A Guide to Different Types of Roofing Nails

You can't install a stable roof without nails, at least not without severely limiting your style and material choices. Fasteners like roofing nails are essential pieces of the installation process, and knowing which roofing nails you need for your installation project is just as essential as the nails themselves. Failure to use the correct fasteners can result in loose shingles, underlayment that is not watertight, and, if you're a roofing contractor, very angry clients. Before you shop for a good supply of flooring nails in Atlanta, it's wise to know exactly what you need for your current and upcoming projects. Here's your guide to the different types of roofing nails, where they're useful, and where to find them.


Roofing nails of all kinds are distinct from generic nails in that they must have wide, flat heads, small shanks, and extremely sharp tips. They are designed for easy installation while delicately piercing materials like wooden shingles, and to hold objects in place for many years. There are several categories of roofing nails:


  • Aluminum: These nails are great for metal roofing, but only in regions that do not risk salt exposure. Coastal homes should not have rust-prone aluminum nails.
  • Stainless Steel: These nails are excellent for slate and ceramic roofing tiles, and are less rust-resistant than aluminum.
  • Copper: Copper nails are standard and offer basic benefits for all types of roofing, but you may want to consider nails that are specialized for a specific purpose.
  • Galvanized Steel: These ultra-rust-resistant nails, coated in zinc, are excellent for coastal buildings, areas with high rainfall, and asphalt roofs.
  • Standard: This length classification refers to 1-2-inch nail shanks. These are generally for ordinary roofing construction, including asphalt and fiberglass roofs.
  •  Long: Longer nail shanks are essential for thick wooden shingles, which standard nails may not penetrate. Every builders supply store should carry a variety of nail shank lengths.
  • Screw Shank: These nails have a twisted shanks and rhombus-shaped tips for extra holding power. They are excellent choices for real wooden roofs, which require extra securing strength.
  • Ring Shank: With a wide head, these nails are great for securing shingles in high-wind regions and buildings at high elevations.
  • Smooth Shank: Inexpensive, standard-shank roofing nails, these are basic materials that are useful when roofing staples would also be appropriate. They are suitable for asphalt roofs in areas without severe weather.


Be sure to shop for a variety of roofing nails in Atlanta so you are prepared for different types of roofing projects. You can visit a discount building materials shop to save on a large supply.