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Last Updated: , Created: Wednesday, November 29th, 2000

Pro: Drywall Nail Pops

Most nail pops come from one of two basic causes: fiberglass holding the panel away from the stud, hence a gap between the stud and the panel; or shrinking wood.

Assure contact between the panel and the stud at the moment the nail or screw is driven home and you avoid the first problem.

The second one requires an understanding of the way fasteners react to shrinking wood. The logical idea of using extra long nails is exactly the wrong thing to do. For the few of you who actually build with dry studs, you can?t do much wrong with fasteners as the wood doesn?t move. But for the rest of us?.

When a long nail is driven into a wet stud the point and the shaft of the nail will resist moving any further into the stud. As the wood shrinks, the surface of the wood slides back along the shaft ? creating an enlarged space between the surface of the wood and the panel, hence an eventual nail pop. When the nail penetrates just deep enough to hold the panel properly (3/4?), it can actually move back a little with the shrinking wood, leaving less of a gap. A screw just barely 3 /4? into the wood holds to the shrinking wood surface with its threads, moves with the wood and leaves almost no gap. Only dry wood avoids all chance of a nail pop ? no shrinkage, no gap, no nail pop.

**Originally published as an article by Jon Eakes in Home Builder Magazine, the magazine of the Canadian Home Builder's Association.


Keywords: Drywall, Fasteners, Mystery, Nails, Techniques

Article 639