| 17/10/2022

Why do nails pop up on asphalt shingle roofs causing leaks?

Image Source: FreeImages‍

Nails have been used in construction for thousands of years. They’re cheap and easy to install, which is why they’ve been used so often on natural fiber shingle roofs. Nails can be used instead of clips when fastening the shingles down. Based on testing and time-tested best practices, we recommend that asphalt shingle manufacturers not use nails and instead use clips with each shingle tab. This way, the nails don’t pierce the shingles but rather just hang from them. However, many manufacturers continue to use nails on their asphalt shingles because they are cheaper than clips and go into a raw roof much faster than installing clips every 3 feet or so. Below we’ll explain why nails cause leaks on asphalt shingle roofs.

How nails cause leaks on asphalt shingle roofs

In the process of installing nails, some of the nail ends will be missed. Eventually, the shingles will start to rot and break. Once the shingles are damaged, water can easily enter the roof through the nail holes. As the water enters the shingles, it is absorbed causing the shingles to expand. This can cause the nails to tear through the shingles. As the shingles start to break down, it’s common for the nails to be exposed. This will allow water to run down the nails and into the roof sheathing. This is a very common cause of roof leaks.

Water enters through nail holes when it rains.

If the shingles are falling apart, the water will be able to get through to the sheathing of the roof. If the sheathing is exposed to water, the shingles will start to break down. The shingles will not be able to protect your roof as they are supposed to. Water that is able to get through the shingles and into the sheathing will also run back out with the roof’s roofing. This will cause the roof to leak.

Damage is caused by the nails themselves.

The nails are going to pierce the shingles. This creates a hole for water to get through. You will notice that your shingles are much shinier than other shingles. They will also feel sticky, like tape. This is because the shingles have been pierced. The water will enter the shingles, causing them to get sticky and break down. This will cause the shingles to rip off the roof, and you will have to pay to have them replaced.

Roofing material absorbs water and expands, causing nails to tear through the shingles.

The shingles are made out of asphalt. If they are exposed to water, the water will be absorbed into the shingles. The shingles will then expand. As the shingles expand, the nails will tear through them. When the shingles are dry again, they will contract and go back to normal. This has been tested in labs and has proven to happen.

Nails can be difficult to detect while inspecting a roof. They’re black and blend in with the asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles are black. The nails are black. It is hard to see where the nails are on the roof. This will make it hard for you to detect nail pops on your roof. Even if you do see nails, it will be hard to determine if the nails are in fact popped. It could be that the nails are just being held down by a few strands of shingles. It is hard to tell. Nails also blend in with the shingles. If you look at a nail head, you will see that it is black. It will blend in with the black shingles. You will then be unable to see the nail head. This makes it hard to identify a nail that is popped.


Asphalt shingles are made of materials that will absorb water. When water is absorbed, it expands. This is why nails tear through the shingles when they’re wet. The best way to prevent this is to use clips to fasten the shingles down and avoid using nails. The best way to detect nail pops is to inspect your roof regularly and use a magnet detachable rake. The nails are black and will blend in with the asphalt shingles. This makes it hard to detect that a nail is popped.

To learn more, contact The Roof Whisperer at 844-878-1360 or Contact The Roof Whisperer for an Appointment