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Old 01-24-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


We recently had a new home built (finished early Dec) in Minnesota and have been living in it for just over a month. I knew that with new construction and lots of sheetrock work to expect a pop or crack or two, but lately ive noticed quite a few issues in almost every room of the house.

The installer for some reason or another chose to use about 20% nails and 80% screws to hang the sheetrock. I thought it was odd, but dismissed it. Now I can walk into a room and see nail pops running the length of an entire stud. I also notice cracks/separation at many corners both vertical and along the ceiling.

Is it normal to have THIS many flaws? Ive hung minimal sheetrock in my day, but never had this many issues. The home builder states that theyll come out once in the first year to fix any pops/cracks, but when does this become a bigger issue? I dont want to wait a year to get things fixed, but I also dont want to look at blemishes all over my new house for a year.

Thanks for input

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Old 01-24-2014, 10:16 AM   #2
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


They may have used green wood. If it has a good deal of moisture in it and starts to dry, it will move, warp, shrink, you name it. Was it heated properly before you moved in? If temps dropped low enough it could add to that. You can also get "nail pops" from screws. Some drywall hangers use nails for the perimeter of a sheet because it is easier. Some even start the nails before they put the sheet up so all they have to do is bang it in. Helps especially if you're holding it up yourself.

No point in fixing the cracks too early because they will return. Some will never stop coming back. Good luck.

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Old 01-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


This isn't a modular home, correct?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:21 AM   #4
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


The rock was hung when it was near or below freezing. They had one big portable heater in the dining room heating the house, but I know when I walked through and felt their pallet of pre-mixed mud, it was freezing cold. Nail pops are happening in the middle of walls as well as corners. I know theyre nails because I can see the head of them when the mud actually fell off.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


mike, no it is not. Its a single family 2 story with walkout lower level. Built on sandy soil. Fairly dry during build - maybe rained once or twice before it was enclosed/roofed.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:50 AM   #6
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


The lumber can be delivered with excessive moisture, it's not necessarily from on site conditions. I believe the gypsum guidebook requires drywall to be finished in temps above 55 degrees. I'm sure someone else will chime in with the exact rules. I'm pretty sure the mud itself says this on the bucket.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #7
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


Are the nails popping in the middle of sheets or at the perimeter of the sheet where the seems are?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:53 AM   #8
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


Both. Id say its about a 50/50 split for center sheet and edges
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:35 AM   #9
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


A vertical crack at windows and doors is an indication the rock was installed wrong. With a needle or pin and a pair of pliers check to see if the nail pops even hit a stud.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


It sounds like your structure was not dried out before drywalling--

The studs and sheeting sometimes get rained on ---the freezing weather keeps the moisture from drying out----if the structure was unheated--how would that moisture go away?

You are in for a period of popping nails and cracking seams---and possibly open joints in your wood work.

Get together with the builder----the repairs should not be done until spring or summer---now that it's insulated and rocked--the frame may take a while to dry out----

A moisture meter might be worth the expense.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


I know this is after the fact, maybe it will help others out? first off the framing was done during the late summer early fall? the lumber should always be HT KD giving you a moisture content of less then 12%, any lumber used if the grade stamp has Green, S or air dry. reject it! it will have a moisture content greater then 18% a lot of builders that want to save a buck will use Green or S Dry lumber. it will shrink warp and do all sorts of wild things. If used don't sheetrock for one year to let it dry out. Now there is a caveat to this Lumber that is HT KD can have the same moisture problems too. once it leaves the mill. Heaven only knows how it was stored. so even though the stamp says HT KD it might have the same percentage of water in it as Green. I always use a moisture meter to test the lumber. Now what can you do? fix the problem the best you can keep your home as warm as you can. Hope for the best.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


I dont remember what kind of stamp the lumber had on it. It was mostly pre-fabbed walls that were delivered in groups. They just stood them up and nailed them in place.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:41 PM   #13
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


Most likely it was made with kiln dried graded wood---the big issue we run into is rain soaking the structure before the roof and tyvek are installed---the frames and floor sheeting needs heat to drive out the moisture----

You may just have a lousy drywall hanging job---but I suspect the framing is the cause---just my experience.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #14
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


Also sounds like maybe they didn't keep the heat on until the mud had completely dried.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:52 AM   #15
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New Home Littered with Nail Pops and Drywall Cracks


Personally, I never tape or mud using premix mud for 1st coat...or even second. It tends to crack too easily. The fact that it was almost freezing certainly adds to its deterioration.

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