Nails or Staples?
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?
Applying shingles with staples.
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.
Using nails to install your shingles.
Using nails for your installation is more costly due to the cost of the nails themselves, and the fact that nail guns are heavier and more cumbersome to load. But they are easier and take less time to install, they hold the shingle more effectively, and will not void your warranty! Because of the shape of a nail vs a staple, you don’t have to worry about holding the gun straight like with a staple gun, it is impossible to install a crooked nail. Did I mention the not voiding your warranty part? Most manufacturers do not allow staples because of the fact that they do not hold in high winds, and they are so commonly installed improperly. We understand that a new roof is expensive, but so is a long series of repairs, and a shortened lifespan of the roof due to inferior products and installation. It is generally thought of among quality roofing contractors that staples are used by those that are more worried about their bottom line than the quality of workmanship.
Need A New Roof?
At Chase Construction, NW Inc. we care about our customers and the quality of the roof they are getting! We are Master Elite® Roofers (one of only 11 in Washington State), and are trained and certified in a wide variety of roofing systems. And with 15 years under our belt, we have plenty of experience! When you choose us for your installation, you are getting quality and know how. Schedule your free estimate today and let us show you what we can do to help you protect your greatest asset! Contact us at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form! We look forward to working with you!
5 thoughts on “A Roofing Debate”
This is a great piece of content. I just spoke to a gentleman buying a house, the owner installed the roof himself with staples. They buyer that called me to find local roofers to inspect the job now has to replace the roof immediately after closing. The roof is less than a year old and has NO WARRANTY because they used staples. Thanks for addressing this.
Yes, this is a problem that we have been hearing more frequently. Thank you for the comment.
I have a 2006 home that is failing due to staples, whats the chance of getting the builder to replace it?
This answer is state specific. We are located in Washington State, where it is legal to use staples, so the chances of getting the builder to replace the roof would be zero to none if you live here. But if you are in a different state, such as Colorado, where using staples on composition roofing shingles is illegal, then you would have an extremely good chance.
Very rare I come across I topic so relevant and yet so rarely addressed. Home owners must be educated about the advantages that nails have over staples, despite being a pricey option, as it could save them a lot of money in the longer run.