Types of Roofing Nails
a short nail usually with a large flat head and a barbed shank used for securing roofing paper or asphalt shingles to roof boards. Roofing nails are cleverly designed to help you do a better job. Though they vary greatly in material, size and type, all roofing nails share one helpful characteristic: a diamond‐shaped point. This point is expertly designed to keep the decking intact when it punctures through. We'll walk you through the types, sizes and materials you may choose from when picking a roofing nail. Ultimately, it is best to refer to your building codes and roofing manufacturer for more specific guidance. In your building codes and international building codes, nails may be referenced as "fasteners" along with staples and screws.
There are basic types of roofing nails:
1. Smooth Shank
The shank of the nail is the part of the nail that punctures through the material you are nailing. Simply put, smooth shank nails have a smooth shank. They are the most basic type of roofing nail and cheaper than the other two options.
2. Ring Shank
A ring shank nail is also called an annular roofing nail or corrugated roofing nail. As its many names suggest, this type of nail has rings along the shank. They aren't connected, as they are with screws. Still, these rings give the nail extra staying power, or grip, in the shingles and sheathing.
The head diameter is typically a standard 3/8-inch for all roofing nails. A larger-size head might increase the risk of exposing part of the nail head in standard nailing locations on the shingle.
Roofing Nail Materials
Steel makes for strong nails. Of course, as your nails will be on the exterior of a home, they must have rust and corrosion protection. For steel, this means stainless steel or galvanized steel. Stainless steel nails are best used for slate and ceramic roofs or asphalt shingle roofs in coastal climates.
For asphalt roofing shingles, use galvanized nails. Galvanization adds a layer of zinc onto the steel that significantly inhibits rust and corrosion. There are two methods of galvanizing nails: hot‐dipped and electro‐galvanized. The hot‐dipped method results in a thicker layer of zinc that lasts longer, so they are preferred.
Copper is strong and naturally resists rust and corrosion. You may prefer to use copper roofing nails on a roof with other copper accents. Copper nails are most often used on roofs with copper flashing and accessories. However, as roofing nails will usually be hidden by the shingles above them, steel nails don't detract from the look of the roof.
Aluminum is a weaker metal than steel and copper. However, aluminum nails are still used on asphalt shingle roofing by some roofers. Aluminum nails are more prone to corrosion, as well as chemical and salt damage, than steel nails.