In this episode, Daniel discusses why different roofing companies choose to use nails or staples. The reasons may surprise you!

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB029-205

Shayla: Welcome to the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I’m talking with Daniel today. Daniel, when it comes to re-roofing, why does it matter whether or not the roofing company uses staples or nails? What’s the difference?

Daniel: You know, that is a really good question. For years there’s been a debate in the re-roof industry, nails versus staples. Which one is best? And for years the National Roofing Contractors Association has tried to persuade roofers to use nails. They have a better holding power. Well, now we’re starting to see in the industry the manufacturers are actually starting to require that. We just looked at an installation on one of our preferred shingles that we install and it spells out in bold letters “staples are not acceptable.” The reason we don’t like staples are because it’s a really thin piece. And when you install a roofing shingle, it’s like a little knife blade; it just doesn’t have the holding power. A staple is good for a wood shake because it pierces through, goes over the wood and grabs it. But with the composition shingle, it’s pretty thin. It’s a you know sheet of fiberglass with asphalt and granules. That staple digs in just a little bit.

There’s no holding power. And so roofing manufacturers are saying please don’t use staples. They’re not good. Would you believe there’s actually a quality of nail? There’s a difference in the quality. You can go from a regular electro galvanized nail to a hot tip galvanized nail to a stainless steel nail. I know it sounds like there’s a lot of different choices. But the roofer should be able to explain to you what that means and how long they’re going to last. For years EG Nail, that’s what you’ve heard, electro galvanized. You can go to the big box store and go pick up a nail and it looks like it’s a little silver nail. It’s got a thin coating of galvanizing on it.

It’s really thin. And so the life expectancy is about half of what a hot dipped galvanized is. So the difference is it’s electrically charged, particles stick to it. That’s how you get it, that’s why it’s so thin. A hot dipped galvanized nail, it’s actually dipped down into the galvanizing solution. That does two things for you. It puts a thicker coating on there and it makes the nail, a little rougher. So it’s less likely to back out. So you get a longer life nail. And if you really want to nail this, not going to have any issues you can bump up and get a stainless steel roofing. So there’s different types of nails you can use depending on what roof you put on. If you’re going to put on a 50-year architectural or really high end, why use an EG nail that’s only going to last 15 to 20 years?

Step up the nail also. Would you believe there’s a specific nailing zone that you have to put the nail on? And the homeowners and the roofer should know what area do I live in? If you’re living in Gresham or Troutdale out here or you’re living in Camas or Washougal, there’s a lot of wind that comes out of the gorge. You can’t just go with the bare minimum four nails. Some of the city codes have dictated, nope, you need to use five nails or need you six nails. What does your city code telling you? What’s the wind like where you live? And is the roofer paying attention to that? I just watched the neighbor’s roof going on. I live in Vancouver Washington, and where I live they require five nails.

I watched the roofer go and put four nails on, so he already broke the city code and he has no warranty on his roof. If manufacturer has the blow off, and he says well I did four nails, the manufacturer is going to go to the city code and go, yeah, but this area says you have to use five nails. You lost the shingles. You installed it incorrectly.

Shayla: And the homeowner would never even know that until it happened.

Daniel: Correct. That’s why when we put on a new roof, we don’t just go to your door, bid out the roof and then leave the paperwork at your door. We sit down with you. We sit in front of you. We talk about these different parts and pieces. We actually talk about the nail. I know it sounds really boring to talk about a nail. But these are all important things. We let you make that choice. This is what this nail is, this how long it’s going to last. You tell me, which one do you want to use for your home?

Shayla: And Roof Life of Oregon will always hit the nailing zone, right? There’s no question about that.

Daniel: That’s correct. That’s correct. That’s why we pay our teams by the hour rather than by the piece, makes the guys go slower, makes them put them in the right place.

Shayla: So when you go to reroof your home, make sure you reach out to the experienced team at Roof Life of Oregon. Thanks, Daniel.


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