Nail pops occur when nails used to secure shingles begin sticking out from under the roof sheathing and protrusion occurs, leaving nails exposed and potentially leading to water leakage and interior damage. Left unchecked, nail pops will lead to further shingle degradation leading to water leaks and interior damages.
Though unattractive, nail pops don’t pose the same risks as they seem. Repairing them quickly prevents potential issues and extends the lifespan of your roof.
Removing the Loose Nail
Nail pops may seem like minor roofing problems, but they could eventually lead to leakage issues if left unaddressed. They also signal that other parts of your roof may be subject to environmental stress and damage that needs attention.
Nail pops are caused when roofing nails that connect shingles to roof sheathing (OSB, plywood or wood planks) expand and contract due to daily changes in humidity and temperature. This causes them to push upward through the shingle into the sheathing before becoming dislodged by expansion or contraction forces in both weather conditions and humidity levels.
Dependent upon the extent and complexity of the problem, DIY solutions for nail pops may be possible; for minor cases however it’s advisable to prioritize safety. A misstep on a ladder or misplaced nail could cause further roof damage and injury; professional roofers can assess each situation to recommend appropriate repair solutions.
Removing the Shingle Sheet
Nails that pop loose from roofs create gaps that allow rainwater to penetrate and cause sheathing rot, as well as providing access for pests like squirrels and rodents to enter homes.
Nail pops occur when roofing nails – typically long ring-shank nails – push up against shingles instead of being flush with them, potentially breaking bonds created by self-sealing strips or roof cement.
To repair a nail pop, carefully climb onto your roof while wearing secure ladder and boots with good traction, pry up the shingle and exposed nail, remove as necessary and hammer in one inch higher up on the roof a new nail one at a time if necessary if possible enlisting someone to observe from inside your attic and direct where to place the new nail.
Removing the Damaged Shingle
Nail pops can cause the surrounding shingles to lift and create leak paths, potentially leading to sheathing rot or water penetration through your ceiling and into your home. If left unaddressed, these issues could eventually lead to sheathing rot or ceiling leakage and further compromise your home.
An effective solution for repairing popped nails is replacing them with new shingles. First, loosen adhesive under tabs of two rows above damaged shingle using a flat pry bar and loosen adhesive under tab slots using crowbar or claw of your hammer before working the flat bar between all nails in question.
Once your new shingle has been installed, seal its surrounding shingles with roof cement to protect them from further wind or precipitation damage. By taking steps to address nail pops in your roof quickly and effectively, additional risks can be avoided and its lifespan extended significantly.
Repairing the Damaged Shingle
If a shingle lifts and exposes nail holes, it is critical that action are taken immediately. Just putting down some cement sealant won’t do – over time, this will wear away, leaving exposed nails exposed again allowing rain water to enter your home through any entry points created by this damage.
Fixing nail pops involves replacing all damaged shingles at once, but this may not always be feasible. Instead, first you must take steps to locate and access any nails pushing upward (photo 1). A flat bar such as a large crowbar or the claw of a hammer works well to get beneath tabs without ripping them off completely.
Nail pops may seem like minor issues, but left untreated they can quickly lead to roof leaks and sheathing damage. Luckily, nail pops are relatively straightforward fixes with the proper tools and knowledge; before climbing any ladder yourself it would be wiser to speak to an experienced roofing professional about whether this task should be undertaken without their expertise.