Roofers Use Stainless Steel Nails for Projects Near the Ocean

You are a do-it-yourselfer. You love the ads on TV from the big box hardware stores. Reruns of the old TV show, “Home Improvement“, have you in stitches because you see a lot of yourself in Tim, the lead character. Of course, you do not make as many mistakes as he does, or at least you will not admit to them. You cannot help trying to do it yourself, not only because you refuse to pay someone else, but because you love the feel of tools, the sense of accomplishment after you fixed or installed something, and the ability to solve a problem that perplexes everyone else in the family. You already have some projects planned for your vacation and upcoming weekends. In fact, you wish you could just spend your free time building and repairing things around the house.

One of the items on you to-do list is to re-roof your house. The old roof was put on about 15 years ago. Even though roofs are supposed to last about 20 years, you have already seen signs of wear when you went up to clean out the gutters. Your roof is deteriorating faster because your house is about five miles from the ocean, which seems to cause everything to break down faster than average. You know that you are living on borrowed time and have to take care of the job this summer. Fortunately, you have some buddies who can help, including one who did his own roof a few years ago.


Your knowledgeable friend recommended planning out the project now so that you are ready to go when summer comes. His first piece of advice was to look for after-Christmas or other sales so that you can buy materials at a discount. In addition, he told you to start setting aside a savings fund because your costs will exceed $1000.

You plan to tear the roof down to the supporting wood, replacing any plywood that looks damaged. It is possible that you will replace all of the plywood in order to get a fresh start. You can expect to pay about $25 per sheet and you will need at least 10 sheets. If you are installing shingles, you will pay around $900 for a 200 square foot roof. You will also need felt to lay between the wood and the shingles. Equipment will include pneumatic nail guns and shingle cutting tools, but you can rent these items. Another critical component is the fasteners that will hold down the plywood, the felt and the shingles.

Since you live close to the ocean, you will need to use nails that will not corrode. Corrosion will cause deterioration of the nails, which will lead to staining and weakness in your roof. Though both galvanized and stainless steel nails will resist corrosion, in your situation, it is best to use stainless steel. Galvanized nails are susceptible to the damage by chloride ions in the salty air and water, eat away at the protective zinc coating. The chromium in stainless steel nails will resist chloride damage, ensuring that corrosion will not destroy your nails.

You will need about 650 stainless steel nails for the shingles on a 200 square foot roof. You will need additional nails for the plywood. Fortunately, you can buy these nails relatively inexpensively in strips and coils to fit your nail gun. If you want to buy a box of loose nails, you can do that, too.

It is easy to get your stainless steel nails shipped to you at a lower cost than buying at the big box stores. Most of the time, shipping is free, your goods arrive in three to five days and you save money because your payments do not subsidize the overhead costs at a retail store.

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