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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 128479  
Subject: Re: Nail pops. Lots of nail pops... Date: 2/14/2013 2:09 PM
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Nail pops may or may not be indicative of shoddy construction. Wood shrinks over time. Houses suffer tremendous wind load in some storms and over many years that can cause the wall planes to shift back and forth ever so slightly. (I have a ceiling which flexes up and down more than a half inch from summer to winter, and one wall joint that flexes about 1/4 inch - both "masked with a trim piece so the flexing is now invisible.) if there are ad nail pops, well, spit happens. If they ar all over the place, the engineering might not have been as robust as it should have been, or the wood was not dried enough, or ...

If the wallboard is affixed with nails, you can set them by getting a hard point cold chisel (like a nail setter with a sharper point, or you could even use a nail set) and driving them down deeper with a good hammer smack (right thru the wallboard); yes, this will leave a divot where each nail pop used to be. Then you spackle and repaint and you're done. Absolutely wear eye protection as you do this as bits of wallboard may come flying back at you.

Floor squeaks simply require the floorboards to be refastened more securely to the joists, which is not as easy as I make it sound. If you have the carpet up you should be able to find rows of nail heads which will clue you to where the joists are. If not it's pretty much trial and error. There are specially designed screws you can use right through carpet: they screw down, then the head snaps off below the carpet line and leaves no visible evidence of the repair. I have used them and they work.
http://www.123itsdone.com/ is one example, there are others.

Always use screws to eliminate floor squeaks after the fact, that way you can tighten them down and get a good tight bond.

If you can find some nail heads the next joist will doubtless run in the same direction, almost always 16" away in each direction, but in a few cases 12" or even more rarely 24". If you can't find the nail heads figure out which way the joists run (from load bearing wall to load bearing wall, usually perimeter to the central core wall) and start 16" from one side. That might be the wrong side, because rooms are rarely a perfect multiple of 16", so if after the first couple you have no improvement, try going 16" from the opposite wall. If driving screws you should be able to tell whether the screw is punching through a couple sheets of plywood into thin air below, or whether you are hitting a solid wood joist and getting resistance all the way down.

Good luck. Keep moving across, 16” at a time until the squeaks are gone.
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