Do roofing nails require sealing?

We recently purchased a new construction home and had a home inspection before taking possession. We have moved in and have a short list of items for the contractor to take care of. One is addressing the inspector’s comments about the roof which were:

“My only problems with the roof are exposed nail heads located on the final cap shingles at the dog ear eaves and ridge caps, and unsealed nail heads on the plumbing boot flashing. All exposed nail heads should be sealed to prevent roof leakage.”

We recently moved from California (where we had clay tile roof) to Alabama where we have this sloped architectural shingle roof, so I am unfamiliar with this. My question, is it common and necessary for sealant to be used as indicated by the inspector? I am curious if the roofer did a sloppy job or if the inspector is attempting to be overly thorough in his report.

Many thanks for your comments.


nail heads should be covered with an approved caulking. Vulcum or solar seal. Over time they will rust and create a potential leak

ditto JamesFL

50/50 if they will leak… i have seen 40 year old exposed nails that dont leak. on my own home i would seal them just to be cautious. it will require one $5 tube of geocell 2300 tri-polymer sealant. it will take longer to set up the ladder than to “dab” caulk on the nail heads. super easy fix.

Thanks to all for the very good feedback. The builder is clueless as to roofing, but he is having the roofer stop by the house to discuss with me. You all have given me the info I need to request the sealing be done per the inspector’s findings.

Thanks again!