Can You Use Roofing Nails for Siding? 

Yes, 1-¾” roofing nails are appropriate for installing vinyl siding as long as the nailheads are not visible on the siding’s surface.

You should not be able to see the head of the nail whatsoever. You should use ⅛’’ diameter aluminum nails and a nailhead ⅜” or larger.

Using a longer nail will be necessary if additional materials exist between the base and the siding.

If you are using roofing nails to install vinyl siding, you should drive the nails ¾” into the wooden base.

Professionally installed nails will have 1/32”-1/16” of space between the nail hem and the nail head.

Using any nail less than 1” is improper, and nails this small should never be used for installing vinyl siding.

You may have other materials between the siding and the base, and if this is the case, you want to use longer nails. It is important to nail straight into the center of the shot.

Do not tightly nail siding. Vinyl siding should always move freely, even when nailed.

Vinyl is plastic, and because it is malleable, it is at risk of warping in the intense heat of the summer months.

If you nail it too tight, then the siding will buckle and ripple. Driving in nails in a crooked manner can also cause buckling and rippling.

installing siding on house

Here are some key considerations when using roofing nails to install vinyl siding. 

  • Do not face nails because this will cause problems to arise later
  • Crooked or damaged nails can make siding buckle
  • Panel ends require extra space
  • Heat expansion is expected and will require extra space
  • Galvanized roofing nails are ideal for installing siding

Do Not Face Nails Because This Will Cause Problems To Arise Later

Faced nails are placed on the siding’s surface and remain visible after completing the vinyl siding installation. Nails placed in this manner are likely to look unappealing and cause structural problems.

Using faced nails when installing vinyl siding may cause the siding to buckle.

Fixing nails directly in the center of the openings at the end of every panel is the best way to avoid this issue. The succeeding panel will cover the previous panel and prevent warping or buckling.

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Roofing nails need to enter the siding at 1/32” from the panel’s edge. However, not all siding is uniform, and you should examine the guidelines printed by the manufacturer for exact dimensions.

Regardless of the measurements, you must maintain straight nails and allow the vinyl siding to open up and breathe. These precautions will help you avoid any major repairs for decades.

Crooked Or Damaged Nails Can Make Siding Buckle

Hammering your nails in such a way to ensure they are even and level is an important component of installing vinyl siding with roofing nails. Crooked nails will cause vinyl siding to sag and buckle.

If you allow extra space for the siding to expand, then this problem could be severe.

Correctly space the nails every twelve to sixteen inches. If you add any less or any more space, then the nails could damage the siding.

Rippling and sagging can go unnoticed overtime before it is too late to repair.

Also, do not install nails in a haphazard, unorganized manner because this will cause the siding to buckle and warp.

Panel Ends Require Extra Space

If you are installing vinyl siding and it touches window trim or door frames, you need to allow extra space at these points of contact.

Every section of the vinyl siding you install requires extra room to expand due to excessive humidity and heat in the summer months.

The trim and the vinyl siding panel should have about ¼” of open space. Covering the expansion with this space will ensure that your vinyl siding does not warp in the summer heat.

Heat Expansion Is Expected And Will Require Extra Space

No homeowner wants to see rippling patterns or broken siding on their home. Warped siding can bulge and buckle, but it is not solely an aesthetic problem.

warped siding

Damaged siding can trap moisture between panels and cause mold to develop. Rotting siding is also a problem in an environment with excessive rainfall.

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These problems are less likely to occur with properly installed nails. Every vinyl siding panel requires space to expand.

If the vinyl siding is nailed on too tight, then ripples will arise during the summer months.

You should leave at least 1/16” between the siding and the nail head. This is enough space to prevent buckling, rippling, and warping.

Beginning a siding project in the middle of the summer is not ideal. If you begin your siding installation in the fall or spring, then you will not have to deal with the consequences of working in the heat and humidity.

Vinyl siding can contract during the winter, and you should be aware of the precautions you need to take if you plan on installing siding in the summer or winter.

galvanized nails

Galvanized Roofing Nails Are Ideal For Installing Siding

Violent wind, pouring rain, and excessive heat can cause fasteners to rust. You need to choose high-quality, galvanized nails to prevent the vinyl siding from sailing away during a strong storm.

Preparing for these weather conditions is a necessity, and galvanized nails can help you keep your home secure.

Roofing nails are an excellent choice for vinyl siding installation projects. Longer shanks, flatter nail heads, and sharper points are features of roofing nails that make them conducive to installing vinyl siding.

You can easily use their extra sharp points to nail them into vinyl siding panels.

Builders suggest using nails that measure at least 1 ½” when installing vinyl siding. Roofing nail heads must have 5/16” minimum in diameter.

The nail shanks should be at least ⅛” in diameter.

Galvanized nails are often made of steel, and this is superior to aluminum. Aluminum nails may not be strong enough for installing vinyl siding.

Using roofing nails to install vinyl siding is perfectly fine if you follow the simple suggestions above.

The major problem is warping and buckling caused by expansion and heat, so you should avoid these problems by following the recommended guidelines.