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Drywall  /  December 28, 2022

What Are Nail Pops and What Do They Mean?

Dangers of nail pops

Drywall installation involves many steps, including drywall taping and nailing the panels in place. Ideally, the fasteners remain flush with the drywall, resulting in a smooth surface. Unfortunately, sometimes they loosen, and the heads start protruding from the surface. The protrusion, known as nail pop, is usually subtle, not enough to break the surface of the paint job, but it does mar the smooth surface of your wall.

At best, nail pop is a mild annoyance, but at worst, it could be a sign of a more serious problem.

Where Does Nail Pop Occur?

Potentially, nail pop could occur anywhere that there are fasteners in drywall. Sometimes the incidents of nail pop are isolated, but sometimes it affects all the fasteners along a particular seam. When this occurs, it is more noticeable than the odd isolated pop and may need more extensive drywall repairs in Vaughan to correct.

What Causes Nail Pop?

Nail pop has several possible causes. It can affect both new and old houses, and the extent of the problem depends partly on the underlying reason for it.

One reason for nail pop is poor construction, which can occur in either old or new houses. Mistakes during drywall installation, such as overdriving nails or screws, installing them at an angle, or spacing them improperly, can all lead to nail pops later. Drywall installation is complicated; many things can go wrong during the process and cause problems for you later, which is why you should hire an experienced drywall technician to do the job for you instead of trying to handle it yourself.

While nail pop is possible in both older and newer homes, it is more common in older homes. In the past, professionals and amateurs alike used roofing nails to install drywall, whereas today it is more common to use drywall screws. This was fine at first, but with age, the framework started shrinking as the wood dried out. Roofing nails would slide out because their smooth surface gave them less traction. The threads of drywall screws allow them to grip the wood even as it dries and shrinks, which is why their use is more common today.

Newer homes may experience nail pop for another reason. The living spaces are very well insulated in the interest of energy efficiency, while unfinished areas such as the attic are not. As a result, changes in temperature and humidity affect different parts of the house unevenly. The resulting stress can cause nail pops.

When Are Nail Pops Dangerous?

Nail pops themselves are not dangerous, but they can be a sign of a problem with your foundation. It is common for houses to settle as they get old, and this puts pressure on the foundation. If the damage to the foundation is too great, the house may become structurally unsound.

If you find nail pops in the drywall around your home, chances are good that it has another cause besides a foundation problem. Therefore, you should not panic over it, but you do need to be vigilant and analytical. If it is your foundation that is causing the problem, nail pops are unlikely to occur in isolation. You may notice additional signs such as windows and doors that do not close properly anymore or that stick. Door frames or window casings may have diagonal cracks coming off their corners, and diagonal brick walls may have a pattern of cracking that resembles a set of stairs.

If the house is older, you may not even have been around when the drywall was installed, meaning that you may end up inheriting someone else’s problem. With both installation and drywall repairs in Vaughan, experience is necessary to avoid making the matter worse. Learn more about all drywall services available from Handyman Connection.

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