What It Could Mean If Nails Are Popping Out Of Your Walls

If you've recently completed a construction project, you're probably exhausted — and relieved that it's over. After so many stressful to-do lists, the last thing you want is for things to start falling apart. That's why nails popping out of your wall are so stressful.

Fortunately, nail pops seem (and sound) a lot worse than they usually are. While the term might conjure images of nails flying out of your walls projectile-style, it actually refers to the head of a nail pushing outwards from your wall, either resulting in a circular bump or causing the wall to chip slightly and expose the nail head (via Anchor Foundation Repair). Though these bumps look concerning, they usually aren't a big deal. As long as you don't notice other changes in your home, they probably aren't caused by structural problems, explains Bob Vila. Nail pops are also easy to fix and don't leave lasting marks if properly repaired.

How to fix nail pops

In the vast majority of cases, nail pops occur shortly after construction (within a year or so) due to the process of your drywall or lumber drying (via Bob Vila). These materials naturally contain some moisture that evaporates over time, but the drying process can create slight shifts that, in turn, may push your nails out. Fortunately, these nail pops aren't a big deal and are easy to fix.

According to Bob Vila, you can use a hammer to push the nail back in, but be prepared for it will pop out again over time. Instead, you're better off tapping the nail back down but then using two screws (each about an inch away from the nail) to secure the drywall to the stud. Use screws that are at least ¾ inch longer than your drywall to ensure that everything stays in place. You can also add a few extra screws if you think that the drywall might not be properly secured to the stud. Left with a few indents or chips? Use some drywall joint compound to fill them in, then pop on a paint touch-up. Your wall will look as good as new!

When should you be concerned about nail pops?

Although the vast majority of nail pops are harmless, they can be a sign of larger issues if they occur alongside other problems. While you shouldn't panic as soon as you see a nail pop, it's a good idea to see if your house has any of the following problems (via Crystal Coast Condo):

  • Doors or windows getting stuck
  • Cracks around your door or window frames
  • Ceiling cracks (especially if they extend along a wall)
  • Cracks in your foundation
  • Moisture or puddles near your foundation

If your home is experiencing nail pops and the above issues at the same time, there might be a larger issue at play so hiring a contractor or engineer to look into the problem is your best bet, per Bob Vila. However, if you don't see any of the signs mentioned above, chances are that your nail pops aren't a big issue.