Shingle nailing zone is perhaps the most critical aspect of shingle installation as well as the most vital segment of the “Shingle Comparison Series”. It is crucial because the nailing zone determines the accuracy of the nailing system. If the nailing zone is not exactly the way it should be, it may cause a leak or defect. Nailing zone helps to eliminate human errors and makes shingle installation faster and fun. An outstanding shingle should have a clear nailing line (visibility), nailing zone (areas you must nail), and overlap zone. If an installer nails below the nailing line, it may not fasten all the shingle layers. A shingle is a lamination of two different layers: the bottom layer and the top layer or the shim. Some shingles on the market have a very small or unclear nailing zone, and the visibilities are reduced, making it difficult for roofers to install shingles accurately and timely.
Also, the lesser the clarity of the nailing lines and zone, the more it misleads the installer and makes the roofing design and profile rough. Such roughness may constitute rainwater accumulation or worse still divert the drain sideways. On the other hand, the more clear and broad the nailing zone, the smoother the run off. The design, profile, and transition of the shingles on the roof appear beautiful when there is extra room in the nailing zone for the installer.
Dmitry Lipinskiy, Founder, and CEO of Roofing Insights covers the nailing zone, visibility, and overlap details of a shingle. As a roofer himself, Dmitry warns that it is easy to void shingle warranties due to unclear nailing zone, visibility, and overlap zone. He observes that manufacturers look for reasons to deny warranty claims and turn around to say the installer failed to follow owners’ manual instructions. He compares seven brands of shingles against each other to uncover the best shingle on the market. Here is how they stand:
Companies Overall Result Visibility Nailing Zone Overlap zone
Malarkey 1 1-2 13/4″ 13/4″
Owens Corning 2 1-2 1″ 3/4″
CertainTeed 3 3-4 13/4″ 3/4″
Atlas 4 3-4 11/4″ 11/8″
Iko (Cambridge) 5 5 11/2″ 3/4″
Pabco 6 6 3/4″ 3/4″
Tamko 7 7 3/4″ 3/4″
The visibility unit above is by observation. The higher the visibility number on the chart, the lesser the clarity of the visibility line.