Hand Nailing vs. Air Gun

Do any roofers still hand nail composition shingles? I’ve heard this can mean better installation because more attention is paid to each shingle.

If I ask for hand nailing, will most roofers agree or tell me to go elsewhere?


Do a search on the site, this subject has been discussed many times in great detail.

will do. Thanks.

If we were to hand nail I’d be charging more…but why ? :roll: ?

Yeah we’ll do it,but like Kage said,it’ll cost ya! :smiley:

only hand nail high dollar shingles, therfore zero mistakes.

just got a quote from a company that only hand nails - he said they feel they hav better control over the installation.

This is in Snohomish county in washington, about 25 miles North of Seattle.

Hand nailing WOW that takes me back to when I was young and good looken well maybe not good looken but I was young. You go slower so of course you can watch were you put your nails. But you can also do a quality job with a gun. Just because one hand nails does not mean you will get a great roof installation and just because you use a gun does not mean your roof is badly installed. It comes down to the quality of the installer not the tool you use to drive a nail.

This is about the clearest answer anyone has ever written on this once a week topic.

Ohh I don’t know about that. Roofers that use guns have more time to care about what they are doing.

The Facts about Hand-Nailed roof shingles vs. Air Nailed roof shingles.
[tab=30]I’ve been in the roofing industry in the Vancouver area since 1986. My father before me since 1946. During this time we’ve seen a lot of changes to the residential roofing industry, everything from products, methods, and tools.

[tab=30]One of the most debatable installation procedures is the use of Air Nail Guns for Roofing installation.  Air-Guns have been blamed for being a venue for sloppy installation of Nails.  Such installation flaws as over driven nails, under driven nails, crooked nails, and nails installed in the wrong area of the product as the installer is moving to quick with decreased accuracy.

[tab=30]Another less noted, but equally concerning problem is the damage cause by the impact of the tool.  Many times, in cooler temperatures, and even warm temperatures, the impact will shatter the asphalt around the nail, and damage the integrity of the product in those areas.  Nail may look installed properly, but the product is damaged.  It may be harder to notice, but it is a prevalent problem. 

[tab=30]Tools and Products have even been designed to help mitigate the problems created by Air Tools.  Some products have increased area for nailing to help with accuracy problems.  Some Air Tools have gauges to help adjust the depth the nail will be driven.  Tool improvements have helped to ensure nails are driven straight.  Installation Companies have even draw attention to the problems associated with Air Tools and some take steps to pro-actively address any issues from the use of Air Tools.

[tab=30]In my opinion, I believe that a good installer will be able to install a quality roof with air-tools given they are prepared to:

• Slow down, and be observant of each nail installed.
• Ensure nails are installed correctly and in the nail zone of the product being installed.
• Pull crooked nails and repair the product with an approved caulking.
• Remove nails installed just above the head-lap of the shingle below, or the bonded area of the shingle that may have damaged the product, and repair the product.
• Pull over driven nails, and repair or replace the product.
• Pull all nails that have shattered the matting of the product from impact and repair.
• Use a hammer/hatchet to finish the installation of nails that are under driven.

[tab=30]In Short, I have found that I am most comfortable Hand-Nailing the products I install.
Reece Jorgensen.

send me a note if you have any questions, don’t know when I’ll be back :wink:

What jorgensenroofing said.