How Many Roofing Nails per Square for Shingles and Underlayment

If you are currently planning to install roofing shingles or their underlayment, then there are some factors that you need to consider, such as the roofing material weight, the building’s foundation, framing, etc.

To assess the installment process accurately, you need to know how many roofing nails per square are required. Please find out how to calculate them correctly here.

How Many Roofing Nails per Square

How Many Cap Nails per Square Of Underlayment

The roof is indeed one of the most crucial elements of the building’s structure. To install the roofing successfully, one needs to invest a significant amount of money and time. A minor mistake might cost you pricey fixing work, so hiring or at least discussing your roofing project with a professional roofer or contractor is always recommended.

That being said, there are some simple matters that you can do yourself, such as doing simple math over how many roofing nails of underlayment you need. However, of course, you need to know your roof size before estimating.

Read also: Underlayment for Metal Roof

The foundation of a successful roofing project is understanding the total weight your roof structure must support. This is particularly vital when dealing with older framing and foundations. An essential component of this weight includes the roofing nail materials, specifically those that secure the roof underlayment and shingles.

Most roofing manufacturers advise using four nails for each shingle for the roofing main area and five nails for each underlayment square. This means that you’ll need 320 nails per square foot.

You may want to use 480 nails per square for you who live in high-wind areas. The most commonly used nail type is the 1.5” roofing nail, which has a 7/16” flathead and 11-gauge ring shank. The nails resist extreme weather such as rain or sun because they’re galvanized hot dip.

This type of nail weighs 1 lb for 140 nails. Generally, you’ll need about 2 ¼ lbs. of nails for each underlayment square and 3 ½ lbs. if the area is particularly windy.

Nails are usually sold in pounds so you can ask the supplier for the accurate amount and length of nails according to your roof size.

How Many Cap Nails per Square Of Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment has existed since the early 2000s, with various types available. You can find spun or woven synthetics created from polypropylene or polyethylene. Each type has different characteristics, such as thickness, manufacturing procedure, walkability, and exposure time, but generally, the ingredients are quite similar.

How Many Cap Nails per Square Of Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment is usually differentiated to their weight and their feeling. The unit used to estimate the synthetics is grams-per-square-meter (GSM).

The number of roofing nails required per square of synthetic underlayment follows the same estimation as above. However, many roofing contractors opt for nail guns, favoring nail options like stainless steel or coil nails over staples for better durability and reliability.

Staples, if used, are typically placed 4″ to 8″ apart, secured further by an additional layer of underlayment stapled every 2″ to 3″.

How Many Nails per Square Of Cedar Shingles

Cedar is a solid choice of material for roof shingles. It usually comes with natural preservatives to fight UV rays, damage, moisture, and infestation. It has wind-resistant quality naturally, so a cedar shingle might be an ideal selection if you use it in high-wind areas.

Read also: How Long Does a Cedar Shake Roof Last ?

The required number of nails for cedar shingles typically ranges from four to five per shingle, equating to about 320 nails per 100 square feet. Architectural shingles may require up to six nails each for high-wind zones, increasing the total to 480 nails per square.

For areas with a lot of wind, six nails for each shingle might be needed, which means you need 480 nails for each square. This latter calculation is also applied if you use mansard roofing.

You should always refer to the shingles or underlayment application instructions before and during installation, including seeing the correct nailing pattern.

Don’t hesitate to ask someone who knows more about the roofing installation project and how many roofing nails per square you should use. Lastly, you should check your area’s local building regulations regarding roofing.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair