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Screws vs. Nails

Published on July 27th, 2015

Screws vs. NailsWhen you’re ready to get your roofing done, then comes the question of the century – screws or nails? Which one works better for your metal roof?

They’re both fasteners, components which join the roofing materials to the deck. They can be primary, which means they “transfer; dead, design, imposed, or wind loads on a building”. The can also be secondary and that means that they’ve got to be able to hold down things like flashing and sidewall laps, among other things. So let’s take a look at the two fasteners:


  • Can be distinguished based on characteristics such as material composition, head shape or size, surface or coat, shank/point/drive type.
  • Self-drilling or self-tapping screws are most popular for metal roofing.
  • Flat, hex, pancake and wafer are the most common head shapes for screws.
  • Screw length usually designates screw size.
  • Stronger than nails and seem to have a better pull-out value than nails (they are less likely to eject over time, when the shaft expands and contracts).
  • They must be “galvanized and coated with special polymer/paint” so that they don’t get corroded.


  • Cheaper than screws
  • Faster and easier to install
  • Likely to eject or cause a pull-out effect when the shaft expands and contracts, possibly allowing for water to penetrate.
  • Suitable for interior roofing systems like wood shakes and asphalt shingles.

It’s up to you to decide! Screws or nails. We can help you decide, though. If you’re in Nashville, you can contact us for all of your roofing needs. We are certified roofers in Nashville and we start with an inspection and a FREE estimate for your roof installation, repair, or replacement. Even when storms do their damage, we’re there for you to fix leaky roofs and more. Pick up the phone and call – we’re waiting!

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Showalter Roofing Services, Inc.

2183 Hillsboro Road, Suite 206, Franklin, TN 37069

(615) 266-2625

Fax: 865-381-1533