Where To Nail Shingles Properly During A Replacement

June 12th, 2024 BY First American Roofing

Replacing the shingles on your roof can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it becomes manageable and rewarding. One critical aspect of shingle replacement is ensuring the nails are placed correctly. Proper nailing not only secures the shingles but also ensures the roof’s durability and weather resistance. In this article, we will talk about the best practices with installing shingles, where to nail shingles, and more, including:

🤔 Understanding Shingles and Roofing Basics

nail shingles-close up of a roof tech in a yellow vest using power tools to install shingles

Types of Shingles

Before diving into nailing techniques, it’s essential to understand the different types of roofing shingles available. The most common types are:

Roofing Components

A roof is more than just shingles. It includes several components that work together to protect your home:

👉 Preparing for Shingle Replacement

Safety Precautions

Safety should always be your priority when working on a roof. Here are some essential safety tips:

Gathering Materials

Before you start, gather all the materials you’ll need:

Removing Old Shingles

Removing old shingles is a critical step that requires care to avoid damaging the roof decking. Use a shingle removal tool or a flat pry bar to lift the shingles and remove the nails. Dispose of the old shingles and nails properly.

🔨 Nailing Shingles: 6 Best Practices

Ensuring your shingles are nailed correctly is vital for the longevity and performance of your roof. At First American Roofing and Siding, we adhere to six best practices that guarantee secure and effective shingle installation. These methods not only enhance the durability of your roof but also provide peace of mind against potential weather damage.

1. Positioning the Nails

Proper nail placement is crucial for the performance and longevity of your shingles. Here are the key guidelines:

2. Nailing Technique

3. Securing Starter Strips

Begin by installing the starter strips along the eaves. These strips should overhang the eaves slightly to guide water into the gutters. Nail the starter strips in place, ensuring the nails are positioned properly and securely.

4. Installing the First Row

Lay the first row of shingles, starting from the bottom of the roof and working your way up. Align the shingles carefully and ensure they overhang the eaves by about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. Nail each shingle according to the guidelines mentioned earlier.

5. Subsequent Rows

For subsequent rows, stagger the shingles to avoid vertical alignment of seams, which can lead to leaks. Use a half-tab offset for three-tab shingles or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for other types. Continue nailing each shingle within the designated nailing area.

6. Valleys and Ridges

Valleys and ridges require special attention:

🌤️ Ensuring Weather Resistance

nail shingles-two technicians using power tools to install shingles

Ensuring your roof’s weather resistance is paramount for protecting your home from the elements. At First American Roofing and Siding, we utilize cutting-edge techniques and high-quality materials to maximize your roof’s ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. Trust our expertise to keep your home safe and secure through every season.

Sealing the Shingles

Proper sealing is essential to prevent water infiltration. Some shingles come with adhesive strips that activate with heat from the sun. For others, you may need to apply roofing cement manually. Ensure each shingle is sealed to the one below it.

Flashing Installation

Flashing is critical around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, skylights, and vents. Install flashing before laying shingles in these areas. Ensure the flashing is securely nailed and sealed to prevent leaks.


Proper ventilation is crucial for the longevity of your roof and to prevent issues such as mold and ice dams. Install ridge vents and ensure soffit vents are clear and unobstructed. This allows for adequate airflow and helps regulate temperature and moisture levels in the attic.

🔎 Final Inspection and Maintenance

Inspect Your Work

Once you’ve completed the shingle installation, conduct a thorough inspection. Check for:

Regular Maintenance

To prolong the life of your roof, perform regular maintenance:

🙌 The Importance of Proper Shingle Installation for Roof Durability and Performance

Properly nailing shingles during a roof replacement is crucial for ensuring durability, weather resistance, and overall performance. At First American Roofing and Siding, our team of experts follows industry-leading guidelines to ensure your roof provides reliable protection for years to come. With extensive experience and a commitment to excellence, we are the team you can trust for all your roofing needs.

Don’t leave such an important task to chance—contact First American Roofing and Siding today for professional, dependable service. Invest in the safety and longevity of your home with a well-installed roof by our skilled professionals. Call us now for a consultation!