Exposed nails on new roof

Peter Mohan
by Peter Mohan
I'm buying a new house and have more than a dozen exposed nails in the roof. It looks like a washer is between nail and shingle. Is this a no-no?
  11 answers
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Mar 22, 2015
    They are nails you use to hold roofing felt to keep it from blowing off before the shingles are put in. The builder should remove them and replace the shingle. If it is not a new house seller should . If you want to do it yourself. you can remove the nails and fill with silicone caulk and should take care of it. I am a retired (mostly tired).
  • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Mar 22, 2015
    My husband owned a roofing company and he says that EVENTUALLY they will leak. The best would be to listen to Ray, and have the shingles replaced. You CAN have the "button caps" removed and you could seal the hole with roof cement. BUT is is BEST to have them removed and the shingle replaced...good luck!
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Mar 22, 2015
    Make sure you watch when they replace the shingles, and don't just pull out the nails.
  • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Mar 22, 2015
    YEP....agree with Ray. As for why they are there to begin with, they could have tarped the roof for some reason (leak??). Need to make sure that you have some "warm" days so that the new shingles seal well.
  • Wow, that doesn't even make sense for a temporary repair unless the tabs of the shingles were coming loose. Either didn't know what they were doing or thought you wouldn't know the difference. Either way they are eventual leaks waiting to happen and should be completely replaced.
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 22, 2015
    I would look for another house; if you can see this kind of thing I hate to think what they pulled that you can't see....just my thoughts; this type of thing is shoddy and may imply you should be concerned about overall builder knowledge or I hate to say, ethics. Nobody needs to buy that.
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Mar 23, 2015
    My guess is roof has problems, shingles pulling away from roof, do what everyone else said but I would check the attic to see how bad problem is ( water damage) and home enspection first, if you have not signed final papers yet.
  • Renee Seeling Renee Seeling on Mar 23, 2015
    Great suggestions everyone. I would check for damage in the attic, have those shingles replace and not just the nails pulled out, make sure the holes are sealed with a good roofing sealant and check the rest of the roof for damage. How many layers of shingles on it? Any missing shingles? If you are not happy with the condition of this roof and perhaps other parts of the house...find another one.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Mar 23, 2015
    Have had shingles replaced on several homes. Have never seen this. Tempting fate to leave them as is for potential leaks. Would definitely have the vendor correct this problem as a condition of sale.
  • Judy james Judy james on Mar 24, 2015
    I spent years as a residential contractor. The nails shown are the typical nails used to nail down felt paper or underlayment- not roof shingle nails. Shingles are designed to nail 4 nails along the top edge and the next shingle laps over that nail line. When the sun heats them the shingle has an asphalt sealant that melts to the lower shingle. These nails are BAD. HAVE THIS CORRECTED BEFORE PURCHASING. I suspect these nails are holding down curled up shingles.
  • Terrry T Terrry T on Mar 25, 2015
    I would check the rafters in the attic to make sure none are rotten, which could be the reason a nail may be sticking up. It ( nail) may not have anything solid to hold on to!