Roof Nail Pops

Roof nail pops are one of the most common causes of water leaks in shingle roof systems.

What is a roof nail pop?

Nail pops occur on shingle roof systems and can be identified as tent-shaped shingle rises caused by a nail pushing up from below. Have you seen any of these on your roof lately? If so, it is very important to get them addressed and fixed as soon as possible!

What causes a roof nail pop?

There are a variety of reasons that roof nail pops can occur. One of which, very common for our area of Western North Carolina, is temperature changes. Our southern climate comes with high temperatures and high humidity in the summer, as well as cold temperatures and drier humidity in the winter. This causes expansion and contraction in our roof systems which, in turn, can sometimes cause nails to pop up. Once the nail begins to pop up, the roof shingle becomes loose and starts to lift resulting in the tent-shaped shingle rise you will see.

Other causes for nail pops could be that the roofing nails were installed improperly or that the nails used during roof installation were too short. In some cases, installers may even use the longest nails that they can, particularly when roofing over an existing roof with an uncertainty as to what they are nailing into. Sadly, there are no industry standards for roofing nail length, just common sense and years of experience.

How are roof nail pops fixed?

There are several reasons that nail pops can occur, however, the important thing to keep in mind is to take care of them as quickly as possible. The sooner that a nail pop is identified and repaired, the simpler (and cheaper!) the fix will be. If caught immediately, the repair is as easy as removing and replacing the loose nails and sealing the shingle down. If a nail pop is left unattended, the nail can wear a hole in the shingle which exposes your roof system to potential water leaks. Water can also make its way under the raised shingle causing further damage to your roof system and a larger, more costly repair. Additionally, if a nail pop is left unattended, strong winds have the potential to catch the raised shingle and blow it off your roof system completely also leading to further damage and a more costly repair.

How are roof nail pops prevented?

It is essential that the roofing nails used to secure the shingles on your roof system are the correct length and installed properly. This means that on normal applications, the roofing nail should penetrate the roof decking. However, nail pops are not completely preventable due to the fact that during installation, the roof decking cannot be seen. Therefore, if a nail is installed where two pieces of decking come together, unknown to the installer, the nail is liable to pop after time as having not solidly penetrated through the decking. It is not uncommon to have nail pops, however, it is essential that they are addressed quickly.

Does your roof have any nail pops?

Are you curious as to if your roof has any nail pops that need to be addressed? Would you like to take precautionary measures to ensure that nail pops and other roof repairs are caught and addressed as quickly as possible? Give us a call to ask us about our roof inspections and maintenance plans!