Improper fastening is one of the most common causes of shingle failure, and is not covered by the manufacturer warranty. Companies with a great warranty like CertainTeed offer a 110 mph wind warranty (can be upgraded to 130 mph by using proper starter and ridge cap) for the first 15 years of shingle life. However, if your shingles blow off due to improper fastening, it will be up to you to go after your roofing contractor or pay for the repair out of pocket. There are several ways that fastening will void your shingle warranty:
- Over-driven nails tear through the shingle and make it very easy for the shingle to be pulled off by gusts of wind.
- Under-driven nails will hold up the shingle above, preventing it from properly sealing down to the shingle below. This can let dust in which will prevent the sealant from ever activating, and also allows wind to catch the shingle and pull it off.
- Nails that are driven crooked into the shingle cut into the shingle on one side of the nail, while the other side holds up the shingle above. These two things combined makes for a perfect opportunity for shingles to catch the wind and fly off your roof.
- Nails that are too short. Nails must be long enough to penetrate through the shingle and all the way through the sheathing. If the roof decking is thick, nails must penetrate up to 3/4″ into the wood.
- Not enough nails – Each type of shingle requires a certain number of nails to be used per shingle, the average is 4 nails placed evenly.
- Improper placement of fasteners – Each type of shingle also has a “nail line” where nails are required to be placed to achieve the designed performance. If the nail line is missed, then blow-offs are much more likely to occur and are not covered by the manufacturer warranty.
One of the biggest causes of the above mistakes happening is roofing contractors that are rushing to get the job done. Using a pneumatic nailer too quickly can cause the installer to improperly fasten shingles and not even realize it.
Because of these things, we at New Heights Roofing always take our time to ensure every shingle is installed according to specification. Staples are never used, only approved, galvanized, wide-head roofing nails. We also install each shingle with 6 nails instead of the required 4 (commonly referred to as “storm nailing”). This will ensure that blow-offs are never a problem for our customers. We never rush or take shortcuts to finish a job faster. We believe our customers want a higher quality installation they won’t have to worry about, rather than their roof being finished a day or two sooner.
As you can see there are lots of little things that can happen that can potentially void your shingle warranty and not give you the protection you may think you’re getting. That’s why we always recommend hiring a company you trust rather than the lowest bidder. If you’re not sure about the contractor’s ability to install everything 100% correctly, don’t hire them. Your roof is a vital part of your home, don’t be afraid to invest a little more to find a reputable contractor that will do the job right (the first time).