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shingle fasteners


John Dirks Jr
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During my disaster restoration contracting days, every now and then we'd have to deal with an overlay of asphalt shingles, where the roofer didn't use longer than normal nails, which is paramount if you're going to go a second layer. Whole sections of roofing were blowing off in sheets. It's good to see a fair amount of nail or staple through the underside of the sheathing.

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If you go to a vender and look at the back side of a bundle of shingles, the manufacturer's installation instructions are usually there. It's been years since I last looked at one, but as I recall, the nails should protrude otherwise they may back out after enough fluctuations in the moisture content of the decking. I'm not sure what the instruction is regarding staples.

You'd be surprised how many professional roofers never follow or even read these instructions.

Marc

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Staples are a sure sign of piss-poor install anywhere in world.

What knocks me out is that the new ICC codes allow them now, even in the hurricane prone areas of the Louisiana coastline. Over $100 billion in damage from hurricanes Katrina & Rita in 06' and our response is to upgrade to staples? Why this insanity?

Marc

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What knocks me out is that the new ICC codes allow them now, even in the hurricane prone areas of the Louisiana coastline. Over $100 billion in damage from hurricanes Katrina & Rita in 06' and our response is to upgrade to staples? Why this insanity?

Marc,

What ICC code? They aren't listed as an option in the '03 or '06 IRC, and according to Jim, they haven't been allowed for over 10 years.

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No sarcasm on that post of mine Cary. It's a regional thing, I guess, but most roofers here nail too high, with the wrong spacing and with the wrong nail (electrogalvanized on a 35 year warranty architectural roof). A one-year old dwelling I inspected last year had several large patches of 3-tabs shingles sliding out from a rear roof surface where there was little line-of-sight from the ground. Nail count was skimpy and far too high to hit the previous course. Wrote off the entire roof, since the failures had begun.

Chad, check the back side of a couple brands of 3-tab laminated shingles at the store. They've been permitted by many manufacturers for several years now. The labels that I've seen say that they don't recommend the use of staples but it won't void the warranty either.

Marc

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Although they prefer nails, Certainteed allows staples to be used on their 3-tab shingles and on one or two series of architectural-grade shingles.

From CertainTeed's Master Shingle Applicator Manual:

Both ARMA and CertainTeed strongly recommend that properly driven and applied roofing nails be used as the fastening system for asphalt shingles. Staples can perform acceptably if properly applied but proper alignment and application is more difficult with staples than with nails, making shingle damage and blow-offs more likely (Nails MUST be used for Hatteras, Ambassador Shake, Presidential T/L, Carriage House, Grand Manor and Custom Lok 25 shingles)

Corrosion-resistant staples with a minimum outside crown width of 1" and a minimum nominal 16 gauge (0.0625:) must be used and:

  • Staples must be power-driven straight and flush to the shingle surface so that the edge of the staple crown does not cut into the shingle. The crown must be parallel to the long edge of the shingle (maximum angle off parallel = 30 degrees).
  • Staple legs must be at least 1" long and must penetrate at least 3/4" into the deck. If the deck is less than 3/4" thick they must penetrate 1/8" beyond th deck. (NOTE: For clean-deck applications of Grand Manor Shangle and Carriage House Shangle, the staples must be at least 1-1/2" long (1-3/4" for roof-overs).
  • Staples are to be centered on the fastening location specified in the application instructions.
How many of you working here in the northwest know when and where CertainTeed says nails shorter than 1-inch are permissable but staples are prohibited and under what conditions?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Chad, check the back side of a couple brands of 3-tab laminated shingles at the store. They've been permitted by many manufacturers for several years now. The labels that I've seen say that they don't recommend the use of staples but it won't void the warranty either.

You might be right... I haven't had a three tab in my hand for 10 years.

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Every once in a while, common sense needs to poke it's head into a conversation whether some Code-writing authority has ordained the practice or not. I'd tell every last sinner who'd listen that any shingle attached by any staple is prone to going for a ride in a strong wind. A manufacturer or the IRC may disagree with me, but I enjoy the twin comforts of Physics and History on my side of the discussion.

I've only very rarely come across shingles in asphalt shingles in MA. I guess I figured that with the proliferation of nailing guns, the labor savings of using a stapler (v a hammer) was negated. Are roofers using staplers regularly in some parts of this country? That's shocking to me.

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Hi Cuz,

I wholeheartedly agree - it is a crappy way to install a roof; but it is done. I used to see it a lot - not so much anymore. I'd guess that the reason is exactly as you've stated - nail guns are plentiful and cheap now.

Now, the number of poorly nailed roofs I see is shooting upward like an Atlas rocket. Ever stood on a street and watched these guys with those nail guns. Nail placement, the angle the nail is driven and the depth of set are all secondary to how fast they can get the cover on.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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A manufacturer or the IRC may disagree with me, but I enjoy the twin comforts of Physics and History on my side of the discussion.

Agreed.

It's all *bounce* nailing around here. I've seen roofing where every nail was overdriven, some with hundreds of nails driven all the way through the shingle.

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The coil nailers themselves are no good for shingle fastening, because you can't hot-dip galvanize them. A childhood friend of mine ask me to examine his 35 year warranty roof that was 14 years old and failing in many places. The dominant failure mode was that the nail shanks were rusted completely through adjacent to the nail heads and large sections of shingled roof finish were sliding out. It was gun nailed, with electro-galvanized nails. I've seen leftover electrogalvanized roofing nails on a new roof that were completely covered with rust.

Just my humble opinion, is all.

Marc

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Note to newer HIs following this thread: Marc has mentioned "High nailing" which may be a new term, and is a serious problem that you don't want to overlook. When you see 3-tab shingles with excessive reveal (as in the bottom edge of the tab is above the top of the key below it), the fasteners fail to catch enough of the top edge of the lowest layer of shingle below, which permits that top edge to simpy break aways.. This in turn permits all of the stress of expansion and contraction to be applied directly to the shingle tabs above the sealed down bottom edge. This will result in horizontal cracks across the shingle tabs above the sealed bottom edge and vertical cracks through tabs over the butt-joints of the shingles. It also permits the system to blow off easier. While the symptoms are easy to spot, the seriousness of the condition can be easily overlooked. In reality, the system is toast from the day it's installed. Attachment is basically reduced by up to fifty percent, thereby voiding and the manufacturer's warranty. And, the average roofer may stand behind the installation for five years (maybe). In the insurance industry it's a real and expensive problem. When you see these consistent crack patterns be sure to connect the dots and advise that without replacement, expensive spot patching is ahead along with a significant increase in vulnerability to storm damage.

I was dealing with the problem on a monthly basis in the 90's. Then, things got better for a while, but the practice seems to be on the rise possibly due to a whole new group of installers who don't communicate well and pinch pennies.

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Well, with apologies to all whom are directly and indirectly associated with TIJ, I must simultaneously acknowledge this forum as a learning tool for all HI's, and use it as a Confessional for my own self:

I have never, ever used a nailing gun in my life. In fact, the family roofing company I refer most folks to, uses (gasp!) only hammers. They are local, underpaid, respected, and not wealthy -not unlike me (though I an endeavoring to remedy that particular condition).

We can't yet reliably condemn every nailgun-installed shingle, but is there any agreement on staple-installed shingles? Does ANYONE consider this a legitimate installation method? If so, why?

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From 2009 IRC:

R905.2.5 Fasteners. Fasteners for asphalt shingles shall be

galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum or copper roofing

nails, minimum 12 gage [0.105 inch (3 mm)] shank with a

minimum 3/8-inch (10 mm) diameter head, ASTM F 1667, of

a length to penetrate through the roofingmaterials and a minimum

of 3/4 inch (19 mm) into the roof sheathing. Where the

roof sheathing is less than 3/4 inch (19mm)thick, the fasteners

shall penetrate through the sheathing. Fasteners shall comply

with ASTM F 1667.

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