Popcorn Pops, not Drywall

February 1st, 2015

Nail-pop-1-300x200.jpgQuite often I am asked: “what is that hole in the ceiling?” or “should I be concerned with the nail sticking out the drywall?” These are legitimate concerns. However, knowing the cause of them could put your mind at ease.

There are several reasons drywall screws and nails (fasteners) can protrude from the drywall including: improper size of nail or screw, fasteners not secured tight enough between materials, drops or rises in humidity causing expansion and contraction, and/or bowed or warped framing, just to name a few.

If the drywall contractor used nails to adhere the drywall to the framing they usually drive the nail flush then hit it one more time to “set” the nail below the drywall paper. This is done to adequately cover the nail with joint compound (spackle).

Nail-pop2.jpegDrywall screws were originally designed for metal studs that are used primarily in high-rise and commercial buildings. Although they can also be used in wooden studs as well, wood screws greatly decrease the occurrence of drywall pops.

If you are painting the room, I recommend you repair them and not paint over the fastener or indentation from the nail pop. If you try to just hammer it in, it will eventually pop out again. To properly make the repair, remove the nail or screw that popped and install a drywall screw 1-2 inches above or below in the fame stud. To be sure you don’t have to repair the area again I would recommend using a slightly longer screw to get adequate depth in the framing member.

Nail-pop-3.jpgOnce the screw is recessed below the drywall surface apply a smooth, thin layer of drywall compound over the holes. This can be the tricky part: make your initial work small and apply 2-3 coats of compound over the area gradually increasing them in size. The key is to “feather” out the end so it cannot be seen under normal room light. Once you cannot see or feel any edges you are ready for primer.