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Fix Nails Popping Out of Drywall

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Well, we’re on our way to Ohio and talking to Charles. How can we help you?

    CHARLES: Hey, hi. I was looking at my (clears throat) drywall – excuse me – and I noticed I have a lot of nails starting to make themselves noticeable. And I didn’t know if there’s something out there that I can, upon nailing them back, to keep these little guys from coming back that I can put over.

    TOM: Yeah, the dreaded nail pop. (chuckling)

    LESLIE: The dreaded nail pop.

    CHARLES: Yes, indeed. The dreaded nail – and I’ll tell you, I’m starting to have nightmares about that, guys.

    LESLIE: You can see it lifting up the paper and you see that nailhead sort of trying to pop through. Yeah, they’re trying to say hello. (Charles laughs)

    Well, there’s a couple of things that you can do. Tom and I always recommend you can either put another nail directly next to that first nail and hammer it in so that that second head is bringing that first head flush. What’s happening is it’s drying out and it’s backing its way out of the wood and then out of the drywall itself. And then there’s a way you can do it with a screw.

    TOM: Yeah, simply back the old nail and use a drywall screw to put it in because, you know, that will never back out. In fact, a lot of the contractors today don’t use drywall nails anymore because of this very issue. They’ll use the drywall screws. The important thing for you to know though, Charles, is that this is not a structural problem. This is a very …

    LESLIE: It’s more cosmetic.

    TOM: More cosmetic. You know, there’s hundreds of nails in those boards and, although it seems like a lot are coming out, it doesn’t mean that your house is doing anything unusual. What’s happened is that the wood expands and contracts and the newer wood dries out; it tends to push the nail out. See, those nails are coated with glue.

    CHARLES: OK.

    TOM: And the way they’re supposed to work is as you drive them in, the friction of driving them is supposed to …

    LESLIE: Heat them up.

    TOM: … loosen the glue and then it’s supposed to get set in place. But the truth is it doesn’t work that way and very often it will back out. So those are your options. A second nail on top of that one so you cover the heads or use a drywall screw.

    CHARLES: Hey, I’m glad you guys are around so we can – us homeowners – ask you questions like this.

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