What roofing nails are best to use?

When selecting the correct type of roofing nails, there are a few factors to consider. First, it is essential to choose a nail suitable for the type of roof installed and the environment in which it will be used. Different types of nails are designed for various materials, including asphalt shingles, metal roofs, and more.

In addition to the material used, roofing nails must be chosen for their corrosion resistance, durability, and size. The nail size should be large enough to hold down shingles that vary in thickness from manufacturer to manufacturer. The heads must also withstand frequent rains and other weather events without being pierced or bent out of shape.

Different roofing nails, including galvanized or ceramic coating, can also be distinguished by their coatings. Galvanized nails feature a rust-resistant zinc coating, whereas ceramic-coated nails are designed for hot environments. However, both provide a solid bond to withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy winds or rain storms.

Finally, there needs to be consideration given about what sort of tool will be used for installation – either an electric nail gun or a manual hammer – as the appropriate diameter has different implications when it comes time for nailing down the shingles. When all factors have been accounted for, this guide hopes to offer further insight into making an educated decision when selecting what kind of roofing nail best suits your project’s needs.

Types of Roofing Nails

When it comes to repairing or replacing a roof, roofing nails are one of the most critical components you need. These nails are specifically designed to secure shingles to the roof firmly. Various kinds of roofing nails are available, each with its pros and cons.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the different types of roofing nails to help you decide which is the best type for your project:

Steel Roofing Nails

Steel roofing nails are among the most commonly used staples for roofing projects. They are strong, corrosion-resistant, and affordable. When selecting steel roofing nails for your project, it is essential to consider the diameter of the nail you choose. The diameter of steel roofing nails can vary from 2d to 10d, and these nails come in various lengths, too. It is also essential to select a type of steel grade appropriate for your application; stainless steel with more excellent corrosion resistance may be needed in some applications, while higher-strength nail material may be necessary for heavy-duty load requirements.

A hardened steel 3d x 0.120″ (or 2.7mm) diameter coil nail is recommended when installing shingles onto asphalt or wood structures. When driven correctly into the substrate material, this site offers excellent holding power without rupturing the shingle. For cedar shakes or shingle installation over existing shingle substrates, a firmly hardened 6d x 0.125″ (or 3mm) diameter ringed shank nail is suggested; this provides superior holding power as well as helps mitigate surface splitting when driving around tight corners or overlapping courses of shakes/shingles.

Copper Roofing Nails

Copper roofing nails are primarily used for historic renovation and restoration projects, in which period-appropriate fasteners are specified. These nails are made with a natural copper coating designed to withstand the elements and can last many years. Copper is also an antimicrobial material, which makes it a good choice for preventing the growth of molds, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

When working with copper roofing nails, it’s essential to understand that they may differ from standard steel or aluminum in size, thickness, diameter, and composition. To ensure the best results, consult a qualified roofer with experience working with copper materials on your project.

Aluminum Roofing Nails

Aluminum roofing nails are specialized structures that can provide impressive durability and protection to your roof. Compared to other kinds of nails, aluminum roofing nails sometimes have more advantages when installed correctly. Their main benefit is their robust and rust-free metal construction that resists corrosion even in heavy rain, snow, and extreme weather. The metal is designed to hold up under higher temperatures than galvanized steel materials. The smooth shaft provides a low friction coefficient to penetrate wood or asphalt shingles easily. Additionally, the heads are designed either wide or flat for easier hammer pounding and installation.

Stainless Steel Roofing Nails

Stainless steel roofing nails are the ideal choice for significant roofing projects. This type of nail is made from high-grade stainless steel. As a result, it offers superior corrosion resistance compared to other roofing nails, including aluminum, galvanized, and coated steel. The grade of stainless steel used to make these nails can vary depending on availability and budget. Still, most consist of multiple alloys, including iron, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum.

Due to their durable construction and corrosion-resistant properties, stainless steel roofing nails are becoming more popular with contractors who want to ensure the well-being of their client’s roofs for years to come. They are especially suitable for projects involving modern composition shingle roofs, which require extra protection from climate elements like harsh sunlight, rain, snow, and wind.

Benefits of Different Types of Roofing Nails

Roofing nails provide a strong and secure connection between shingles and other roofing materials. Choosing the right kind of roofing nails is an essential part of any roofing project.

There are various types of roofing nails on the market, each with unique benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each type of roofing nail so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase your nails.

Steel Roofing Nails

Steel roofing nails are used to secure asphalt shingles to the roof deck. Steel nails are available in various sizes and finishes to meet job requirements. Generally, steel roofing nails have a heavier gauge shank and are galvanized or zinc-coated for corrosion protection. Stainless steel roofing nails are also available for added strength and protection.

Steel roofing nails offer several advantages over other types of roofing fasteners:

Copper Roofing Nails

Copper roofing nails are a reliable and durable option for many roofing applications due to their unmatched strength and resistance to rust and corrosion. With copper ceiling cladding, roofing shingles, or other copper roofs, this type of nail is superior to galvanized steel because it does not corrode from exposure to humidity. In addition, copper roofing nails will maintain their bright golden color over time, making them an attractive choice for homeowners who prefer the modern look of copper-clad roofs.

Copper roofing nails can be used with asphalt shingle or slate roofs as long as the thickness of the material is appropriate for the nail size. The 1-1/4″ long nails are typically used for asphalt shingle applications. The 1-1/2″ long ones are generally used on slate roofs since they penetrate deeper into thicker materials. Thicknesses should always be verified before selecting a specific product size.

Due to their extreme durability, copper nails can withstand high winds better than those made from galvanized steel. In addition, they have more excellent corrosion resistance in humid climates or near saltwater bodies such as oceans or seas. If you want your metal roof installation to provide decades of performance with minimal maintenance required, consider using high-quality copper nails specially manufactured for this type of job.

Aluminum Roofing Nails

Aluminum roofing nails are popular for many roofers and homeowners looking for an all-weather option. Even in extreme conditions, they provide superior corrosion resistance, excellent durability, and superior adhesion. Advantages of aluminum roofing nails include crack and break resistance, reduced thermal expansion and contraction, improved adhesion and weatherproof seal, lightweight making them easier to work with, and improved impact strength.

Aluminum roofing nails are available in two primary varieties: round and ring shank. Round shanks offer uniform holding power, while the more aggressive ringer shank nails can more securely fasten more considerable material such as siding or plywood. Aluminum roofing nail sizes typically range from 1-1/2″ to 4-1/2″ inches long to accommodate varying thicknesses of steel paneling and insulation materials often used in the construction of roofs.

Stainless Steel Roofing Nails

Stainless steel roofing nails are the most common fastener to secure shingles. This nail has a head large enough to lay flat against the material, preventing sharp edges from tearing through the shingle.

Styl steel has greater strength and higher corrosion resistance than galvanized nails. This makes them ideal for coastal applications or other areas with high moisture levels or harsh weather conditions.

The sharp point and prolonged length of stainless steel ensure they penetrate deep into the materials below, providing maximum holding power and tension prevention against excessive winds or inclement weather. In addition, the threaded shaft helps to keep them securely in place even in windy conditions, making them a favorite among contractors who deal with such issues regularly.

When used correctly, these nails will provide years of service without any signs of deterioration. Plus, their affordability makes them a popular choice for residential and commercial roofing projects, whether new construction or repair.

Tips for Choosing the Right Roofing Nails

The type of roofing nails you choose will have a significant impact on the overall look and performance of your roof. Whether you are building a new roof or repairing an old one, selecting the proper roofing nails for the job is essential. This article will provide tips to help you decide which roofing nails are best.

Consider the Roofing Material

When selecting the ideal type of roofing nail, it’s essential to consider the material used. For example, suppose your roof consists of wood shingles. In that case, invest in copper or aluminum nails that are treated against corrosion. However, galvanized nails might be a better choice if asphalt shingles are present because they can handle weather exposure better than copper or aluminum.

Furthermore, if your roof is slate, you may need specialty nails for maximum stability, as other nails may not be appropriate for this substrate. For instance, stainless steel is often recommended due to its strength and inadequate chloride content, which can prevent faster corrosion rates with natural slates.

Hot-dipped galvanized fasteners should be used when choosing roofing nails for cedar shingle roofs since these provide extra rust resistance compared to regular electro-galvanized options. Also, make sure you use a nail gun with a coil nailer instead of a stick nailer. When attaching the shingle in place, these have higher power and broader baseplate support for improved stability and performance.

Consider the Weather Conditions

When selecting roofing nails, it is essential to consider the type of weather conditions prevalent in the location where you will be using them. Different weather conditions can adversely affect the longevity of your roofing nails and the life expectancy of your roof. For instance, if you install a roof in an area that often experiences temperatures below freezing and snow accumulation, then galvanized steel nails are recommended because they can withstand harsh outdoor elements. On the other hand, copper should be your material of choice if you will be working in a secure environment or moderate climate, as it’s durable and offers superior corrosion resistance.

In addition to considering the climate conditions, another factor to consider when choosing which type of nail to use is the installed roofing material. Different types and weights of materials require different kinds of fasteners with different levels of holding power.

Consider the Cost

The cost of roofing nails will vary significantly depending on the type, size, and manufacturer. It’s essential to consider the cost of materials when choosing the right type of roofing nails. High-quality steel nails are usually more expensive than aluminum nails. However, they can withstand more wear with time and be used on larger projects.

Before purchasing any nail, consider your project’s budget. Consider the following ways to save money when selecting your roofing nails:


After evaluating each choice of roofing nail based on cost, longevity, and habitat suitability, it can be concluded that stainless steel nails are the best overall roofing nails. Stainless steel has superior strength and corrosion resistance, making it more suitable for wet and dry climates. In addition, its cost is reasonable for most homeowners, providing a quality construction product that does not sacrifice value.

Suppose a fastener choice is desired for intermediate weather conditions. In that case, galvanized or coated steel nails should be considered economical. Ultimately, these three roofing nails offer advantages based on conditions and price points. With research and consideration of your climate, you can rest assured you’re making the proper selection when deciding what to use in your next roofing project.