Q & A - Climbing on a Roof the Right Way

Stickers On Roof 1
April 13, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.

Is it a good practice to put nails through installed shingles, and then to remove them?

I received a question last week from Don in Virginia, he asked, "I just bought a newly built home, and while the roof shingles were being installed, I noticed that the roofers nailed strips of wood to areas of the completed roof to aid in their scaling the roof incline. These nails obviously went through shingles that had already been installed. When the roof was completed, these wood strips were removed. My question is: Is it a good practice to put nails through installed shingles, and then to remove them? Doesn’t this leave holes in the shingles for water to leak through?"


It is unprofessional to use stickers as they are called to navigate on the roof after the shingles are installed. There are roof brackets that skilled OSHA safety conscience contractors use that do not penetrate the roof yet are nailed into rafters. These brackets accept a 2×6 board called a toe board. I advise not to nail into the exposed face of the shingle. Most likely this will void any shingle warranty you have. Do not forget that there are safety requirements regarding falls and along with these toe boards personal fall protection is a must while working on a roof.

See video for more information on the correct way to use toe board brackets on a shake roof.

This is how to correctly navigate a steep-sloped roof and stage for loading and installation. I have seen when the roof is completed and the siding people come in afterward. To access the roof they do what is seen in the photo to the right. Driving nails into the roof is just wrong. There are plenty of options that are available. I like using a ladder hook and ladder but that is another story.

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