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How Many Roofing Nails Per Square

how many roofing nails per square

The number of roofing nails per square depends on the size and type of shingle being nailed.

The most common sizes for residential applications are three inch and four inch, with three-inch being the most widely used.

Newer products often require different specifications.

New roofers often make the mistake of thinking that they need to put three nails per shingle, when it is more like two nails every other row (roughly).

There are many variables that affect the number of nails needed to complete any given roofing job.

This article will help you decide how many nails per square foot your project needs, and what other factors may need to be considered when determining nail quantity.

How Many Nails Are Needed In A Square Foot?

An average roofing nail holds about 11 pounds of weight. Also it is used for holding certain materials like asphalt shingles and wood shakes.

By calculation we can say, 1 sq/ft = 5 nails. This system is used only to estimate the number, not for exact calculations.

An average 1lb shingle can hold upto 25 nails at tops and 5 nails on each side of it (that would make 40 nails per square).

Weight should be considered while buying roofing nails. Also, metal roofs need different types of roofing nails.

Types of Roofing Nails

There are different types of roofing nails that are used for installation.

  • Trim head nails are known to be the most common type of nails for fixing roof shingles. These have grayish color and are also known as finish nails.
  • Spiral shank nails are known to be used for sheathing, sub-fascia boards, and roof decking. These have gold color and are also known as ring shank nails.
    • You can choose either of them depending on the requirement you have for your home.
  • Drop forged nails are known to be used for interior framing. These have yellow color and are also known as drift nails.
  • Electric wire weld nails are known to be used for paneling.
    • These have white color and are also known as EW nails.
    • These types of roofing nails vary in size, shape & quality depending upon the purpose they serve.
  • Screw shank nails are known to be used for paneling. These have green color and are also known as self-drilling screws.
  • Stainless steel roofing nails are known to be used for metal roofs, skylights etc. These have a silver color and are also known as deck screws.
hammer and roofing nails

Why Roofing Nails Are Important?

Roofing nails are used to fasten the roofing materials properly.

If we use lesser nails, there is a chance of leaking and if we use too many it will not hold onto the material and may tear off mid-way through the journey.

It is essential to know how many nails are needed per square foot. Roofing nails are important because it holds the roof together. It is used for fixing tiles, shingles etc.

Professional nailers cannot work without roofing nails because they hold the materials together and hence make the job easier.

Without any nails, it is impossible to make a roof and fix tiles on the surface.

Roofing nails are available in different sizes like 16d or 18d etc.

You can buy these from your local hardware store or order online as well if you don’t have time to go shopping at your local market. Sometimes we need different types of nails for various purposes.


How Can I Calculate Nails Required For My Roof?

The best way to calculate this is using the weight of the materials you are using, or by relying on local roofing experts.

You can also check out your local hardware store for roofing estimates, especially if they provide roofing services, as well as inquiry on their website or by phone.

Just make sure to provide as much information as possible.

Once you have already established the required number of nails, buy the ones that match the specifications.

NOTE: It is best to rely on the professionals when dealing with roofing and its installations. Do not hesitate to ask for help!

hand picking galvanized roofing nails

Understanding the Specs of Nails

Understanding how many nails are needed according to the roofing is important.

If your roofing material is 3-tab asphalt shingles, it will require about 6 nails per square foot. For architectural shingles, it requires 10 nails per square foot.

The best way to understand this formula is to multiply the surface area of your roof by psi.

Typically, you can use 12 to 16 pounds per square inch (psi) for asphalt shingles and 15 to 20 psi for architectural shingles.

Using Too Many Nails Than Required

Using too many nails than required will not hold the material properly to the sub-surface. It will rather tear the nails off the sub-surface and leave you vulnerable to leakage.

So, it is important to use the proper number of nails considering pressure per square inch.

Using Too Few Nails

It is also possible that you may use too few nails which will lead to your fastener materials being blown away by wind. There are chances of leakage as well if we don’t use enough nails.

Using Uneven Nails

It is also possible that users may use uneven nails which lead to tearing off mid-way through their journey.

This happens when the nails hold the material too tightly or loosely. In both of these cases, it is not possible to lay the roof smoothly.

Other Factors Affecting the Number of Roofing Nails Needed

There are certain factors that can affect your roof installation. These include things like shingle size, pitch or slope of the roof and wind resistance factor among others.

A flat surface would require more nails than a slanted one. Also, you need to consider how strong the wind is in your area.

If it is too strong, you might need additional nails to avoid the shingles from flying away.

If you install a metal roof or any other type of unusual roof, these factors will also affect the number of nails required for nailing them down properly and securely on your home’s rooftop.

You can either take the help of a professional to get an estimate for your roofing nails, or you can consider taking online orders from top suppliers.

There are several companies that deliver supplies and materials right at your doorstep.

When planning on buying roofing nails, it is important to keep these factors in mind so as not to go over budget with unnecessary expenses.

By doing so, you will be able to save money and time as well.

Repairing roof. Nailing flashing