Exposed Ridge Cap Nails

Are ridge cap supposed to be covered by overlapping the next shingle? I always thought they were succeptable to leaking if not covered.


should be sealed with mastic

I hope a DIY homeowner put that roof on and not a roofer!

That is a homeowner job for sure.
Bought some shingles at Home Depot.
Nails should be on the tabs, and then covered with the next course.

They **could **leak, so I always defer to a roofer when I see this.

Why? Since they could leak, would you not recommend that they be repaired or replaced? Why let a roofer tell them? I don’t understand.

Manufacturers consider an visible fastener to be a temporary repair.

That said, visible fasteners are often added in high wind areas, both by homeowners and contractors. If the adhesive bond is marginal, adding fasteners like this may not live up to the manufacturers requirements, but it may (or may not) keep the cap (or field) shingles on the roof for the next 20 years. The fasteners look neatly installed. I’d look in the attic to see if the cap shingle nails were long enough and recommend sealing the heads.

As Brian said, the heads should be sealed with an appropriate sealant, which will need to be maintained on a regular basis.

COULD is a vague word. ALL roofs COULD leak. Anything COULD fail. I stay away from that word! I would just simply state that the ridge cap is installed improperly, due to the exposed nail heads, and call a licensed roofer for futher examination and to determine the proper means to cure. DONE!

I have never seen an application where exposed nail heads are installed, either sealed or not. I have seen them on metal ridge vent where they contain a rubber gasket to prevent leaks, but never on a roof. Not saying I am right, just have never seen, read or even heard where this is right.

It’s very common here, Russell. We gets winds well in excess of 100 mph and if the adhesive strip is poorly bonded, the caps shingles are usually the first ones to blow off, so adding nails is a common attempt to prevent blow-off.

If I’ve bought a house that has field shingles that will resist local winds, but the cap shingles require extra (visible) nails to remain in place, that’s what I do… and it works fine. As a seller, I’m not going to hire a roofer to replace those cap shingles willingly just because the buyer’s inspector says it doesn’t comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

I’m going to say, "it’s been like that for 5 years through heavy rain with no leaks, and through heavy winds with no loss of caps shingles, so it’s not broken and I’m not fixing it.

Unless I really want to sell my house. Cap shingle replacement on a simple gable is not a lot of money. I think it just varies by location, condition, and the seller’s motivation.

I was a lisenced roofer and now lisence has expired.
Shingle hip and caps should not be top nailed. That being said the last cap is cut,’’ to place over the last two caps’’.
To cover there nail heads and oposite ends where they are
meeting. You start at oposite ends and work to the center. I did it that way.
That last cap alone will have nails exposed and covered with tar( plastic cement) winter or summer grade depending upon the season. There should be no fasteners at all exposed on a shingle roof.
That part of the roof leaks .01 percent and less of the time.
To me I have never even heard of a caped area leaking.

In areas subject to high winds you need to lap cap shingles away from the prevailing winds. If the ridge aligns with the prevailing winds, you need to start installing cap shingles at the downwind end and continue all the way through the same way.

Yes that is true Kenton. Not many area.s here with That high a winds nor the problems that they bring all building materials.

Here’s what the deal is, (I wont be able to reply till this p.m.) It is on a new construction home & was installed by the contractor who built the home. He built the home in 58 days, I don’t know if thats to fast or not as I don’t do much new construction. There are no building codes in the county where this home was built(only the city) & I made it perfectly clear in my contract that this is a progress/home inspection type deal & nothing to do with codes, as I don’t do code inspection. Contract was with the bank/lender to cover my butt. We do have high winds here in S.E. Wyoming. This contractor is from a town So. of us where high winds prevail. I talked to a local roofing contractor & he said “The people from that area install them due to high winds & won’t leak, even though he doesn’t install them that way.” I still think the nails are supposed to be covered for a reason as I have never seen one done this way (except by an inept homeowner). It just makes sense that expand & contraction overtime, that they will leak before the end life of the shingles.

Well the code in Florida is for 120 MPH winds. I think, I said THINK, we have one of the nations strictest codes when it comes to wind. Just because it makes COMMON sense, doesn’t mean it is acceptable.

IF, and I said IF, you know it is wrong according to installation procedures then it should be mentioned to the customer and let them decide on the course of action. If they want ti fixed, then OK, if not who cares.

This is just just one mans opinion. I am not saying I am right, just adding my two cents…

That makes perfect sense to me Kenton.
Nail heads must be covered with caulk and maintenance. As I mentioned I have never heard of ridge leaking nor the hip area.
Only field and that due to improper vent install or ice damming and at the starter if improperly installed.
Its the simplest form of roofing to me.

I put in my report that there was exposed nails & that “opinions may vary”, the report went to the lender, so it’s up to them, Like I said I’m covering my butt, the builder wants to talk to me & I’ll tell him the same & you & I both know what he’s goingt to say, " That I don’t know my butt from a hole in the ground & where did I learn to inspect roofs at?" Typical, they know all & we don’t know nothin’. We have to be thick skinned in this business, ya know. Thanx for all your replies…

I think you did the right thing for in shingle roofing it’s not that big a deal breaker to have those exposed nails.
Good for you.

Don’t make mountains out of molehills.