How To Cover Exposed Roofing Nails

As a homeowner, you may be wondering how exposed roofing nails can be covered. Fortunately, we have done some research for you, and here is what we found.

The following are step-by-step procedures for covering exposed roofing nails:

  • Find the exposed nails
  • Mark the exposed nails 
  • Cover the exposed nails with roofing cement.
  • Cover the cement.
  • Conceal the area.

This task can be easily done without the help of a professional. All you have to do is follow the steps carefully. Keep reading to get detailed information on how to cover exposed roofing nails.

photo of carpenter man using hammer to hammer the nail on the roof, How To Cover Exposed Roofing Nails

Covering Exposed Roofing Nails

Exposed roof nails adversely affect the lifespan of the roof system. Wherever notice your roofing nails are exposed, you should cover them as soon as possible. Here are steps to successfully cover exposed nails:

photo of a man installer carpenter wearing orange safety gloves holding hammer and a nail

Step 1: Find The Exposed Nail

The first step to take if you want to cover exposed roofing nails is to locate where it is on the roof. To do this, you have to inspect the shingles close to the source of the leak.

Step 2: Mark The Exposed Nail 

After locating the exposed nails, the next thing to do is mark them with a marker or a piece of chalk so you can locate them easily.

Step 3: Cover The Exposed Nail With Roofing Cement

Apply a good amount of roofing cement to the nail. Roofing cement is usually thick and can help seal nails to avoid water passage. Don’t forget to apply the cement to the nail head and the surrounding of the shank. 

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Step 4: Cover The Cement

After applying the cement to the nail, cover it with roofing paper. Roofing paper is thin and made of paper-like material. It can be used to seal exposed nails.

Smooth out the paper to avoid air bubbles. Next, apply another roofing cement to hold the paper in place, and the nail is well sealed.

Step 5:  Conceal The Area

After you have applied the roofing cement, cover the area with the roofing felt. To avoid air bubbles, you should smooth out the felt. Roofing felt is usually thick and made of paper-like material. It can be used as a sealant to prevent the passage of water.

If your roofing nails are exposed, you can use a nail gun to shoot more nails into the affected region. This is difficult, but it is an alternative if you don't want to use roofing cement.

After following these steps carefully, you can successfully seal exposed nails, leaving your roof free from leakage. You can reach out to a roofing contractor if you need help.

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How Can I Easily Identify An Exposed Nail On A Roof?

Before you cover exposed roofing nail heads, you need to be able to identify them. Identifying exposed nailheads can seem laborious and daunting if you don't have the right information on how to find them.

When trying to identify exposed nail heads, look at the ceiling for leaks or water spots from rusty nails. The color of these spots is usually black, brown, or bright yellow. If you find this type of stain, you probably have an exposed nail on the spill area.

You can also look at the roof from below on a sunny afternoon to find those bare nailheads. The materials used to make or paint the nails usually shine in the sun, so if you see anything shiny on your ceiling, it must be a bare nail.

Why Are Nails Popping Up On My Roof?

photo of a man installer of roof carpenter installing roof shingles on the roof

There are a number of reasons why a nail can pop up on the roof. These reasons should be addressed to prevent holes in the ceiling. Here are some of them.

Poor Installation

Improper nail installation is the main cause of nail pullout. Underdriven, overdriven, and misaligned nails can start sticking out at any time. Underdriven nails are not firm enough; overdriven nails and misaligned nails can create cracks that allow them to pop up.

Climate Change

Roofs tend to be brittle and loose over time. Temperature changes can cause expansion and contraction, which can also cause the roofing nails to loosen and pop up.

Angled Installation

While roofing, you should ensure that the nails are placed vertically in the roof before hammering. Nails set at angles other than 90 degrees can become misaligned and end up skipping.

The nails should also be driven in properly to prevent them from cracking. Periodic inspections should also be done to ensure that the roof is in good condition.

How Do I Prevent Nails From Popping Up On My Roof?

To prevent nails from popping up on your roof, you should know why they are popping up. Bad nails and poor roof ventilation can also make nails pop up.

It is very important to use the correct roofing nails. Those that are too short will not penetrate the shingles well and will lead to under-tightening. Nails should be placed at the correct angle before driving to avoid possible misalignment.

Do not use a nailer as these pneumatic nailers are not angled for the roof. Also, remember to hammer your nails. A professional should check it regularly to ensure that your roofing system is not damaged.

Can An Exposed Nail Cause A Roof Leak?

photo of a man hammering nail on roof, red roof shingles, brand new roof

Almost anyone can install a roof, but doing it correctly requires experience and knowledge. Sometimes, you may end up replacing your roofing nails due to leaks. Exposed nails can cause roof leaks and are one of the most important things to consider while roofing or repairing.

Will Exposed Roofing Nail Rust?

Exposed nails can easily rust from elements like water. Rusty nails are bad for any roofing system. They are responsible for many building leaks. Rusty nails can absorb up to one liter of water per hour of rain.

Metals tend to rust when they come in contact with water. Roofing nails are no exception. No matter how galvanized, they can take months or years, but eventually, they will corrode. Roofing nails exposed to the element will rust faster than unexposed ones.

In roofing systems, nail coverage is expected and essential because one problem can lead to other complicated ones. Eventually, you may have to replace the entire roof.

Can I Cut Off Exposed Roofing Nails?

Nails used in roofing are sometimes longer than necessary, and the extra length does not just disappear. The extra length protrudes and gets exposed. This can be very dangerous.

You can always cut exposed nails. When you want to cut the nails, you should use the proper tools for this purpose.

Cutting exposed roofing nails should always be a last resort. You should make sure the correct size and length of nails are used to avoid exposing the nails inside or out. Always wear eye protection when cutting because of the metal particles.

To Wrap Up

photo of carpenter man using hammer to hammer the nail on the roof

Roof nails are very important in roofing, and proper steps should be taken to ensure they are installed correctly and inspected regularly. Exposed nails should be covered as soon as possible. Always remember to do your roofing work well to avoid any complications.

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