Hand-Nailing Shingles vs. Using a Nail Gun

Posted on: January 26, 2018

Does hand-nailing shingles yield better results than using a nail gun?

Hand-Nailing Shingles

While many roofers have strong feelings one way or the other, as the property owner, you just want a quality roof. Which method is going to deliver on that count?

At the Roof Doctor, we believe that both methods can work, but it depends who you hire to execute the job.

The Importance of Nail Placement

At the end of the day, the placement of each nail will determine the durability of your shingles. There is a right way and a wrong way to nail a shingle to a roof.

Shingles are designed to be nailed in specific locations, and the nail must be driven to a certain depth. If this location or depth is off by even a little, it can put the shingle at risk of allowing water to penetrate it, or it may fly off in high winds. Not only that, roofing warranty coverage might be voided if the inspection finds that the reason for the problem was incorrect nail placement.

Pros and Cons of Both Sides

Some roofers believe hand-nailing shingles gives them more control over the process. They can use “feel” to determine if the nail is deep enough and in the right location. Since hand-nailing takes a bit more time, they have the chance to correct any mistakes on the spot. On the other hand, labor costs will be higher.

Some roofers think that using a nail gun delivers the same level of precision as hand nailing. But it’s important for these roofers to always test their tools before using them. Over- or under-pressurized nail guns can result in nails that are either driven too hard or not driven deeply enough. On the plus side, these roofers can complete whole projects much faster, resulting in cost savings for the homeowner.

What Does the Shingle Manufacturer Say?

Roofing manufacturers have determined that hand-nailing shingles and using a nail gun are both valid methods of installing shingles, so it is not a reflection on your roofer’s work quality level if they choose one over the other.

What Is More Important Than Tools? Experience!

What matters most during roofing installations is the experience of the roofer. An amateur roofer is more likely to place their nails incorrectly, whether they’re using a hammer or a nail gun. On the other hand, a roofer that’s succeeded in producing years of quality results that last — that’s the type of professional you want on the job. That’s us. Call the Roof Doctor today and get a free estimate for your roof!