Asphalt shingle roofing question: How exposed is an "exposed nail?"

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My house just had a complete roof tearoff and application of 50 year architectural asphalt shingles over 30 lb. felt and 1/2" CDX plywood. The roofers finished last Friday, and I see some exposed nails and they presumably replaced some shingles, therefore. Going up there now I see more exposed nails. Some I can see standing over them, maybe half of the nail head (1.25" galvanized roofing nails). Many more, I can see from the side, if I look up the slope of the roof. I figure those are less exposed than the ones you can see from above, but some moisture is going to reach those nails too. How exposed does a roofing nail in this circumstance have to be before it presents a problem? Thanks for the information.
Dan
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You should not be able to see ANY portion of the nail. Think of it this way, if you can see it, so can the rainwater. Each row of nails should be completely covered by the next row of shingles (except the top row, and that'll be covered by a ridge cap most likely). Do not let the contractor tell you any different. Take lots of pictures, keep any documentation (contracts, work receipts, etc).
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As already noted by another poster--------every place you see a nail is a potential leak. That is unless the roofer has an explanation as to why there won't be any leaks. MLD
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<snip>

There shouldn't be any explantion for exposed nails. It's wrong!!
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"Dan_Musicant" wrote

The only place you _may_ find "exposed" nail heads, would be on the last piece of ridge cap, or on apron flashing. BUT, sealant should be covering those nail heads, OR, some roofers take shingle material applying mastic on the backside, and stick over the nail heads.
From your description, it sounds as if they nailed off-line. Nailing on-line is crucial. If this is the case, I'll bet these guys were so proud they did the job quick, and probably impressed you that they did the job so quick. Unfortunately, if you can't be fast and good at the same time, it ends up with a botched job. It will also void all warranties when nailing off-line.
If poor workmanship is so obvious just by looking at the job, it makes you wonder what else they botched. I would be concerned the CDX didn't fall on the rafters correctly among a list of other important factors.
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: :"Dan_Musicant" wrote :> My house just had a complete roof tearoff and application of 50 year :> architectural asphalt shingles over 30 lb. felt and 1/2" CDX plywood. :> The roofers finished last Friday, and I see some exposed nails and they :> presumably replaced some shingles, therefore. Going up there now I see :> more exposed nails. Some I can see standing over them, maybe half of the :> nail head (1.25" galvanized roofing nails). Many more, I can see from :> the side, if I look up the slope of the roof. I figure those are less :> exposed than the ones you can see from above, but some moisture is going :> to reach those nails too. How exposed does a roofing nail in this :> circumstance have to be before it presents a problem? Thanks for the :> information. :> :> Dan : :The only place you _may_ find "exposed" nail heads, would be on the last :piece of ridge cap, or on apron flashing. BUT, sealant should be covering :those nail heads, OR, some roofers take shingle material applying mastic on :the backside, and stick over the nail heads.
They didn't even put sealant on the two nails on the center ridge cap, and I believe they cut for cap, one of the caveats I believe you posted about not long ago in this newsgroup.
: :From your description, it sounds as if they nailed off-line. Nailing on-line :is crucial. If this is the case, I'll bet these guys were so proud they did :the job quick, and probably impressed you that they did the job so quick. :Unfortunately, if you can't be fast and good at the same time, it ends up :with a botched job. It will also void all warranties when nailing off-line.
Maybe I should call the shingle manufacturer's rep if the warranty might be voided. I guess my first call will be to the estimator and see what he says. Maybe he will get them over here and fix the exposed nailheads.
What does it take to fix such a thing? This is a 2 story 1925 square foot house and I found around 70 exposed nails today. Probably 35% of those can be seen standing directly over them, the other 65% if you are looking at an angle or from the side. One section of the roof is a lot worse than the others. Some have only 1-3 exposed nails, one has around 10, but one section has around 50 exposed nails. : :If poor workmanship is so obvious just by looking at the job, it makes you :wonder what else they botched. I would be concerned the CDX didn't fall on :the rafters correctly among a list of other important factors.
I'm going to go in the attic and see if I can find evidence of plywood not falling on the rafters. Some of the nailing was pretty poor - sometimes 5-6 straight nails missed a rafter. Maybe they went back and put in more nails, I can't tell from the attic, but I sort of have to wonder when I see so many in one place.
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Comments inserted
"Dan_Musicant"wrote

Cutting cap, from a 3 tab shingle for a laminated shingle, is a cost cutting feature to save the _contractor_ money. I would be interested in which brand you had installed. I do believe every _major_ manufactuer, has an accessory cap available.
Also, you mentioned the nails are 1.25" length. It would be interesting to know the length recommended for the 50 year laminate for which you have.

First, if they nailed off-line, they put holes too low, when they shot the fasteners. Not only is too low a concern, but shooting off-line too high is a concern. You must catch the shingle where it's laminated together, otherwise you're not securing the exposed part of the shingle to the deck. Also, if you nail too high, you're not catching the previous shingle with the fasteners. This is a concern, especially when the winds pick up.
Pulling the exposed nails, then to properly place them, the hole is still there, the damage is done.

I had seen a job, as what you described. We had done 3, tri-plexes for a fellow over a couple years. He called looking for an estimate on a fourth job. I was close to $900 higher than his highest bid. Of course, this was the only one with everything spelled out, using the exact materials.
I followed up on the lead, and Bruce said if I would cut it closer to a $400 difference, he would award the job to me. No can do Bruce, you know the work, go ahead and take your chances.
A couple months later, Bruce called me. He said he was embarrassed to call me, but didn't know where to turn. He climbed on the roof, and seen nail heads between the rows. He asked me to come look, and he would pay the fee. No charge to this fella, I had to see what he was talking about.
He then asked me what it would cost, to fix the problem. Well, the roofer had two complete rows, disappear when he got to the ridge, this was besides the hundreds of shiny heads that could be seen.
I told him, the quote was still in the computer, and was still good. We ended up, tearing off the brand new roof. And, Bruce, well he took the company to court. But, the company went belly up.
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Exposed nails must be sealed. I just put 11 squares of arch. shingles on my new garage. I am not an experienced roofer and used a nail gun. I took my time but wound up with 5 halfway exposed nails, plus 2 for the final ridge cap shingle. I used roofing cement to seal each nail and the cap. I would be ticked if there were 70 and I paid someone else.
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:Comments inserted : :"Dan_Musicant"wrote :> They didn't even put sealant on the two nails on the center ridge cap, :> and I believe they cut for cap, one of the caveats I believe you posted :> about not long ago in this newsgroup. : :Cutting cap, from a 3 tab shingle for a laminated shingle, is a cost cutting :feature to save the _contractor_ money. I would be interested in which :brand you had installed. I do believe every _major_ manufactuer, has an :accessory cap available.
They installed Elk Corporation Prestique Plus:
http://www.elkcorp.com/contractors/products/shingles_prestique_phd.cfm
They do have the cap, but I didn't see any going up the conveyor belt, although at the time I didn't know about them and wasn't looking for them. I read your post that mentioned the cap a day or two later and it didn't ring a bell, so I suspected that they'd cut for cap. : :Also, you mentioned the nails are 1.25" length. It would be interesting to :know the length recommended for the 50 year laminate for which you have.
I don't know. I suppose 1.25". : : :> Maybe I should call the shingle manufacturer's rep if the warranty might :> be voided. I guess my first call will be to the estimator and see what :> he says. Maybe he will get them over here and fix the exposed nailheads. :> :> What does it take to fix such a thing? This is a 2 story 1925 square :> foot house and I found around 70 exposed nails today. Probably 35% of :> those can be seen standing directly over them, the other 65% if you are :> looking at an angle or from the side. One section of the roof is a lot :> worse than the others. Some have only 1-3 exposed nails, one has around :> 10, but one section has around 50 exposed nails. : : :First, if they nailed off-line, they put holes too low, when they shot the :fasteners. Not only is too low a concern, but shooting off-line too high is :a concern. You must catch the shingle where it's laminated together, :otherwise you're not securing the exposed part of the shingle to the deck.
I see that. I have a 3 tab shingle in the room with me and can see that the overlap is barely more than an inch. Not all the shingles look the same, by a long shot, but this one has a whitish line at about the midway point in the overlap, and I assume that's the nail line and I guess they should really be on that line, not so much as a 1/4" below it or the nail can be seen, at least from the side.
:Also, if you nail too high, you're not catching the previous shingle with :the fasteners. This is a concern, especially when the winds pick up. : :Pulling the exposed nails, then to properly place them, the hole is still :there, the damage is done.
I'm wondering how I'll know if they did a kludge and reused the shingles with holes in them or replaced them with new shingles. I guess I could get up there on the roof and watch them like a hawk, but I was trying to avoid that scenario. I suppose I was engaging in a lot of wishful thinking when I put so much trust in these guys. This is my first contract in my life. I was hopeful but I'm taking my knocks now. I'll find out what they say this morning, the estimator (who I think is also one of the company owners, probably, or at least a higher up), and the project manager who I'm going to call in an hour or so. : :> I'm going to go in the attic and see if I can find evidence of plywood :> not falling on the rafters. Some of the nailing was pretty poor - :> sometimes 5-6 straight nails missed a rafter. Maybe they went back and :> put in more nails, I can't tell from the attic, but I sort of have to :> wonder when I see so many in one place. : :I had seen a job, as what you described. We had done 3, tri-plexes for a :fellow over a couple years. He called looking for an estimate on a fourth :job. I was close to $900 higher than his highest bid. Of course, this was :the only one with everything spelled out, using the exact materials. : :I followed up on the lead, and Bruce said if I would cut it closer to a $400 :difference, he would award the job to me. No can do Bruce, you know the :work, go ahead and take your chances. : :A couple months later, Bruce called me. He said he was embarrassed to call :me, but didn't know where to turn. He climbed on the roof, and seen nail :heads between the rows. He asked me to come look, and he would pay the fee. :No charge to this fella, I had to see what he was talking about. : :He then asked me what it would cost, to fix the problem. Well, the roofer :had two complete rows, disappear when he got to the ridge, this was besides :the hundreds of shiny heads that could be seen. : :I told him, the quote was still in the computer, and was still good. We :ended up, tearing off the brand new roof. And, Bruce, well he took the :company to court. But, the company went belly up.
The estimator told me they roofed with integrity, did the job right. They appear to take a lot of pride in correcting mistakes, so maybe they will correct these. How do you correct an exposed nail? How many shingles do they have to pull and replace and how? How many in a given area before it makes more sense to pull the whole area and replace them all? Thanks for the help!
PS I was wondering if there's any way to repair at least some of the exposed heads (maybe the ones down flush and barely showing). I'm probably naive, but I thought that maybe inserting a small rectangle (1.5" x 2") of thin stainless steel with sealant/adhesive under it over each exposed nail might make a permanent fix that would last decades. They could be sprayed with color matching paint. I know, it's probably a foolish dream.
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From the Prestique Plus spec sheet on elkcorp.com:
FASTENERS
While nailing is the preferred method for Elk shingles, Elk will accept fastening methods according to the following instructions.
ALWAYS NAIL OR STAPLE THROUGH THE FASTENER LINE.
NAILS: Corrosive resistant, 3/8" head, minimum 12-gauge roofing nails. Elk recommends 1-1/4" for new roofs and 1-1/2" for roofovers. In cases where you are applying shingles to a roof that has an exposed overhang, for new roofs only, 3/4" ring shank nails are allowed to be used from the eave’s edge to a point up the roof that is past the outside wall line. 1" ring shank nails allowed for re-roof.
STAPLES: Corrosive resistant, 16-gauge minimum, crown width minimum of 15/16". Note: An improperly adjusted staple gun can result in raised staples that can cause a fish-mouthed appearance and can prevent sealing.
Fasteners should be long enough to obtain 3/4" deck penetration or penetration through deck, whichever is less.
Cheers, Wayne
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-Posted and emailed-
On Fri, 11 Nov 2005 10:39:00 -0600, Wayne Whitney
: :> They installed Elk Corporation Prestique Plus: :> http://www.elkcorp.com/contractors/products/shingles_prestique_phd.cfm :>
:> :> > Also, you mentioned the nails are 1.25" length. It would be interesting to :> > know the length recommended for the 50 year laminate for which you have. :> :> I don't know. I suppose 1.25". : :From the Prestique Plus spec sheet on elkcorp.com: : :FASTENERS : :While nailing is the preferred method for Elk shingles, Elk will :accept fastening methods according to the following instructions. : :ALWAYS NAIL OR STAPLE THROUGH THE FASTENER LINE. : :NAILS: Corrosive resistant, 3/8" head, minimum 12-gauge roofing :nails. Elk recommends 1-1/4" for new roofs and 1-1/2" for roofovers. :In cases where you are applying shingles to a roof that has an exposed :overhang, for new roofs only, 3/4" ring shank nails are allowed to be :used from the eave’s edge to a point up the roof that is past the :outside wall line. 1" ring shank nails allowed for re-roof. : :STAPLES: Corrosive resistant, 16-gauge minimum, crown width minimum of :15/16". Note: An improperly adjusted staple gun can result in raised :staples that can cause a fish-mouthed appearance and can prevent :sealing. : :Fasteners should be long enough to obtain 3/4" deck penetration or :penetration through deck, whichever is less. : :Cheers, Wayne
Yes, thanks. I had read that, actually.
I called the estimator who was handling things up to the day they sent out the crew and left him a voice mail message yesterday evening. By 9:30 this morning he hadn't returned my call, so I called the project manager's cell phone and explained that after they'd sent out those guys to replace shingles with exposed nail heads I'd gotten up on the roof and found around 70 more exposed nails. He said he'd send a guy out to fix it. I said there were around 50 alone on the north dormer and asked, incredulous, if it wouldn't be necessary to tear off from the north dormer therefore. He said he'd come by himself and evaluate either today or tomorrow. So that's where it stands.
Dan
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

I wonder what an attorney would say. Wonder if the guy is in decent financial shape?
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:> :> I called the estimator who was handling things up to the day they sent :> out the crew and left him a voice mail message yesterday evening. By :> 9:30 this morning he hadn't returned my call, so I called the project :> manager's cell phone and explained that after they'd sent out those guys :> to replace shingles with exposed nail heads I'd gotten up on the roof :> and found around 70 more exposed nails. He said he'd send a guy out to :> fix it. I said there were around 50 alone on the north dormer and asked, :> incredulous, if it wouldn't be necessary to tear off from the north :> dormer therefore. He said he'd come by himself and evaluate either today :> or tomorrow. So that's where it stands. :> :> Dan :> :I wonder what an attorney would say. Wonder if the guy is in decent :financial shape?
I don't know, but they've been in business for 23 years and they were advanced to two local publications as recommended roofers:
SF Bay Area Consumer's Checkbook, which is a subscription service The Good Service Guide
I believe they have to be fairly reputable to be so recommended. Honestly, I thought the estimator's style very worthy of trust. He's never seemed like the kind of person to misrepresent the situation. However, when I tried to get him to come over today and have a look for himself or make any kind of statement concerning what they will do, he deferred to the project manager. That may be perfectly appropriate. I'll see what the project manager says tomorrow.
I just found out a couple of other things. I read the instructions on the packaging for the Elk Corp. Prestique Plus shingles and it says under no circumstance should the overhang at the rake or eaves be more than 3/4 inch. I see manyl over 1 inch and one or two appear to be 1.5 inches or more. The instructions also clearly state that the underlayment has to be two thicknesses and overlapped 19" if the rise/run is under 4/12. I measured my large (20' x 25') north dormer this afternoon and it's 2.71/12. Clearly they boobooed. I'm 90+% sure they didn't do anything different for felt on that dormer than the rest of the house - one layer of 30 lb., which typical small overlap.
I'm not going to get an attorney involved unless I have to. First I'll see if they will be forthcoming with the necessary fixes. So far they've responded to everything I've asked of them. So, I'll be giving the benefit of the doubt at this point. Maybe they just had a crew with some lax supervision, maybe their training program has been slipping, I don't know.
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Unfortunately, when some of these guys get popular, they can't handle the extra business. They either get desperate with who they hire or the subcontract out to the lowest bidder. They can go on for a few years with an old rating.
Mike
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clipped

Training program? You must be kidding. They hold seminars in the van on the way from pick-up at day labor agency? Probably give them in three languages, too :o)
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:clipped :> I'm not going to get an attorney involved unless I have to. First I'll :> see if they will be forthcoming with the necessary fixes. So far they've :> responded to everything I've asked of them. So, I'll be giving the :> benefit of the doubt at this point. Maybe they just had a crew with some :> lax supervision, maybe their training program has been slipping, I don't :> know. :Training program? You must be kidding. They hold seminars in the van :on the way from pick-up at day labor agency? Probably give them in :three languages, too :o) With these guys it was strictly Espanol, I'm pretty sure. The only English word I remember hearing from them when they communicated was "OK."
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

And it may well have been the first roof some of them ever did.
The extent of their training was probably watching someone else on the first job if this wasn't the first.
As someone else noted, many (most?) roofers have at best a few permanent crews or a foreman or two and the rest are pretty much just day labor. What you get is likely to be highly variable at best.
Many who do roofing do work at it for quite some time and become quite adept mechanically but may never learn much, if anything, about the actual subtleties of doing a real "professional" job in the full sense of the term beyond that of simply being paid for performing the service.
Sounds like your situation--inexperienced/unknowledgable crew w/ absentee foreman. Result--fast turnaround, but poor workmanship.
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I would be very interested in knowing who the roofer was, especially if in Florida. We had the same shingle, similar problems with sloppy installation. I've posted details about it previously in AHR. We had many, many shingles nailed off the line - there is NO margin for error, as ours delaminated and fell off. Many were cut and pieced improperly, so the overall pattern is haphazard. Roofer used regular shingles for ridges, which also looked like crap. Elk used to have install requirements and warranty applications on their website, but which were taken down for a time. There is a form to be filled out and mailed to them for warranty - I would not count on the roofer to have done it. I believe the warranty is void if not installed according to instr. I learned, from our mess, a good deal about roofing that I had never expected to learn.
Our condo board did nothing for a long time, and in the meantime the replacement value declines. They should have hired an attorney right away, as the shingles fell of in numbers. Still falling off, but not often, and after two major reworks. This shingle is worse on steep roofs, we have mansards, and the city now requires a spot of cement under each tab on mansards. The outcome of all of our grief is that the darn things stayed on pretty well through last year's storms whilst most buildings in the area lost shingles.

I am not much for lawyering up, but this is a job that seems worthy of an attorney handling construction defects. No way should such slop get a pass. Just for good measure, I would file a complaint with the agency that licenses the city building inspector who signed off on the job. My town has some real bad practices, and they just might have saved a life or two if they did a better job. I am very serious and pretty familiar with some awful professional practices. I bitched to our city manager about code issues, with no results, two years ago. Right now, we have a section of rotted atrium roof beam propped up with jacks = when it began to sag years ago, some genius put in two sections of downspout between the atrium ceiling and railings to hold up the roof!! Work is under way to replace the beam and jack up the sagging roof. A condo across the street has had work being done on roof and exterior walls for the past 6-7 months - apparently rotted out walls. And it is a neighborhood with investors rabidly buying in and avoiding maintenance to make a buck.

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wrote:

Did you request z-ridge?
--
TimL


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scribbled this interesting note:

Those are worse. They don't last and they look like crap upon installation. And they are hard to work with. When breaking them apart they tend to tear easily-how well could they hold up in actual use?
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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