I Accidentally Drove a Nail Into My Shingle. What Should I Do?

We get a lot of questions from concerned homeowners or renters about roof repair issues.


One that we commonly get is a version of this question, “I accidentally drove a nail into my shingle. What should I do?”


Often the caller helpfully suggests a couple of possible solutions. They can pull the nail out, or they can cover it with roofing tar or pitch.


While both of those seem like practical solutions and might work in the short-term, neither of those repairs are going to be as thorough as the repair you get from a professional roofer.


Consider the nature of water

When you pull a nail out of its hole you’ve created a pathway for air and water to get to the very deepest parts of your roof.


Sure, it is natural to think “a tiny nail hole is nothing compared to the massive size of my roof.”


So if you think this, you are both right and tragically wrong. It IS a tiny hole.


But the whole purpose of your roof is to not have any holes at all. It is built and designed to keep out every drop of water.


A single nail hole, with a nail in it or not, can lead to water getting into your roof. That’s a problem anywhere. And if you live where temperatures fall below freezing, it’s an even bigger problem. Water  freezing and thawing can break apart rock. Imagine what it can do to your roof.


You should seek a professional repair immediately.


Consider your warranty

Now you’ve got a nail, or a hole. Perhaps you should just cover it with some waterproof sealant?


Well, consider your warranty. Whatever happened to drive a nail into your roof potentially just voided your warranty. This means you may lose 10 years or more of cost protection on your biggest investment. If you fix it yourself, and then claim an issue later, there will be an inspection, and you could be out thousands of dollars.


Instead, seek a professional repair. This will cost a couple hundred dollars for materials and labor, but it will accomplish two big goals:


  • It will keep your roof dry
  • It will keep your warranty valid


This will save you time and money in the long run.

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