There comes a time in every roof’s life when something goes wrong. Whether it be wind, hail, or simply the long years, eventually every homeowner will need to get a roof replacement.

Are you the type of person that prefers to do home improvement jobs yourself?

Do you want to cut down on the costs of maintaining what should be one of the most significant investments you have made? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then knowing how to nail shingles, and do so properly, is a must-know.

When To Redo Your Roof’s Asphalt Shingles

Knowing if and when you need to repair or replace your roofing is just as important as knowing how to properly nail shingles to your roof. Many different issues may arise that will determine whether or not you need to completely redo the shingles on your roof or if you simply need to patch certain areas. You will know if you need to install new roofing if your home is experiencing any of the issues below.

Water Damage

If your home’s attic or whichever space directly resides underneath your roof begins to experience unexplained water damage, it may be time to consider redoing your roof. Because your roof should keep out moisture from the rest of your home, signs of water damage can indicate that your roofing is no longer doing its job.

High Energy Bills

Another sign your roofing may need to be fixed is if you begin to experience higher-than-average energy bills. Because your roof should prevent the loss of airflow from within your home, higher energy bills can indicate that your roof may be having issues.

Typical Lifespan

Your roof may need replacement if the shingles have outlived their typical lifespan. Unfortunately, everything has a timeframe when it needs replacing, and your home’s roof is no different. Once it reaches the end of its lifespan, your roof will start to cause further problems the longer you wait to redo it.

how to nail shingles curled

Curling or Buckling Shingles

Another sign to look for is if the shingles have begun to curl or buckle because they may have sustained damage and are no longer attached to your roof. Consequently, if a severe storm or high wind occurs, the curled or bucked shingles may end up caught in the heavy wind, causing further damage. How severe and widespread the curling or buckling is will determine if you can install new shingles or if you must redo the whole roof.

Missing Shingles

Likewise, if your roof has missing shingles, it may need patching or a complete replacement. The more missing shingles, the more problems your home will experience. The number of missing shingles will determine if you need to fix parts of your roof or redo your whole roof.

Depending on the type of roof shingles, you should replace them every 12 to 30 years. For example, composition shingles should be replaced every 12 to 20 years, asphalt shingles every 15 to 30 years, and wood shingles every 20 to 25 years.

Essential Facts to Know Before Repairing or Replacing Roof Shingles

Fixing the shingles on your roof can be extremely challenging and dangerous, and having the appropriate facts beforehand will help the process proceed smoother.

Nailing Shingles

You should use proper nailing technique by driving each nail head straight rather than at an angle for the most secure placement of your shingles.

Minimum Roofing Nails Needed To Hold a Shingle

Typically each shingle should be held by a minimum of four nails and a minimum of six nails for locations prone to high winds.

Specific Shingle Cut Patterns

Depending on the manufacturer, there will be specific guidelines for you to follow since each shingle type has its own particular cut pattern.


Before you begin nailing your shingles, ensure that you know the measurement of every part of your roof. This information is essential to know, so you know how many bundles of shingles you will need to purchase. To get to the most accurate calculation, measure each section of your roof separately.

  1. Measure the length and width, then determine the area measurement.
  2. Add the measurements of all the sections. Then divide by 100 to determine the number of squares.
  3. Divide that by three to determine how many bundles are needed.

Essential Equipment To Have Before Repairing or Replacing Your Roofing

Repairing or replacing the asphalt shingles on your roof can be extremely challenging and dangerous. Having the appropriate safety gear and equipment is vital to ensuring that you are not injured while completing it.

how to nail shingles safety

Protect Yourself From Falls

To protect yourself from potential falls, ensure that you connect a harness and a line to the ridge or staging with safety rails around it.

Safety Gear

To protect yourself from potential hazards when working on top of your home, always wear a hard hat, work gloves, safety glasses, and long pants as you work.

Hammer or Nail Gun

A nail gun may make your install easier; however, a high-quality nail gun might not be cost-effective, but a high-quality hammer will be just as effective.

How To Nail Shingles

For great-looking roofing that will last you years to come, follow these steps as best as possible.

  1. The goal is to work your way up and across to begin laying your courses. Always use the proper nailing technique so that roofing nails continuously hold the top edge of the course beneath it.
  2. To fasten shingles, drive one nail about 2 inches from each end of a shingle. Then drive another nail 1 inch above every cutout. So, your next span of shingles covers the roofing nails by 1 inch vertically.
  3. Follow the nailing pattern of lining an entire shingle up against the next and then nailing it into the roof deck and shingle underneath. Be sure to trim your last shingle on each row to size; do this to the ridge.
  4. When you’ve reached the ridge, bend the shingle over it so each side is equal, and nail it into place with a single nail on each side. Continue this nailing pattern with the next shingle until you reach the ridge’s far edge.
  5. Then trim the last ridge shingle to the size you need, but ensure no part of the roof deck is exposed and is properly covered.


Hopefully, this article provides you with valuable information on nailing shingles properly to your roof, as well as additional vital information to ensure that you can safely complete the dangerous and challenging task of redoing your roof.


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