Correct fastening

OK all you never properly trained, piecework paid, in a hurry, Cowboy roofers pay attention : ) The shingle nail must be straight ( up and down ); The nail head must be flush with the shingle surface ( snug on top ); nails must not be over driven ( pushed through ); or angle driven ( tilted ). If a nail is bad put a good one in next to it. Switch to hand nailing until you understand this then go back to the unreliable gun. Class dismissed. I’ve seen countless roofs with 70-80-90% of nails over driven and way above the factory embossed nailing lines. Most of these ended up being torn off and redone. It’s just as easy to put a nail here as it is to put a nail there. I always hand nailed everything including plywood. Better job. Takes longer costs more but homeowners willing to pay for true quality. True story.

Ok. And the point of your post is? Seems like you assume there’s a bunch of jack-leg three chucks in a truck type roofers here on this forum. You are wrong. All of the old hands here know their stuff and give good advice. I’m very curious as to what prompted this post.


And that’s why you don’t install. EDIT I tried an air nailer 20+ years ago and after 200 SQ between needing a hammer to drive high nails, a tar gun to caulk blow throughs, every coil jamming at some point, blowing breakers with the compressor, and tripping on hoses, I sold the gun. Tried one last year and they HAVE made improvements…

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Sounds like his wife ran off with a cowboy roofer.


Naw, all roofing laborers need to read this.
Because many are Not paying attention to
A properly installed fastener.
A fastener driven Too deep and/or shot too high above the double thickness area is a common mistake.

Show your laborers exactly where the double-thickness ends and demand they keep it there.

Every fastener that missed the double-thickness, i want tar on top of it.
Because more than likely it was driven too deep

Do my guys want to throw me off the roof?
Yeah, sometimes.
But i pay them considerably
Better than every one else,
So they still smile.


Ehh… and all you scissor trucks get out of here. It’s better to pack it up the ladder. Progress isn’t always good but just supervise your crews better and everything will be ok.

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I agree about what’s said about improperly driven nails because most every roof has the issue. It can potentially cost a homeowner there warranty if it’s improperly installed, however instead of jumping straight to hand nailing I little understanding of how the equipment works, and observation during install can limit this problem. Pressures change and need adjusted. Simple as that but at the end of the day this needs taught on the job and not a message forum. Those roofers doing this will never install properly if not properly trained.


I threw a couple guys off a roof in Georgia and had to buy a laddervator, cause nobody would work with me. Still have it 30+ years later.

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When I was first breaking in, 1985, my boss had a scissor bed but wouldn’t even cross a sidewalk with it. Have the kids load it up the ladder, never flat on the shoulder bundles on edge to keep them from getting flimsy. Hand nail, 6 nail everything. Not allowed to drop scraps or wrappers off roof, had to reverse pack trash down the ladder. That doesn’t even cover our hot tar rules, no chopping plugs for the kettle load 100 pounders, hot up ladders in buckets when stinger wouldn’t reach etc. Ahh…good times.


Great example of where an academic can pick on a realist.
High nails ive seen as a major problem in terms of blown off shingles in high winds.

When i first started i didnt believe it. Ive seen dozens of roofs now with repairs needed because of high nails.

Crooked nails or obsession over the direction of a nail? Or angle?

Id be glad to hear it if you had a point other than a complex that isnt related to business. When have you ever seen an issue from angle of nail in nail pattern and if so, how pertinent? Maybe situationally in spots, but for the majority of field shingles, only a desk jockey Bible thumper thinks nail angle is going to be a thing.
You can use this angle of attack all day on anyone using standards of your choosing. End of the day, ive seen shingles fly off from high nailing, not personally ever seen bad angles relevant. Let me know otherwise.

I mean hammer your shitty high nails. Im not saying be sloppy af, but nail angles ive never seen a leak.

Fastener too deep can be a hot day or a cold day with too much pressure. People need to understand that, make an effort not to punch through over and over or leave raised nails or sidewards nails, but to me, this is the ultimate end game for nit picking and extravagance. The high nailing is very legit, the rest is very superficial.

Problem i have with op, is who wins here? Nobody. Acceptability thresholds have to be found and reached in order to provide proper pricing.

I mean i could hand bang a whole roof in that fashion but id have to charge 3x as much right?

Haven’t been on this thread for a while, however, as long as I’m here and lll make an attempt at answering your question.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion, nailing to high, or at an angle doesn’t comply with any manufacturers written instructions therefore isn’t correct no matter how many leaks, or strip shingles are or are not removed. It wouldn’t matter at this point because you or whomever chose to ignore the manufacturers installation instructions therefore your going to rob your customers of their warranty from improper installation practices and I’d imagine possibly cause the company to be held liable for damages if any have occurred all because of those fasteners and someone knowing better than the manufacturer.
I can agree and say most likely it may last it’s lifetime and never have a problem, however that’s opinion, and the reality may prove to be much more serious when individual roofers start making the decision to just do whatever, whenever they feel like it. Seems much easier to just get it right and not have the headache if ever something was to happen

Seems to me that most problems occur from improper fastening and poor flashing practices, it’s not that hard to pay attention to what you’re doing

If p eopl e can’t follow the manufacturers specs then they should start painting or some such shit

I get what you’re saying about academics v realists to a certain extent but you lost me when you think an angled nail isn’t a big deal.if it’s angled that means the head is not driven perfectly flush, which it is supposed to be. I know our shinglers don’t drive every nail perfectly, but we live in a somewhat forgiving area. There are many regions, Florida especially, where this would be an issue I’m sure.

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