If you were to notice a roofing nail somewhere in your yard, your first thought might be thankfulness that you didn't step on it. You might discard the nail in the trash without ever giving much thought to what caused it to be in your yard, but this would be a mistake. Roofing nails are supposed to be firmly attached to your roof — if you find one laying in your yard, your roof has a problem. The problem may be minor, but if you find multiple nails, this is a reason to speak to a roofing professional and arrange a time at which he or she can look into what is going on. Here are some reasons that a roofing nail might be in your yard.
When the lower edge of a shingle curls, it can slowly work the nail loose. Minor curling won't cause the nail to lift completely out of the roof, but as the shingle's curling continues to worsen, this is exactly what will happen. Shingles can curl for several reasons, but any curling is a problem. It means that the shingle is no longer laying flat on the surface of your roof, which indicates that it's not doing its job. Your roofer will quickly identify any curled shingles and replace them.
Tree Branch Interference
Overhanging tree branches can threaten your roof in several ways, including potentially lifting nails out of the roof. For example, if a shingle has minor curling to the point at which the nail's head is exposed, a tree branch may make contact with the nail head when it's windy. Problems won't occur immediately, but as the branch continues to hit the nail, it can loosen and lift — eventually, coming out of the roof and falling into your yard.
It's possible that you attempted to repair some shingles in the past but didn't do a good job, or that the previous owner of your home did some shoddy DIY work on the roof at some point. A bad installation job can often cause roofing nails to work their way out of the roof. For example, a nail may not have been hammered in all the way, or the person may have used cheap nails without barbs — which could cause one or more nails to lift over time. Use the discovery of a nail in your yard as an opportunity to have a licensed roofer inspect your home's roof.
If you're finding roofing nails in your yard, consider hiring roofing contractors to help you ensure your roof is safe and intact.