Old nails

Is is necessary to remove ALL old nails from the decking prior to putting new felt and shingles? Roofer says that he just hammers them back :?

hello okuz,

i pull nails that wont beat down flat.
if the nail has trash under it and wont nail down flat, i pull it.
im sure you roofer does the same.

sounds normal.



Why do you think they need to come out?

I puul all roofing nails form the decking. This is to make absolurly 100% sure they cannot backout.

Now this being said, I have only seen fasteners backout of solid decking a couple of times, and do not know the cause, but sure dont want it happening on my jobs.

I pull all roofing nails, I pound in all shake nails.

[quote=“gweedo”]hello okuz,

i pull nails that wont beat down flat.
if the nail has trash under it and wont nail down flat, i pull it.
im sure you roofer does the same.

sounds normal.


same hear.

nail that is in a board will be less of a problem than if it is in a joist, I found that when I stripped this roof.

Solid wood moves. an 8" board can move over 1/8" and even more depending on moisture when it went on. it moves less in thickness and pretty much zilch in length. If the nail is floating in the board it could come up a bit with thickness change, if the board is over a rafter and the top board is moving back and forth you could have more of a problem as that board expands and contracts.

The worst nails I have found are the ones used to put the boards down on the joists. You can hammer them back but they do not grab. The board has worked around the nail head and is enlarged. The nail does not have enough new material to grab into in the joist unless it is countersunk, I found alot of heads sitting up. Boards have been re ripped and stapled down with 2" staples.

I understand better now why the manual says rip the roof, the way it was phrased to me is it is required, not that it is recommended.

When you guys look at solid wood roofs you can see some or many of the boards are high in the middle or high on the edges. Usually wood warps away from the heart. Heart side down boards will be high on the edges and it was this way on my roof.

Seems to me there must be a thought pattern when the wood is put down in the first place and that heart side up would be better, like on a deck the board goes high in the center then the water is to drain off the edges. Supposed to anyway.

In pulling the nails from my roof one thing I noticed is the new made in china nails are both thinner and also do not have the same serious barbs on them.

Almost makes me want to resue the old ones



“The causes not covered by this Limited Warranty include, without limitation, damage to the Shingles caused by: …(f) decking nails or staples backing out and either perforating or pushing up the Shingles”

elkcorp.com/homeowners/warra … rofile.cfm

And I found a lot of on-line recommendations to remove old nails and fasteners. But roofer says that it will add too much time to reroof process.

Old nails pounded in the decking seem to be easy reason for manufacturer to void warranty. :expressionless:


The nails they are talking about are not the nails/staples that hold the shingles.
They are the nails that hold the decking on.

If he puts the nails in for him to pull all the nails would take more time. It is a break from the system that he has.

I pull my nails. Not because of backing out. It is easier the way I strip my roofs.

There are some roofs that I nail them in. 1x6 tounge and groove is one.

Well, in my eyes, the nails are part of the exiting roof. My contracts says to tear off the roof, not to leave part of it attached.

Hi AaronB,

All I am saying if the contractor leaves the nails in or takes them out would not be how I pick a contractor.

Since it is a preference thing. It will not make the roof leak or keep it from leaking.

Guess I should have been more specific, Lefty, as my post was intended for the original poster.

I know of many companies that pound them. I do not. We all have many successful applications.

i pull 90 % from plywood, and pound 90% on cedar tear off (these nails are usualy 150 years old and disintagrate when you try to pull)

low nails, high nails, backin up nails, over driven nails,.

i love to go back to fix a nail or two.

its the goin back to fix a real problem that i dont want to do.