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Face Nailing

New postPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:10 pm
by Dappy
I have about 40 shingles on my home (2 yrs old) where the roofers placed entire top rows of shingles with two face nails on each one. It looks horrible. I have been getting conflicting answers on the internet. Some sites say this is okay, while others say it will eventually leak. Other homes in my neighborhood do not have this ugly sight. My question is this: is this acceptable, or should I find someone to fix it before it becomes an expensive problem.

Re: Face Nailing

New postPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:39 pm
by Jerry Peck - Codeman
Hi Dappy,

There is no reason or excuse (other than laziness) to leave nails exposed on shingles, and it is no definitely not allowed.

Each face nail is a leak through the roofing system. Not a leak waiting to happen, but a leak, as the nail creates that water path all the way through the shingles and underlayment from the top surface of the shingles down. You may not see the leak for a while, maybe years if you are lucky, but the leak is there.

Yes, hire a licensed competent roofing contractor to replace all those face nailed shingles. It will be much less expensive now than when the roof sheathing needs to be replaced in the future.

Now, to further expand on the answer requires asking another question, and it may change the above correction method (not change the fact that the face nails should not be left exposed, just 'how to correct the problem'.

You said "I have about 40 shingles on my home (2 yrs old) where the roofers placed entire top rows of shingles with two face nails on each one. It looks horrible.", so here is my clarifying question: Are those the top row (course) of shingles on each side of the ridge at the top of the ridge?

If so, then I have a follow-up question: Do you have ridge caps installed?

It is possible that they installed the shingles up to the ridge and did not install the ridge caps. If this is the case, you still have the exposed face nail problem, but instead of replacing those shingles just have ridge caps installed.

Ridge caps are basically single tabs of three tab shingles with a bevel cut off the edges of the non-exposed part of each tab, these ridge caps (single tabs) are laid centered over the ridge starting at one end, one nail is driven through each side of the first ridge cap, then the second ridge cap installed covering the sealant strip on the first ridge cap, attach with a nail on each side, then proceed across the roof to the opposite end. At the opposite end of the ridge the last ridge cap will have the two nails exposed, cut one more ridge cap, cut the finished tab only part off the single tab of shingle, then nail that over the two exposed nails in the last ridge cap.

That leaves you still having two exposed nails, and you have two options to cover those two nails: 1) cut another finished tab like the first one and secure it down with plastic roof cement; 2) cut two pieces of roof membrane tape about 2 inches by 2 inches, which is a fiberglass tape which is asphalt impregnated, place a dab of plastic roof cement over each of the two exposed nail heads, place one of the cut pieces of roof membrane tape onto each dab of plastic roof cement, press in place with a putty knife, using the putty knife, cover those two pieces of membrane with a little more plastic roof cement. You now have *no* exposed nail heads.

Just like the job should have been done originally - no exposed nail heads.

Okay, do you have ridge caps installed and the two rows (courses) of shingles you are talking about are lower than the ridge caps, or do you just not have ridge caps installed?

I'm going to guess that you just do not have ridge caps installed and someone forgot to come back after lunch break and install the ridge caps. If that is the case I would call the original roofer and ask him 'Remember when you told me your guys were coming back to install the ridge caps? I was outside the other day and just noticed they never did.' Give the roofer the benefit of the doubt first, giving him a chance to correct it. If he does not, then go from there.

Re: Face Nailing

New postPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:37 pm
by Dappy
Great points! It did not cross my mind. No... not near any ridges. The home has 3 dormers. Where the dormer ends at a vertical wall, there reamins about 6 feet of shingles to the edge of the roof. The line of shingles I was talking about is the first row in front of the end of the dormers, at the top of that 6 feet or so of shingles. Is this some kind of code violation? What does it do to the warranty?

Re: Face Nailing

New postPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:30 pm
by Jerry Peck - Codeman
Hi Dappy,

Dappy wrote:Is this some kind of code violation?

Yes, absolutely.

The shingles are required to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions and the code, and what the code does not address (some codes are not as specific as other codes and I don't know where you are or what codes are in effect there) the manufacturer's installation instructions will address.

Most manufacturer's installation instructions will specify a certain method of installation, which includes placement and location of all fasteners and the method of fastener installation (i.e., driven in straight, not over-driven, not under-driven, not driven at an angle, etc.), with placement and location meaning placement in the shingles below the sealant line, not above the sealant line, not in the sealant line. but not low enough so as the fasteners are exposed and not covered by the next shingle laid above. All spelled out in the installation instructions.

The manufacturer's installation instructions also specify the placement of the shingle above the shingle below and the exposure of the shingle below (exposure is the amount of shingle not covered by the shingle above, for example, if a standard three-tab shingle is 12 inches high by 36 inches wide and the shingle above is placed over the first shingle covering 7 inches of the first shingle, the lower shingle as 5 inches "exposed", that is the "exposure" of the shingle and the exposure is also specified in the installation instructions).

What does it do to the warranty?

Those exposed nails, and excessive exposure of the shingles, along with other things the roofer did incorrectly, may well negate the warranty as many, if not most, manufacturers look for installation and other problems to use to void the warranty. Those exposed nails in that many shingles would serve their purpose to back away from the warranty.

I always tell people that if the roofer did not pay attention to the things which shown when the job is completed, just think what they may have not done (or done) for the things which will never be seen again?

Why would we expect a roofer to pay more attention to something no one will see than they do to something everyone will see? We cannot expect that, we can only expect the opposite, and let the roofer prove otherwise if they can.

Yes, those shingles need to be replaced, however, from your description, replacing them and installing the shingles in the roof above may require the removal of all shingles installed above the problem area with all required and necessary work (which may mean a new layer of underlayment be installed from the repair up) to make the installation proper and as new.

Do you have a photo showing the area and the overall roof in that area?