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Old 03-24-2012, 11:14 AM   #1
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Drywall Screws Popping Out of Ceiling


Hello DIYers... We renovated the first floor of our house over 2 years ago. Opened it up by removing a wall and running two 6x2 beams across the ceiling. We also put up new drywall over the whole ceiling.

I noticed recently that screws are starting to pop out of the celing close to the beams. The most prominent being ones on the front (red circle) and one on the back (blue circle). I've also included long shots to show location relative to the whole ceiling.

The house does get alot of vibration because it faces a main street where alot of heavy vehicles drive by. We can feel the vibration every time one passes. And we have had a couple of spots elsewhere around the house where the drywall has cracked.

My questions are...

1. Is it normal to expect this as the house settles and gets subjected to vibrations from the street OR is it symptomatic of something more serious?

2. What is the best way to drive these screws back in? Remove and replace or simply screw back in and re-mud?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Drywall Screws Popping Out of Ceiling


Several things can cause this.
Not enough screws.
Using 2 X 6's if there's a room above that these are also your floor joist in the room above and the spans to long.
Trying to use 1/2 drywall instead of 5/8.
Drywall was never pushed up tight when screwing it.
Walls were rocked first instead of the ceiling first.
About all you can do now is pop off the old mud over the screws, push up on the rock and drive the screws back in with a screw gun and add more screws.

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Old 03-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
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Drywall Screws Popping Out of Ceiling


If the ceiling was hung first. Just pull the screws out and fill the holes with mud. The wall sheet will hold it up.
I always try to avoid screwing the perimeters. I always keep my screws around 8" away. If everything is nice and tight as it should be there won't be a problem. Just remember....a screw that isnt there will never pop lol.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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Drywall Screws Popping Out of Ceiling


I think the only reason why drywall screws pop is because they were not screwed in all the way to pull the drywall panel into contact with the joist. So all you need to do is screw them in the rest of the way.

Unlike nails, drywall screws will not pull out of the wood as a result of the drywall panel bowing or warping.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-24-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Drywall Screws Popping Out of Ceiling


Actually the leading cause for pops are due to wood shrinkage and structural movement. When a wood framed structure is built, the moisture content in the new lumber is high. Drywall is usually attached with screws within weeks. As time goes by the wood "dries out" and pulls in. This pulls the drywall in with it and pops the screw outward a tiny bit. Furthermore, any area where a screw is placed near the connecting point between two structural members, such as the top plate of a wall and a floor joist, will experience a lot of movement over time and force the screw out. This is why we see a lot of corner bead cracks underneath beams.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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Drywall Screws Popping Out of Ceiling


Driving your screws too deep will also cause pops. Once you cut the face paper on the drywall, you will have a pop. Lumber "movement" is probably the main cause. Lumber "moves" twice a year, during heating and cooling season. Remove or reset the old screw and add another close to the first one, making sure the drywall is tight to the framing member and don't set too deep.....

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