Nails / Staples / Caps to attach undrelayment

A recent post on underlayments brought up another subject of underlayment attachment. I am deciding on a contractor for a new roof and, as I recall, most said they simply staple the underlayment. I only recall one saying they used caps. I looked at GAF website and their instructions say in bold “Do not use nails or staples without caps”. I checked certainteed and all I saw was that they prefer nails to staples due to more resistence to tear out (no mention of caps…maybe it is implied?). Is it that important to use caps? I asked one contractor about it and he said the underlayment is a secondary barrier only and stapling woudl be completely fine. FYI…roof pitch is about 7-8/12 if that matters.

Assuming you are referring to felt…

It does not matter what he uses from a performance standpoint. On an 8/12 or flatter staples are fine. The purpose of the caps is not for it to perform better. Caps hold the felt better and hence on a steeper slope the felt will hold better to the house while he is roofing it.
After the house is roofed it does not matter what he used. Plastic Caps or Staples are only there to keep the felt from moving until it is roofed.

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we use buttons “plastic cap nails” for all felt. in the old days we used to use the buttons that were a roofing nail thru a round metal disc “button”. I hate staples and have outlawed them in our company. variety of reasons.

You know the contractor who uses caps is better.
Your question is if the contractor is worth the extra money.

MY answer is YES.

There is probably about a hundred other details you dont know about that are better too…

Why would a roofer use caps when staples are faster and cheaper???

If I am shingling the same day I will often use staples. If it will be exposed overnight or especially through a storm I will always cap nail. I think that once the shingles are on it doesn’t matter, but for protection before the shingles are on caps are the way to go.

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Also, roof-lover, I don’t think staples are neccesarily faster anymore. They got some handy dandy stuff for plastic caps these days. They are cheaper though, but not by much.

I’m going to side with Shangle. If I’m going to roof it in then there is no need for caps. What are the benefits of caps as opposed to staples when it’s covered in by a hundred pounds of shingles? Nothing.
I wouldn’t leave a roof papered in the first place, si it doesn’t really matter to me.

Although a lot of synthetic underlay manufacturers won’t warranty stapled underlay, they require caps.

To say that a company that uses caps is better than a company that doesn’t is a joke. That would be like saying a company that uses 1"3/4 nails is better than a company that uses 1" 1/4 nails, which is obviously ridiculous.

who the hell uses 1 3/4" nails ? :o

[quote=“bcdemon”]I’m going to side with Shangle. If I’m going to roof it in then there is no need for caps. What are the benefits of caps as opposed to staples when it’s covered in by a hundred pounds of shingles? Nothing.
I wouldn’t leave a roof papered in the first place, si it doesn’t really matter to me.

Although a lot of synthetic underlay manufacturers won’t warranty stapled underlay, they require caps.

To say that a company that uses caps is better than a company that doesn’t is a joke. That would be like saying a company that uses 1"3/4 nails is better than a company that uses 1" 1/4 nails, which is obviously ridiculous.[/quote]

I will use only caps in synthetic. Felt I will use staples.

I am gonna guess that the shingle companies demand caps for their warranty knowing damn well 99% of people don’t and wont use them, so they can maybe use that as an excuse to not warranty the roof if something happens. Like a couple of you guys said the only advantage I see is if the felt is gonna be exposed for any amount of time say overnight or a few days to help with the wind tearing it off. Once the shingles are on what advantage do caps provide over staples??

before the laminate shingles became the big thing you didn’t want to use caps because they showed through the flat three tabs when they settled in the sun. They don’t show through the laminates as bad but the only reason I could see for using them is for synthetic or if a roof has to be exposed with just felt for an extended period of time. The only thing that has really changed is that they aren’t as visible, I think the big drive to use them is more profit driven ( by manufacturers) then anything else.

btw: by laminates I mean archs’, I never could figure out why they are called architectural shingles. They are meant to mimic wood shingles appearence so I just don’t see why they had to call in an architect to design them :wink:

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Well i believe this one was started because of me… I personally have only been using staples with my synthetic underlayments. I dont do this to cut corners by any means, I do this because for one, i already own staplers and the fancy cap staplers are a few bucks that i have yet to fork out yet. I do plan on changing over very soon as to please the underlayment manufactures BUT… I will say i have been using palisade underlayment for over a year now and staples hold it down very well. Honestly, If you only cap nailed/cap stapled where the underlayment says youd be slipping all over the place. I know this because we use much more staples then there would be cap nails and there is still some slippage of the underlayment underweight. I will agree that if leaving the underlayment exposed for a period of time that cap nails is the better way. I personally do not leave roofs open for any longer then it takes me to roof them. All in all when you shingle the roof, there are a gazillion more nails puncturing the underlayment.

I wish they would lower the price of Ice and water shield so i could use it on the entire roof. that way every puncture would be sealed! hahaha

We use them for RidgeGlass.

I have to reform my statement from above.
A company that uses caps is better than a company that doesn’t if the product used requires caps.
I know a company that installed a load of synthetic underlay with only staples when caps were required for warranty.

Thanks to all for your responses. Sounds like caps are a good idea, but not ‘absolutely’ necessary. Makes sense since there will be thousands of nails through the underlayment after the shingles are installed. One contractor gave me a good price to upgrade underlayment to Deck Armor, but I will have to discuss the issue of voiding the warranty if only staples are used.

I am also getting I&W on eaves (6 ft), walls, penetrations, etc. do you guys only lay the underlayment on areas of the roof without I&W or lay underlayment over I&W? Just trying to get an idea here of what is “requirement”, a “good idea” and what might be overkill and totally unnecessary.

Thanks.

in florida,
u learn to use steel cap nails, so a big wind dont blow your underlayment into the gulf of mexico.
no staples, no plastic caps, no roofing nails,

steel cap nails.

gweedo.

I prefer staples and would put them up against cap nails any day. I can staple felt to with stand any wind storm in my area.

Plastic caps staples here. Always
They hold much better than just a staple. Obviously not as well as a cap nail.

everything is buttons for felt “cap nails” staples are for carpenters and sidewallers. No place on a roof.

bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=15708 This is what we use.

same