What causes nail pops

ok i look on my roof and see a shingle popped up slightly, I go up there and its a slight nail pop not really sticking up just started.

I put a flat pc of sttel on the nail head and a flat pc of wood on the shingle and gently hit it down, again it was only up 1/4"

I then put a dab of roof cement on the nail head and put a brick on to hold it tight.

? is what causes this on a 11 yr old roof ?? I looked at my neighbors and some others and see 3 or 4 spots with severe nail pops in the middle of the roof and near the top???

Is the best way to pull the nail then cement the hole ?? If this one comes up again I will do that. Its up about 6 courses Archect Tamko shingle

Multiple reasons can cause it to occur.

The most likely, when the roof is still newer, is crookedly installed nails or nails that are too short for the decking.

After years, their is extreme continuous expansion and contraction going on due to the moisture and heat levels in the attic. This causes the nails to “Toggle” a little bit, but slowly over time, they work themselves loose, but they were improperly installed to begin with.

Probably a lot more reasons, but I need to get home.


is the way I fixed it ok ?? The nails are like 1-1/2" long and there are one layer of shingles

They will probably work loose again, since they are in a already spread out hole for the shank penetration.

It would be best to remove the nail and reset it about an inch or so away, being careful not to locate the nail at a slot line cut-out or a butt end joint.

Also, put a nickel sized dab of roof cement caulk on the old hole. Not too close to the bottom edge of the shingle though, so it does not gush out.


what if I pulled the nail if it does it again and just put roof cement on the hole w/o putting in another nail, is 3 in the shingle and the others in the above shingle enough ??

If not how would I ever get the shingle up high enough to put a nail in the shingle under it without earing the shingle ??

Think I should leave it for now and watch it ??

Just pull the nail and fill the hole with the roof cement caulking.

It really won’t matter on just a few select shingles, especially if they are not on the windward edge side rake/gable edges.


Thx Ed, My roof is a hipped roof so it should be fine then

Got a couple roofs with nail pops right now.

Put most of the shingles on them and all the nails were driven fine.

All the roofs were done in the middle of Winter with XT30 shingles as chosen by the builder not me.

What I may do is to lift each tab that has a popped nail under it and drive one or two nails with a little of the head covering the popped nail. This way the new nail should hold down the old nail and there will be no hole in the roof to worry about.

Funny thing is no nails popped until a couple years after the house was roofed.

my roof was done 11 yrs ago, how are you going to lift the top shingle far enough to get the nail in ??

A pry bar then a dab of tar and a foot on the tab?

it seems like you will rip the shingle trying to bend it that far

If you guys climb into the attic space and take a hammer and tap each nail point until it bends over, you will never have a nail pop.

Make sure you do it in the middle of summer during the day to get the full effect.


Actually, most nail pops can’t be helped on a reroof or even a new construction. The popped nail just lost its holding power because maybe it waspounded or shot in a weak spot of the decking, probably between the deck boards or maybe next to an old nail hole etc.

hey great idea, then before the tear off we could go up nd straighten them all :twisted:

I think you have the all time record of posts from a homeowner :o

I agree with G-Tape’s “real” answer in that it can’t be helped in msot circumstances.

Heck, even my own house has some fishmouths due to nail pops… I’ve just been too lazy / busy to get up there & work on it.

Awhile back, I asked something related to this answer; what are we going to do in another 20 or 40 years when a roof with a plywood deck has been re-roofed 4 or 5 times & it’s pretty shot up with holes all over the place?

so do I get a prize for that or are you just keeping track of my posts ?? :smiley: