Nailing Something Tight Isn’t Always a Good Idea

Posted by in Roof, Synthetic Slate | January 30, 2017

When driving a nail, many of us drive it until it is firmly set, that is, tight.  However, that is not always the best practice.

Unless one is nailing rough framing, it is better for many applications to set the nail a little less than snug.  For example, when nailing vinyl siding or roof tile, the industry standards for these recommend that the nail be set so that the strip of siding or the tile are able to move slightly.  This allows for expansion and contraction.  It also reduces the risk of fracturing the strip of siding or the roof tile, as we see in these Figures.

Figure 1 Nail set tight to tile.

Figure 2 Tile cracked where nail set tight to tile.                                         Tile cracked where second nail to right driven without nail hole.


Figure 3 Tile cracked where nail set tight to tile

So, check the manufacturer’s recommendations or industry standards for the component being attached before driving those nails tight.