Superior Steel Roofing Systems :: Screws versus nails

By: Superior Steel Roofing  09-12-2011
Keywords: Nails, Screws, Roofing Systems

Superior Steel Roofing Systems uses screws when installing our steel shakes; some of our competitors use nails. As a result our competitors use gimmicks, such as testing the strength of screws and nails – when shear forces are applied - to try and convince the public that they have a better roofing system. The common sense truth is that fastener failure - as a result of application of shear stress - is irrelevant in a roofing application. The truth is also that some of our competitors are using outdated methods and materials; so they focus on irrelevant issues.

The relevant test that should be done when testing (and comparing) screws and nails is the resistance to “pull out”. Screws are the preferred choice in application after application. If you look at a quality installation of decking or drywall you will see that screws are the fastener which is used. Screws have threads and they resist “pull out”; nails do not have threads and they do not resist “pull out”.

Steel roofing companies install their product on wood strapping (whether they use screws or nails). When this wood strapping dries and shrinks, it will try to eject the screw or nail which has been installed. The threads of a screw can resist this ejection force. Nails do not have threads so the nails can not resist the ejection force.

Superior Steel Roofing Systems has designed its steel shakes to reduce the impact of expansion and contraction of our steel roof. The washers on our screws absorb what little expansion and contraction our steel roofs experience. Also, the washer ensures that there is a tight seal between the screw head and the steel shake.

Some of our competitors use nails to install their steel roofs. These nails are vulnerable to “pull out” as their steel roof expands and contracts. Our competitors leave the top part of their nails exposed so when their steel roof expands the nails will not “pull out”. Unfortunately this technique does not reduce “pull out”; but this technique does increase the distance between their nail head and their roof. The nails our competitors use do not have a washer, so this increased distance means that our competitors’ steel roofs do not provide the high resistance to moisture infiltration that Superior Steel Roofing Systems roofs do provide.

Practical experience shows that nails are subject to “pull out” and are not a good fastener for steel roofing applications. So, why are the other companies using nails? The answer is multifaceted. Firstly, screws are a more expensive fastener. When Superior Steel Roofing Systems uses screws over the course of a year, this is a much more expensive fastener solution. Our competitors choose a cheaper and inferior solution.

Secondly, the labour required to install a screw with a drill is many times greater than the labour required to install a nail with a pneumatic nail gun. Once again our competitors choose a cheaper and inferior solution.

Thirdly, to use the better fastener solution (screws) our competitors would have to invest heavily to update their outdated methods, materials and equipment. They don’t want to do this and so they continue to promote their inferior product. Let’s face it; being the best in the industry costs money. Superior Steel Roofing Systems is the best!

Keywords: Nails, Roofing Systems, Screws, steel roof, Steel Roofing, Steel Roofing Systems

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