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How To Fix A Roofing Nail That Has Popped Out Of Place

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A single roofing nail that has worked free may not seem like a big deal. Yet this is a common cause of many leaky roofs. Luckily, its also a fairly straight forward problem to fix. If you've noticed nails sticking up from your roof, read on. This article will teach you how to get them back in place—to stay! For any further assistance, contact professionals such as those from Classic Remodeling Corporation.

Identifying The Cause

Roofing nails  usually pop out of place for one of three reasons:

  • incorrect size of nail
  • bad nail location
  • expansion and contraction of the roof due to weather fluctuations

A roofing nail should extend at least 3/8" beneath the underside of your roof sheathing. Sheathing is layer of plywood beneath the shingles. If a roofing nail is too short, it is much more likely to work its way free. The first step in addressing a loose nail should always be to verify that it is the correct length.

Roofing nails often work free because they happen to penetrate right at the seam between two pieces of sheathing. This issue will require the nail to be repositioned, and the former nail hole to be patched. Finally, even long, well placed nails sometimes work loose. This happens naturally, as the result of your roof's heating and cooling cycles.

Repositioning The Nail

No matter what the cause of your initial nail working loose, you're going to have to put in a new nail in a new spot. In general, you'll want to hammer in this new nail about a little ways above the original.  Consider enlisting the help of a second person. Have them observe from inside of the attic, where they should be able to see the new nail penetrate the sheathing. This way they can help ensure the new nail is positioned securely, so that it won't work loose.

Patching The Hole

To avoid ending up with a leaky roof on your hands, it is vital you patch the old nail hole. This can be easily accomplished with just two things:

First, move the shingle aside and use a caulk gun to apply a small amount of roofing cement to the hole in the sheathing. Then fold the piece of felt in half and press it squarely over the hole, so that the fold in the paper is pointed up toward the top of the roof. Then put the shingle back in place and fill the nail hole in the shingle with another small bead of cement. Congratulations, you now have a solid, watertight roof once more!