What does toe nailing mean?

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Toe nailing means driving a nail at about a 45-degree angle to connect two pieces of wood that are perpendicular to each other. It was the standard way to secure roof rafters to the top plate of a wall up until the 1970s when metal strap connectors became required by building codes. Usually at least one nail was toe-nailed into each side of a rafter, although occasionally we have seen a single toe nail securing each rafter end in older houses. An example above shows two toe nails at one side of a roof rafter of a 1950s home in Winter Park, Florida.

   Unfortunately, although a pair of opposing toe nails are fairly strong in resistance to laterial movement, and are still often used today to secure interior wall studs to a base plate, they are weak in uplift. This makes the nails in a toe-nailed roof more likely to be pulled up in a hurricane, allowing the wind to lift the roof off the wall and cause catastrophic damage. By contrast, the nails through a metal connector are perpendicular to the hurricane wind forces trying to lift off the roof. That’s called “in shear,” and essentially means the nails or wood must be broken apart to release the connection. Much stronger.

    Besides not being allowed for roof-to-wall connections by today’s code, a toe-nailed roof voids one of the hurricane-resistance discounts offered to Florida homeowners on their windstorm insurance under the state’s wind mitigation inspection program. To read more about it, go to our blog post What is the wind mitigation inspection for homeowner's insurance?  If your roof is toe-nailed, consider Is it worth it to upgrade my roof tie-down hurricane straps for a better wind mitigation insurance discount?  

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about the WIND MITIGATION FORM:

• Why did I get no discounts or only a small discount from my wind mitigation inspection?

How long does a wind mitigation inspection remain valid? 

 Who can perform a wind mitigation inspection in Florida?

• How long does it take for a wind mitigation inspection? 

• What is checked during a wind mitigation inspection? 

Is a wind mitigation inspection report (OIR-B1-1802) required for homeowners insurance in Florida? 

Which building permit date is used for the Building Code section of the wind mitigation form? 

What are the different roof deck attachment discount categories for a wind mitigation inspection?


What determines the year of a house? 

What is the difference between a toe nail, clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

Can I do my own wind mitigation inspection?   

What’s the difference between a gable and hip roof for my insurance?   

How can I tell how hurricane resistant a Florida house is before I buy it?

What is a wind mitigation discount? 

Do I get a a discount for partial hurricane shutters in a Wind Mitigation inspection?

• Why did I get no discount for roof-to-wall-attachment in my Wind Mitigation report? 

 What’s the difference between a four-point and wind mitigation inspection?

   Visit our INSURANCE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

(placeholder)

Search

This

Site

Attics

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Bathrooms

Aging in Place

Appliances

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Cracks

Doors and Windows

Electrical

Energy Efficiency

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Heating and Air Conditioning

Home Inspection

Hurricane Resistance

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

Electrical Panels

Garages and Carports

Common Problems

Exterior Walls & Structures

Insulation

Insurance

Life Expectancy

Mobile/Manufactured Homes

Older and

Historic Houses

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Modular Homes

Metal Roofs

Plumbing

Radon

Pool and Spa

Roof and Attic

Remodeling

Safety

Site

"Should I Buy A..."

Stairs

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Structure and Rooms

Wells

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

Septic Tank Systems

Plumbing Pipes

Sinkholes

When It First

Became Code

Park Model Homes

Shingle Roofs

Stucco

Wind Mitigation Form

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Brick

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Foundations

Rain Gutters

Condominiums

Crawl Spaces

Building Permits

Clay Soil

Floors

Toilets

Generators

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Sprinkler Systems

4-Point Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Building Codes

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Washers and Dryers

Kitchens

(placeholder)

Electrical Wiring

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Smoke & CO Alarms

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Lighting

Sinks

Electrical Switches

Siding

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

Foundation Certifications