Nails protruding from exposed eaves

I am a residential customer in Florida who just got a reroof (asphalt) on a 1920s house. Nails now protrude from the exposed eaves–and they splintered the wood in places. Should shorter nails have been used? And what can I do about it now? Thanks for any advice.

yes, shorter nails should have been used
Cut them off (either you or your contractor) with a dremel or side cutters and pull the splinters and fill and paint.

This is one of my pet peaves…I hate when the soffit looks like someone went at it with a machine gun.

good luck


Thank you for the reply, Johne5. I was afraid that was the case.

ditto johne

I Agree that the Roofer who did the work needs to fix it not the Homeowner! I have a question though what Kind of roof deck do you have?

Um… It is the LAW that nails penetrate through the wood. No exceptions.

Having said that, We break the law to make the homeowner happy. The inspectors around here understand and look the other way.

If you have exposed 1x6 toungue and groove , than we use shorter nails.

But if you have exposed 1/2 inch sheeting. I dont care. The nails have to penetrate through it. period.

Now that it is done, the best way is long handled clippers. And then repaint for even better results.
Trying to saw thew away with a device will gouge circular marks into the wood and make it worse.

Yeah Roof-lover that was what I was getting at exactly with 1/2" inch plywood better box in the eaves for a nicer look cause cutting nails would not be wise! :slight_smile: proper soffit vents if you do box in the eaves!

Thank you for all these responses. The underside of the eaves looks like tongue-in-groove; it’s a historic bungalow and the exposed rafters and eaves are part of the look. But I’m sure the roofing code has changed since 1923!

Do others agree that it is the law to let the nails go through if the substrate is thin (thinner than 3/4 inch, I guess)? If the nails need to be a certain length for structural reasons, it’s not good to cut off the tips, right?

Thanks again! It’s amazing to be able to get the input of professionals, not just find random answers online.

1/2" plywood soffitt on a 1920’s house?

just sayin’…

…and as far as 1x6 tongue and groove? the law around here only requires 3/4" penetration into a 1" board…i agree with the plywood though, full pentration required…seeing the age of the house, I would have to assume it is true timber, therefore full 1" boards…

Check local codes regarding this.


It’s definitely not plywood–it’s wood that looks like narrow slats (only a few inches wide each), so “tongue and groove”

Plywood and OSB have little holding power, so the nails are required to penetrate into the attic and other spaces.
When using wood, it is not an issue and the nails shouldn’t protrude.

You have T&G on your eaves and the roofer should have been using 1" nails, or even shorter. He’ll be happy to come back, clip the nails, fill the holes,a nd splinters and re-paint the underside for you. It was his fault, and now it’s his to repair.