We at Chase Construction NW, Inc. have been installing quality roofs around the Puget Sound for 15 years now, and have experience in a wide variety of roofing applications. We have seen a lot of debates in the roofing industry on different practices of installation, and today we are going to address one. The debate of nails vs staples is a hot one, and we definitely have an opinion! Both are approved by roofing manufacturers depending on what area you are in, but which one is better?
Let’s start with staples. Some roofers love them, some hate them, some are surprised that they are even still around for shingle installation. As far as ease of use and cost, staples are in the lead. It is much easier hauling around a much lighter staple gun vs a heavier nail gun, even the staples are easier to carry than the nails (as you can see from the picture to the right). Staples are also great for tearing off a roof because they come right up (that’s not a good thing). Yes, staples are easy to use, but it is difficult to install them properly. Staples must be put in in a straight line, and holding the staple gun straight is awkward and unnatural for the human hand resulting in crooked staples. When the staple is improperly installed, the result is a less than ideal wind rating, and the shingle is easily dislodged from the roof. Staples were very popular in the 80’s and 90’s, but since, they have been rejected by building codes due to the swarm of problems due to improper installation.