initially but will start to grow over time leading to larger leaks and more expensive repair costs.  

Improper Installation 

A nail is a nail, right? Not when it comes to roofing. Ring shank nails are a must for properly attaching your roof shingles. Not to mention, nailing shingles too hard will split the shingle. Not enough pressure will create a gap where wind driven rain may permeate the roof. Moral of the story, use a trusted roof repair contractor. 

Inadequate Attic Ventilation 

Modern homes have vented attic spaces. Hot air enters through the soffits and exists out of the ridge vent. If there is inadequate ventilation, homeowners will experience swelling, and expansion of roof decking. Weak roof nails may find themselves pushed up and out and creating opportunities for roof leaks.  

Can A Nail Pop Cause Water Damage? 

Yes. The nail popping out of your roof opens a small channel for moisture to penetrate. The initial leak may be small initially, but over time you may look at areas of rot or significant roof leaks.  

Can You DIY Fix a Nail Pop Roof? 

Before you go to YouTube and watch a DIY repair video, think about this; there are roofing experts out there that deal with these sorts of repairs on a daily basis. A repair is not simply driving the old nail back into place. A true assessment of the roofing issue is critical to understanding what is happening with your roof. Not to mention, is your roof under warranty? 

Does a Roof Warranty Cover Nail Pops? 

Unauthorized work on your roof may void your roof warranty. If you have a workmanship warranty with your roofing contractor, then they may cover the repair work. Check in with your roofing company to see what warranties you have and schedule a free roof inspection. There may be two types of roof warranties; workmanship and materials. See if your home is within the warranty for nail pop roof repairs.  

Kearns Brothers, Metro Detroit’s Leading Roof Repair 

Kearns Brothers have been repairing and replacing roofs for nearly 40 years. We’re award-winning, trusted roofing experts that will help you navigate any potential roofing issues you may experience. Call us today to schedule your free roof inspection.