Signature Exteriors

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Nail Pops | How to Identify & Repair Them

While nail pops may be small, they can open your home up to more damage than you’d expect. It is essential to keep an eye out for nail pops when performing your bi-annual roof inspection to make sure you repair them before they cause roof leaks. If you aren’t sure what a nail pop is or how to fix it, the experts at Signature Exteriors have developed this guide on identifying and repairing nail pops.

What is a Nail Pop?

A nail pop occurs when the nails used to hold your shingle in place become loose and start to “back up” out of the wood and shingle. When nails do this, they will cause your shingles to rise or buckle, creating a wavy look over that shingle. Nail pops happen because of improper installation, environmental conditions, or a mixture of both of these things. Sometimes a nail pop can occur because the nails used during installation are too short. Short nails cannot correctly anchor the shingle to the roof’s wooden underlayment, so the nail begins to rise over time. Nail pops can also occur if the wooden roof decking is too worn down or rotted to support the nails. Fluctuations in humidity and temperatures can also cause nail pops; even a properly installed roof can have a few nails rise on a scorching and humid day.

There are some signs you can look for on the interior of your home that might signify you have a nail pop in your roof. These signs include:  

  • A musty smell in your attic or top floor of your home
  • Bubbling under interior paint
  • Water spots forming on your ceiling
  • Water stains on your roof rafters in the attic 

Should I Be Concerned About A Nail Pop?

The short answer to this question is yes! Water can seep in through the roof almost instantaneously when you have a nail pop, especially after an extensive rainstorm with wind-driven rain. Nail pops can cause water damage to your roof underlayment and can be a sign of an improperly installed roof. 


How to Fix Nail Pops

You may think that the solution to a nail pop would be simply hammering the nail back in. This approach is only a short-term solution and should not be your course of action if you do not plan to replace your roof within the upcoming months. Hammering the existing nail back into the pre-existing hole will leave the nail loose and allow water to seep around that nail. The best way to fix a nail pop is to lift the shingle on top of the nail, remove the popped nail, and hammer in a new larger nail in the original location. 

Suppose you are confident with getting on your roof and performing minor repairs. In that case, a couple of nail pops will be an easy fix for you to do yourself with the proper safety precautions and equipment. However, if you are not confident in getting on your roof, hire a roofing contractor to inspect and repair your roof. Most local roofing contractors will offer free inspections. To find a reputable contractor, we recommend using platforms like Angi to find a contractor. We suggest contacting a professional roofing contractor if you have a roof older than ten years with nail pops. They can repair it and identify any other areas of concern during their roof inspection. 

If you are local to the Charlotte area, reach out to Signature Exteriors today. We are happy to come out and perform a free inspection that includes assessing the roofing system for nail pops and any other damage. Call us today at (704) 729-4898 or email us at [email protected]