Cosmetic Issue Or Something Serious? The 101 On Nail Pops In Your Drywall

Posted on: 11 December 2015

Owning a home can be stressful. From the various financial concerns to the different tasks you need to complete each year to maintain its appeal and function, it is easy to see the challenges of being a homeowner. While surprising to learn, many serious issues go unnoticed and unrepaired due to homeowner misunderstanding. Considering nail pops in drywall are common problems, you may not place much emphasis on these raised wall imperfections. Unfortunately, nail pops may be more serious than a simple cosmetic concern. Using this guide, you will understand why nail pops develop and learn the best options for diagnosing and repairing a serious foundation issue.

Settle for Settling?

When a house is first built, the surrounding soil will be firm and secure. Over time, the soil will loosen due to moisture and other environmental conditions. This loosening of soil will cause the foundation of your home to settle, shifting your home in very miniscule ways. Although small, this settling can cause certain larger physical changes in your home. In most cases, these settling changes occur within the first 3 years of living in a new home.

Nail pops are common problems that occur when your home settles due to the following changes:

  • Drywall Shift – As the home settles, the drywall shifts, allowing underlying nails to remain in place. The end result is nail that appears to pop out of the drywall.
  • Nail Shift – In another instance, the settling causes the nail to pop out, while the drywall remains in place.

If you are noticing multiple nail pops in your home, you may be dealing with simple settling issues. However, nail pops may also be a sign of a more serious foundation issue.

Foundation Inspection

It is important to remain calm after noticing the nail pops inside your home, but spend some time inspecting the rest of your home. Walk around the inside of your home and document any other visible imperfections in a notebook. Pay special attention to the following areas:

  • Windows – Cracks around windows may be a sign of a foundation problem. Check to see how easy the windows open and close, as well. Sticking windows and uneven frames may be a sign of foundation troubles.
  • Doors – If you notice cracks above, below, or on the sides of your doorframes, contact a foundation specialist. If you are unable to open and close your doors, it may be due to foundation issues.
  • Ceiling – Check the corners of your ceiling for any cracks. If these cracks follow down a wall inside your home, document the cracks in your notebook to follow any future changes.

After inspecting the inside of your home, head outdoors and closely look at your foundation. Check for visible cracks or broken pieces of your foundation. In addition, puddles of water or excess moisture around the foundation are all signs of a more serious problem.

Noticing these problems may be frightening, so it is important to seek professional help. A structural engineer can inspect your home before designing a plan to repair. While an entirely new foundation will cost you an estimated $40,000, more affordable solutions are available, including bracing with specialized bolts or underpinning the foundation.

Nail Pop Repair

If your home's foundation is in good overall condition, you can repair the nail pops easily.

To get started, use a scraper tool to remove the paint covering the raised nail. Remove any plaster tape before pulling out the nail with the back of a hammer. Carefully add a new 1 ½-inch nail to the hole before covering with a thin layer of spackle. Then, apply a thin layer of drywall compound to cover the nail, using a putty knife to create a smooth, flat surface.

After the spackle and drywall compound dries for a few hours, run fine sandpaper over the surface to prepare it for paint. Add a coat of paint over the repaired area, ensuring the color and texture match the rest of the wall.

Nail pops may be annoying cosmetic issues inside your home, or a quick evaluation of your foundation may be necessary. Using these tips, you will understand the difference between a simple cosmetic issue and a more serious foundation problem. For more information about spotting foundation problems, contact a company like Safe-Guard Waterproofing.