Why we hand nail our roofs

by robbinsroofinginc on March 8, 2012

Common practice among Oklahoma City roofers is to use pneumatic nailers to install the shingles on your home. While this method can be acceptable, it’s not the ideal choice. There are times when the old-fashioned way is still better, and that’s why we hand nail our roofs.

To understand why hand nailing shingles is better, you should first appreciate the nuances of nail guns. They are a little more temperamental than people realize. First of all, the nail gun works best when it’s flush against the roofing surface. This can be difficult if the operator is not standing directly below the work. As the gun is tilted in different directions, the nails will stand out slightly, making the shingle more likely to come off in the wind and creating a situation where the head of the nail can damage the shingles above it.

Nail guns also allow the team to move faster across the roof. In a field where a single nail installed improperly can result in leaks, speed is not always a good thing. Hand nailing the shingles forces the crew to slow down and take care with the placement of each and every nail.

Roofs naturally have some bounce to them in the areas between rafters. A crew hand nailing the shingles will take that into account and make adjustments to the force applied to ensure that the nail is driven in exactly right. The nail gun is not able to do this. A nail going into a rafter or very near it can be overdriven, creating an indentation in the shingle. Nails driven between the rafters lose some of the force to the bounce of the deck, causing them to not drive in fully.

The one exception to our hand nailed rule is when we are working on a roof with 1×8 decking. If you’re not willing to have the decking replaced with OSB board, we have to take care to ensure that the deck boards are not damaged during the installation of your new roof. The best way to do this is to use the nail gun.

We are one of the few experienced roofers in the Oklahoma City area who continue to hand nail roofs. We have more than 60 years of combined experience that tells us this is the best choice for installing a quality roof that will withstand the high winds we see in this area. To learn more about our experience and qualifications, visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

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