A Guide to Choosing the Right Roofing Nails

Roofing nails come in a variety of dimensions, materials, and types to meet the individual requirements of each roof. Whether you’re using metal, asphalt, or ceramic roofing, you need the right type to ensure that it remains structurally sound and durable for years. Before searching for nails for shingles in Atlanta, read this guide to understand which type is best for your current or upcoming project.

Size, Length, and Gauge

Though they come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and gauges, all roofing nails share common distinctive features: a wide, flat head and short shanks. This design allows them to pierce shingles, felt, or sheet metal without splitting underlying wood.

The dimensions (gauge and length) of the nails you need are dependent on shingle material and what type of project you’re doing. The ideal gauge, which refers to diameter, is between 10 and 12. Roofing nails can range from one to six inches in length, though those most commonly used are often between one and two inches, which are suitable for conventional asphalt shingles. However, if re-roofing over existing shingles or using thick, wooden shingles, you likely need 1 ¼ inch nails.


You must also carefully consider roofing nails based on the materials used to manufacture them; this is because certain types of nails better operate in particular environments and hold up stronger to stressors. The four composition-based types of roofing nails are:

·         Aluminum – A durable variant, aluminum nails are suitable for fastening metal roofing; however, due to its tendency to rust when exposed to salt, it’s recommended not to use them in coastal areas.

·         Copper –  Copper nails are standard types of nail that offer basic benefits in all environments and for many different kinds of roofing, although, using specially-made nails is more preferred.

·         Stainless Steel – Stainless steel nails are less prone to rust than their aluminum alternative and secure slate and ceramic roofing tiles very well.

·         Galvanized Steel – Coated with zinc to form a rust-inhibitive finish, galvanized steel nails are incredibly rust-resistant; due to this quality, they’re frequently used in coastal and high-rainfall areas.


The type of nail you choose is critical because each has a direct effect on how well the roofing is secured. The three main variants are screw shank, ring shank, and smooth shank nails.

If your roof consists of wood and pallets, you benefit greatly from using screw shank nails. Due to its unique twisted shank, this kind of nail is exceptional at fastening shingles even in extreme weather. Other distinguishing features are its flat head and diamond tip, which allow it to easily puncture shingles without causing excessive stress.

Typically made of galvanized steel and larger than a standard nail, ring shank nails hold down asphalt roofing felts and shingles exceptionally well; notwithstanding, due to its relative bluntness to alternatives, they have been known to create stress.

Smooth shank nails are noticeably cheaper than other types and considered ideal for people on a budget. They, however, do not provide as much protection and can be affected by adverse weather conditions.