We recently asked someone to add a covered porch to a new construction. He reported back that the existing roof (which was built by a different contractor about 6 months ago) has some issues. He said it could be because the plywood was stapled rather than nailed, but he is not sure. I wonder if any of you could tell by looking at a picture. I already reached out to the company that built the roof and I am waiting to hear back. Since I know nothing about roofs I would like be somewhat more knowledgeable.


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    I'm not a roofing contractor, but I cannot imagine that staples vs nailing the sheathing could be the problem (how does the new contractor know, BTW?). However, I'd be calling the original contractor back to have that redone! Was there any inspection done on this? Have you given a final sign-off that all is good? It almost looks like the shingles have expanded in the heat and buckled in the way vinyl siding would if the nails were driven too tightly (you do want a roof nailed down tight).
    – FreeMan
    Jan 29, 2021 at 14:57
  • I would say NO not only thousands of homes but hundreds of thousands of homes are stapled, I use nails both for sheathing and shingles but this is a personal preference. I agree with Isherwood on the felt being the most probable cause.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 29, 2021 at 15:39
  • If the op had safe access to the underside of the sheathing could they learn more by taking a look? Jan 29, 2021 at 18:08
  • @StayOnTarget, that might reveal problems with the sheathing integrity or framing, but those are unlikely culprits.
    – isherwood
    Jan 29, 2021 at 21:10
  • I really want to thank everyone for taking the time to provide your insights. I am still waiting to hear from my contractor but we are doing the inspection next Friday. It is clear to me now that staples are not necessarily the issue. Another thing that I noticed yesterday is that many houses in my area seem to have some sort of ventilation on their roof. My new house does not, I hope that is not creating extreme weather changes affecting the roof. We live in Texas.
    – Cbarcenas
    Jan 30, 2021 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


Anything's possible, though staples aren't inherently problematic. Thousands of homes in my area were built with them (many by me). You'd need to investigate. Surgical removal of shingles isn't that difficult, so you can see what's happening without needing a professional. You will need to be safe on that steep roof, though.

Most such problems, in my experience, have been due to sloppy underlayment installation--wrinkles in the felt or water barrier. Those don't settle out easily. Swelling in OSB sheathing edges due to moisture show differently.


If your contractor is claiming the fasteners are loosening from the sheathing it is a simple matter to verify. On the roof any nail or staple that has pulled away from the rafters will have pushed up or through the asphalt shingles. If it has only pushed the shingle up carefully pry the shingle up further and peer under it. You should be able to see the nail head or staple crown.

If several fasteners have loosened along the same edge or seam an obvious bounce will be detected when pressure is applied over it. Fasteners pulling from sheathing (whether staple or nail) happens to the best constructed roof even if the fastener schedule is followed. Over time expansion and contraction slowly work the fastener loose.

Longer, additional, and accurately set fasteners may be needed (or lacking) for the sheathing.

Unless the felt paper under the shingles was crumpled in a knot or completely 'FUBAR-ed' it may be that rolled roofing was used as an under-layment (not common under shingles, but possible). Rolled roofing is known to wrinkle if installed in long lengths (more than 15-20 feet?).


The flaws showing on your roof appear in a straight line (both up and down the roof and across your roof) and appear to be on a 4’ module. This indicates the defects are at roof sheathing joints.

A balanced roof ventilation system will keep the sheathing from expanding and pushing the edges of the sheathing up , which are then visible, as shown in your picture. The reason not all edges are visible is because some sheathing may have been installed with a slight gap between boards, as recommended by the manufacture.

A balanced ventilation system will eliminate this problem. Your roof does not have the required ventilation.

Here’s an article from GAF roofing company that explains it better.


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