All About Roofing Nails

Construction & Contractors Blog

Every roofing material matters and requires careful selection. For example, roofing nails form a relatively small part of the roof, but they actually hold the roof together. Thus, a careful selection of roofing nails is necessary for a sound, strong, and efficient roof. Below are the three major aspects of a roofing nail that sets it apart from regular nails. 

1. Shanks

The shank is the elongated part of a nail that goes into the material you want to nail. Below are the major shank types.


As the name suggests, these nails come with shanks that are completely free of grooves. The nails are easy to work with; you can easily drive the nails into roofing materials due to their lack of grooves. Smooth shank nails are also relatively inexpensive.


These nails have grooves around their shanks that give them a ribbed feeling. The grooves mean the nails are relatively difficult to drive with a hammer; however, the same feature makes these nails difficult to pull out. Thus, roofing contractors love these nails because they don't fall out of the roof easily.


These nails look like screws, but they are nails, and you drive them in with hammers just like other nails. These nails have the hardest withdrawal resistance, but they are relatively expensive and difficult to drive into dense materials.

2. Materials

Roofing nails also come in different materials. The common materials include:

  • Aluminum. Aluminum nails are relatively common and inexpensive. The metal is not suitable for use in areas with salty air, such as coastal areas, since it's susceptible to corrosion.
  • Steel. Steel makes stronger nails than aluminum, which makes copper costlier than aluminum too. Galvanized steel nails resist corrosion and suit coastal areas where aluminum nails prematurely fail.
  • Copper. Copper nails require the greatest investment of the three due to the material's cost. Copper is also the strongest nail material of the three and doesn't show deterioration even after years of use.

Your roofing contractor can enlighten you on other available materials.

3. Size

Lastly, roofing nails come in different dimensions for different uses and at different prices. Specifically, the nails differ:

  • In their shank diameters (thicker nails are stronger than thinner ones).
  • In length, which determines whether the nail will penetrate through the roofing material, as building codes demand.
  • In head diameter, which determines how secure the attachment to the roofing material's surface is.

The heads also come in different shapes that affect the difficulty of working with the nails and the finish they give.

A residential roofing contractor will help you choose the best supplies for your roof. Listen to your contractors' advice, and you will enjoy a strong and durable roof.


23 May 2022

The Many Fields of Construction

There's a common misconception that all construction workers and contractors do the same job. On one hand, this is kind of true. Construction workers and contractors all built things. However, most people in this field have a specialty. Some hang drywall. Others paint. Still others know how to pour foundations or install roofs. While some construction workers and contractors move from field to field throughout their careers, others spend their career honing one particular skill. Either approach is fine, from our perspective. What we really care about is the excellent work that these workers do, and that's what we plan to feature on this website.