Have you noticed nails popping through your shingles?
If so, it’s important to get them fixed as soon as possible. In fact, shingle nail pops are one of the most common causes of roof leaks.
A nail pushing through shingles means a broken shingle, and the more nail pops, the greater the chances of a leaking roof. Holes in shingles will lead to water damage inside your home.
What Causes Exposed Roofing Nails?
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common materials for residential roofs.
Durable, lightweight, relatively inexpensive, architectural— asphalt makes a great, beautiful roof. That said, nail pops are most common with this material.
Common causes of exposed roofing nails include:
- Nail too short
- Nails between seams
- Nails between decking grooves
- Nails in decking knots/joints
- Roof decking is not strong enough
- Improper nailing (angled)
- Old, deteriorated caulking
- Old, decayed, rotten decking
Temperature fluctuations, especially in our hot Texas weather, can eventually “work nails out” of wood. This is perhaps the most common reason for a nail pushing through shingles.
How To Spot Broken Shingles
Spotting broken or damaged shingles is easier than you might think.
Oftentimes, you can locate a damaged area of your roof from the ground. Look for any discoloration or upraised shingles.
Please remember that simply applying cement sealant over nail holes will not solve the problem. Eventually, the sun will wear out the sealant, and, besides, you still have a loose nail— and that means no support for your shingle.
How To Repair Broken Shingles
Again, never simply “caulk over” an exposed nail!
…The proper way to fix this is to fill the hole. This means removing the broken shingle, removing the exposed nail, sealing the hole, and installing a new shingle with new nails.
If you’re a DIYer, climb on top of your roof (secure your ladder & wear boots with traction) and pry up any nails popping up. After removing the nails, then remove the shingle. If nails haven’t pushed through, pry up the shingle by lifting around its edges first. Place a new nail one inch away from the removal spot.
If repairing cracked or deteriorated caulking, pry up exposed nails, remove the corroded caulk, and secure new flashing with new nails. Remember to seal over the nail heads.
NOTE: For loose nails that have yet to push through shingles, you can lift up the shingle and hammer the rising nails back down. Alternatively, or in addition, you can drive a new nail nearby for a fresh, stronger hold into decking.
A nail popping up may seem innocent but, without attention, can lead to a roof leak.