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Old 04-20-2018, 12:53 PM   #1
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Nails popping!

Hi Everyone

I am new to the group and a novice DIY'er. I am seeing nails popping out if the walls and ceiling from the upstairs of my home. I living in a fully dormered cape. The house was dormered in 1990. Original construction 1950. I've seen some videos and read up on it but WOW they are popping out of everywhere. Why would this be happening SO MUCH??

Btw, I had the house checked out by a structural engineer a few weeks ago. He said the house was structurally sound.

Thanks for any input you can give.

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Old 04-20-2018, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: Nails popping!

Nails come out, that's what they do.

Screws would hold better, last longer.

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Old 04-20-2018, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Nails popping!

Houses move and lumber expands and contracts with heat and moisture.
If pops of nails or screws are in one area sometimes indicates a moisture problem.
The 1990 build should be screws, sometimes you can dig in and give them a little turn for a smaller patch than a hammer hit. Nails were ring nails and held as good as screws and are still used by the pros especially the first few on a ceiling sheet might be nails just for the speed and convenience of them.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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Re: Nails popping!

Screws cost more so some still use nothing but nails. When dealing with nail pops I hammer the nail back in [unless it comes out easily] and then add a screw next to it.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:43 PM   #5
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Re: Nails popping!

Nails come out, that's what they do.

LOL, funny but true.
Neal & Mark hit the nail on the head too. Pun wasn't attended at first. I'll think about it.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:03 PM   #6
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Re: Nails popping!

I would first check to see how much the sheet has dropped.
Too much pressure and the new screw will do the same.

Use 2 by's to build a wall that will push up on the drywall then screw
This relieves pressure until all the screws in that row are in.
Then on to the next.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Nails popping!

In the 50's it would be far more common to find plaster, not sheetrock.
If it is sheetrock not plaster back then it was common back then to see tiny headed nails 1" nails with no ring shanks because they had no clue how to hang rock yet.
Just dealt with that on a home that had been hit with an earthquake years ago and every nail had popped.
It took me days to just screw it back in place and fix all the flaws just so I could paint.
Another common cause is the attic was never designed for living space and someone saw all that open space and decided to convert it, I've seen that dozens of times.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:16 AM   #8
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Re: Nails popping!

I would nail with ring nails or screw with a drywall screw 4 inches on either side of the existing and then pound in the existing to below flush.

Mud coat all three and then paint as required. Some times patching the paint willm work if it is not too old or faded.
Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:21 PM   #9
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Re: Nails popping!

Yeah I would go with screws too. Nails seem to be the old school way of doing things anyways. Screws stay in longer.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:42 PM   #10
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Re: Nails popping!

As others have said... it's not uncommon for nails to back out. That said, it's as a result of movement in boards, trusses, etc. It's often more common on the second floor, and especially in the ceiling due to that being the location where the more extreme temperatures result (hot air rising, etc...).

Without knowing your specific situation, some general guidelines that can help prevent this is better insulation in your attic, or in the walls. Screws are a good replacement to these nails, but be forewarned... you can't just use any screws. You have to use framing screws. The difference is, most screws will simply snap when put under a load heavier than what they're rated for. Nails will simply bend and stretch. That's why if any of the beams these are going into are load bearing, you want to make sure you use the proper screws, and not just general construction screws.
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