When it comes to roofing, every detail matters. One common question that often arises is whether exposed roofing nails should be sealed. It might seem like a small concern, but those tiny pieces of metal play a significant role in the durability and performance of your roof. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of sealing exposed roofing nails and why it matters for the health of your roof.

The Role of Roofing Nails

Before we dive into the sealing aspect, let’s understand the role of roofing nails in securing your roof shingles. Roofing nails are essential components used to attach shingles or other roofing materials to the roof deck. They provide the much-needed stability and resistance against harsh weather conditions like wind, rain, and snow.

Why Exposed Nails Can Be a Problem

In some roofing systems, particularly older ones or those with 3-tab shingles, the nails used to secure the shingles may be partially exposed. This means that the nail heads are not completely covered by the shingles. When nails are exposed, they can create potential issues:

  1. Water Intrusion: Exposed nails can allow water to seep into your roofing system. Water infiltration can lead to leaks, rotting of the roof deck, and damage to your home’s interior.
  2. Wind Damage: Strong winds can lift the shingles and expose the nails further, increasing the risk of shingle loss and damage.
  3. Aesthetics: Exposed nails can detract from the visual appeal of your roof, affecting the overall look of your home.

Sealing Exposed Roofing Nails

Now that we understand why exposed roofing nails can be problematic, let’s discuss the solution: sealing. Sealing the exposed nails is a simple yet effective way to mitigate these issues. Here’s how to do it:

Materials Needed:

  • Roofing Cement: This is a thick, asphalt-based compound that adheres well to roofing materials.
  • Caulking Gun: Used to apply the roofing cement.

Steps to Seal Exposed Nails:

  1. Safety First: Ensure you have the right safety equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses, before starting any roofing work.
  2. Locate Exposed Nails: Carefully inspect your roof to identify any exposed nails. Pay attention to areas where shingles may have lifted or where the sealant has worn away.
  3. Apply Roofing Cement: Load the roofing cement into the caulking gun. Apply a generous amount of cement over each exposed nail. Be thorough, ensuring the nail head is completely covered.
  4. Press Down Shingles: After applying the cement, gently press down on the shingle to ensure it adheres well and covers the nail head.
  5. Repeat as Needed: Continue this process for all exposed nails across your roof.


In conclusion, sealing exposed roofing nails is a small but crucial task that can greatly extend the life of your roof and prevent potential issues like leaks and wind damage. It’s a simple DIY project that can save you from costly repairs down the road.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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