If you’ve ever observed roofers at work, you may have wondered why they use such long nails. It’s a common question, especially if you’re considering a roofing project yourself or simply curious about the process. In this blog, we’ll unravel the mystery behind the use of long nails in roofing and why they are essential for a secure and durable roof.

The Purpose of Roofing Nails

Before we delve into the length of roofing nails, let’s first understand their primary purpose. Roofing nails are a critical component of any roofing system. They are specifically designed for securing roofing materials, such as shingles, to the roof deck. These nails play a pivotal role in ensuring the stability and weather resistance of your roof.

Why Long Nails Are Necessary

Roofers use long nails for several important reasons:

  1. Penetration Depth: Long nails are required to penetrate deep into the roof deck or sheathing. This depth ensures a strong and secure attachment of the roofing material to the underlying structure. It helps prevent shingles from being lifted by strong winds, which can cause damage and leaks.
  2. Layering of Materials: Roofing systems often involve multiple layers of materials. For example, beneath the visible shingles, there may be an underlayment and possibly even additional layers. Long nails are necessary to securely fasten all these layers together, creating a cohesive and weather-resistant barrier.
  3. Hold-Down Power: Roofing nails need to provide adequate hold-down power to keep the roofing materials firmly in place, especially during severe weather conditions. Long nails offer better resistance against the uplifting forces of wind and prevent the roof from becoming a casualty in a storm.
  4. Durability: Roofing nails must withstand the test of time and exposure to the elements. Longer nails are less likely to work their way out of the roofing material over the years, ensuring the roof’s long-term durability.

Examples of Long Nail Use

Let’s take a closer look at a couple of scenarios where long nails are commonly used:

Asphalt Shingle Installation

When roofers install asphalt shingles, they typically use nails that are long enough to penetrate through the shingle, the roof deck, and into the sheathing or framing below. This secure attachment method helps prevent shingle uplift and ensures the roof’s longevity.

Metal Roofing Installation

In the case of metal roofing, long screws or nails are used to fasten the metal panels to the roof deck. These fasteners need to be long enough to go through the metal panel, any underlying materials, and into the roof structure to provide stability and protection against wind and other forces.


Long nails are a fundamental part of roofing because they provide the strength, stability, and weather resistance that your roof needs to withstand the elements. While they may seem longer than what you’d use for other household tasks, their length serves a crucial purpose in keeping your roof secure and your home protected.


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.

Write A Comment