Roofing staples too shallow?

I have a 4-year old house with composition shingles (Pabco 30 year warranty shingles). Three times large sections of shingles have blown off. The staples penetrate only 3/8 inch into the sheathing, which is 1/2 inch OSB. The roofer claims that code requires that the staples need penetrate only 3/4 of the way through the sheathing. Is this true?
The house is in a high wind area in the country; but there are 4 other houses in the neighborhood that were built at the same time as mine with composition shingles (but different roofers and contractors), and they have not had problems.
Comments?
Mike
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warranty
have
Your builder went with the minimum...the building code wasnt devised to insure quality, reasonable or viable construction for all circumstances, but just to provide a set of bare minimums...minumums that even many engineers mistake for best option or best practice...and it simply isnt.
In your high wind area the other contractors were aware of the situation and provided full penetrating stables...the other bone head was not looking past the minimum code requirements and he said so....the added cost of staples would have been 2 dollars for the whole job.... he was just unaware of whats best is all.
But since he complied with the minimum he is probably not liable. This is one of the reasons it pays to hire the better quality contractor and pay a bit more for better grade material.
I am telling my potential customers these days "if you want a work of art...world class...I will give you a world class job at a reasonable price... if you need something quick and dirty or plain, with no imagination at minimal costs others can do that work no problem".
Life is better now.... the neighbors come by to ohh and ahh at my work...I LOVE that...I call it 'structural graphics' I use welded structures, hard woods, marine fittings, heavy cable etc....they feed me sandwiches and I tell em lies about flat tracking.
I dont do roofing but If I had done it, it would have had next layer up on the sheeting, extra heavy tar paper... and fully penetrating fat staples, about two extra per shingle.... then every day when I drove past your house or when it was storming I would have a warm fuzzy feeling... all that would have run your costs up 10 or 15%... or 100% if had my way and we did a *killer metal roof of some kind.
Phil Scott
Phil Scott

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Staples suck. Full round head nails are the only way to go. In a high wind area you'd be nuts to use staples. Hurricane Andrew proved that, even on the houses that did have all the staples in place. And instead of the extra heavy tar paper, cover the entire roof in Ice & Water Shield (or approved equivalent).
To the OP: I have no idea where your contractor came up with that depth of penetration. Ask him to show you the code - he may be blowing smoke up yer butt.
R
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on
house
would
wind
Staples aren't allowed in south Florida according to the FBC 2001.
even on the

heavy
of
yer
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- Don -

- Nehmo - This is another example of a technical-issue law that was based on something other than scientific experimentation.
And the relative merits of the two fasteners can't be resolved solely by arguing.
I've suggested this experiment for anybody who advocates nails over staples. Using a coil nailer and a staple gun, nail a shingle to piece of wood, and staple a shingle to piece of wood.* Make sure you do the nailing and the stapling properly. Now, by hand, pull each shingle off.
*Many roofing contractors have both tools.
--
*********************
* Nehmo Sergheyev *
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Don wrote:

Many (the good ones) also have hatchets and hammers... :)
I'm just in the throes of having to repair/replace/reshingle large areas of the roof of my house where wood shingles (3/8" juniors) were put on open decking w/staples. After <10 years (actually quite a bit less, but I'm not sure the exact year Dad had the house reroofed, but I believe it was either '96 or '97, although it is possible it was as early as '95). At this point virtually every one is loose, many are completely loose and all corners have had to be completely renailed. We're in an area that receives heavy uv and high winds quite regularly. In these environments a staple will simply <not> hold, no matter how long--they just don't have sufficient surface area/gripping power in the long run. OTOH, I just finished reroofing the barn and although the old wood shingles were completely worn out in places after roughly 50 years in place, none were missing from the nails having pulled out--some had weathered/split and were so thin they had broken away from the nail, but the nails were still there.
In my experience, there is absolutely no question about the better holding power of nailing over stapling for over the long haul. Sure, stapling may be faster and appears to hold when new, but it won't last.
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- Nehmo -

- Don -

velocity
- Nehmo - I'm willing to amend my opinion if I could see a persuasive study. But since I haven't, I have to rely on my personal experimentation, which shows it takes a greater uplifting force to tear off a stapled shingle than a nailed shingle.
Perhaps aged, and thus brittle, shingles behave differently. Perhaps staples are more likely to be incorrectly installed. But that's about all I can give the nail camp.
Now, if the code of the jurisdictional area of the job insists on nails, and you're a contractor, then that's what you're stuck with.
--
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* Nehmo Sergheyev *
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Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:

You want pictures? Look for post-high wind damage assessments. I also believe there is a reasonable amount of data from Texas A&M. I also, as noted, am convinced by personal experience that whatever the <initial> required withdrawal force that the staple simply will not hold as well over the long haul...
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On Thu, 04 Mar 2004 12:20:00 -0600, Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:

I don't think the staples/nails debate will ever be settled, but I'll add my $.02 . I think you hit on the major problem with staples. They are more likely to be installed incorrectly. The crown has to be parallel to the eave for proper installation. If you have ever used a pneumatic stapler, you will find this somewhat awkward. It is far more comfortable to install with the crown @45 degrees. Unfortunately, this is a common practice, and not optimal for holding power. Personally, I use nails, not because I think they are better, but, right or wrong, my customers think they are better.
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thunder wrote:

You have unusually smart customers! :-)
Matt
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- Nehmo -

about
- thunder -

- Nehmo - Certainly someone could devise a test or observation survey to make a comparison. It's not a question or religion or politics.
- thunder -

are
to
- Nehmo - Correct. Staples need to be properly installed. But _if_ incorrect installation is identified as a problem, the answer is not to ban staples, but to emphasize correct installation.
- thunder -

comfortable
common
- Nehmo - I'll have to try that. I'll compare a 45 staple to a nail in holding power.
- thunder -

think
- Nehmo - That's the real problem with staples, the stigma. People associate staples with office paper staples. Most customers don't even know a large staple exist. The staple makers should have named their product Double-Pronged Anti-Hurricane Nails. DPAHNs would then have been used on everything, including mobile homes that go down the highway. By the way, what *do* they use on most mobile homes?
--
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Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:

I've never performed a scientific test. I have torn shingles and tarpaper off roofs, some of which were stapled and some of which used roofing nails. The shingles and tarpaper are MUCH easier to remove when stapled. If I was in the business of removing old roofing, I'd want staples to be used. If I owned a roof that I wanted to stay intact, I'd want it nailed on.
Matt
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Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:

I believe both are true. The staples hold the tarpaper and shingles with less force and pull from sheathing with less force as well.

Not at all. All depends on the size. The main contributor to withdrawal force, all else being equal (no rings, coatings, etc.), is the surface area of contact between the fastener and the wood. A two-pronged fastener will only hold more if the combined contact area of the two prongs is larger than the contact area of one nail.
The main contributor to force in holding the shingles or paper is the circumferential length of the fastener where it contacts the material. For a roofing nail, this is the circumference of the head. For a staple it is the oval "racetrack" around the length of the staple that contacts the material. A very wide staple could have a circumferential area as large as a nail head, but it would likely take a staple that was at least twice as wide as the diameter of a roofing nail. Most staples I've seen aren't this large. This assumes a purely vertical force, which often isn't the case in a tear-off situation. Often this occurs when the shingle or paper is pulled back over itself. Since a nail head is round, the force applied won't change relative to the direction of the tear-off force. However, with a staple, the force is greatly concentrated if the tear-off direction is aligned with the long axis of the staple and the force required to tear off a staple in this orientation will be much less than if the direction is perpendicular to the staple's long axis. And this force will be much less than that required to tear off of a nail head. It is a simple stress concentration issue, no rocket science here. Shouldn't be hard to try this for yourself with some scrap tar paper. Staple two pieces to a board than then pull off one orientation and then the other. I'll bet you can tell the difference blindfolded.

And staples don't? What magical power do they possess that nails don't?

And this thinness is what also contributes to less area to hold down the paper and shingles.

Most staples and nails I've seen penetrate completely through the decking. Coated staples certainly would hold much better than uncoated, assuming the right coating. This might even the score with regular roofing nails. However, it doesn't change the geometry of the "head" of the staple.
Matt
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- Don -

- Nehmo - But of course, I mean the ones with shingles on them. Actually, in the areas I been lately[1], metal roofs on MHs [2] have been out of style for years. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody still uses them, but I am surprised this trend didn't take in your area (south? Florida).
Some years ago, in order to improve visual appeal, the MH industry tried to get away as much as possible from the MH look. They were limited with what they could with the boxes, but one change they could make was to go to pitched shingle roofs. They look better on a double wide than on a 16x80.
The MH pics the manufactures put out now are pretty much exclusively of those with shingles: http://images.google.com/images?&q=manufactured+housing
[1] Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico
[2] MH can mean either Mobile Home or Manufactured Housing. The name change was part of the overall attempt at image change.
--
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- Rico dJour -

staples
- Nehmo - I don't have such formal studies, and I didn't report that I did. (You were the one who referenced "experimentations was already done. Huge test".) I did, however, describe my own simple experiment, which anybody can duplicate*, and I offered Senco's number. Try both of those, and then let's see your comments.
* The right stores will let you play with the guns a bit.
--
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(remove NS to use the address) 614.937.0463 voice 208.975.1011 fax
http://worthingtonengineering.com
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