Skip to Main Content

Drywall Nail Pops

Every home relies on a sturdy foundation, and when foundation damage occurs, it can cause walls in your home to shift. This leads to popped nails in your drywall.

Schedule Free Inspection

We all know that a solid home relies on a sturdy foundation. Without this foundation, your home is at risk for total collapse. Walls in your home are directly affected by the sturdiness of your foundation, so any damage to your foundation also causes damage to the walls. Let’s learn more about how this process leads to nails popping out of your drywall, and what you can do about it. 

Drywall Nail Pops Explained

Drywall nail pops might sound like a minor issue, but don’t judge this problem sign by its size. This issue is a definite sign that your foundation is shifting and sinking. Your home’s walls are linked to the foundation, so even the slightest foundation damage can cause serious structural problems.  

Many nails were used to keep wall studs and beams attached to each other. Metal nails are not designed to bend and shift with your foundation. When settlement occurs, stress and pressure build up in your wall. Eventually, the nails cannot handle the shifting structure and are forcefully ejected. This causes small holes or sections of chipped paint on your drywall.  

What Causes Drywall Nail Pops?

Foundation Settlement During Winter Months

Settlement Sinking

Foundations naturally settle into the soil below them. Sometimes, the soil is not strong enough to support the weight of your home, so the foundation experiences settlement and sinking below the ground. Usually, this happens when water, drought, or poor compaction disrupt the structural integrity of the ground. Soil particles might be washed away, collapse on themselves, or become extremely dry and brittle. Unfortunately, this type of settlement can end up causing damage to your foundation such as cracking or unevenness. These conditions lead to shifting walls in your home. Over time, wall studs may move or crack under the pressure. Nails located in the wall studs will likely pop out of place due to all the sudden changes and cause unsightly bumps along the walls inside your house.


Drought has afflicted North Carolina in the past, and when it happens, your foundation can suffer greatly. That’s because dry soil can’t support foundations very well. As soil dries out during a drought, it shrinks in volume and becomes brittle to the touch. Tree roots can also cause dry soil because they suck moisture from the ground as they grow. No matter the cause of dry soil, a gap forms between your foundation and the ground, which leads to the foundation sinking and crushing into the brittle soil. Once again, the walls of your home are affected by this process and lead to nails popping and shifting behind your drywall.

soil washout and erosion

Soil Washout

Rain and heavy amounts of moisture can also take a toll on your foundation. North Carolina receives an above average amount of rainfall during the year, and this leads to weakened soil as it becomes muddy and soft. When you step into mud, your foot sinks into the soil a little bit. The same thing happens when your foundation is being supported by wet, washed-out soil. It slowly sinks below the ground and usually becomes titled or uneven. Even worse, soil washout erodes soil particles and can make the ground permanently weaker, which only causes more foundation problems in the future.


While nail pops themselves are not particularly dangerous, they represent a larger problem which could pose a threat to your entire home. Nail pops are just a small part of foundation damage. When you notice them, don’t take it lightly. It’s more than likely that other foundation problem signs are arising around your home. If nail pops are left unchecked, foundation damage only gets worse, and you could face structural damage in your home such as wall cracks, uneven floors, or tilting chimneys, just to name a few potential problems.

You could replace popped nails and the damaged walls they came from, but this doesn’t offer a solution to the larger problem – foundation damage. Simply replacing nails might make the house look better for a time, but eventually, foundation settlement is going to cause the same problem to occur again. The best step you can take to address drywall nail pops is to contact a professional foundation repair service like Tar Heel. With a professional solution, you can prevent foundation problems from arising in the future, especially with pier systems that support your home independently of soil.

Nail pops are easy to spot because of their distinctive effect on the wall. Look for two distinct signs of nail pops: a small hole in your wall, or a bulging, cracked bump on your wall. Both are caused by nail pops. Also, it can be helpful to look for chipped paint on your drywall as this can also indicate movement behind your wall. Since walls are generally free of glaring imperfections, a hole or bump should be easy to notice for the average homeowner.

How Does Tar Heel Fix Drywall Nail Pops?

Drywall nail pops are resolved when your foundation is stabilized. That’s why Tar Heel uses pier systems, wall anchors, crawl space supports, carbon fiber reinforcement, and IntelliBrace™ beams to bolster your existing foundation for good. All of our solutions provide unmovable support for your foundation, whether it is a concrete slab, crawl space, or basement.  

Each solution works to counteract problematic soil that causes foundation problems in the first place. Pier systems and wall anchors accomplish this by using strong, virgin soils deep below the surface that are unaffected by weather. Crawl space supports and IntelliBrace™ beams are made with sturdy, galvanized steel that can withstand thousands of pounds of pressure. Carbon fiber reinforcement does the same with even more strength because carbon fiber is ten times stronger than steel. 

Explore Solutions

Drywall nail pops can be solved with Tar Heel Basement System’s foundation solutions. We use wall anchors, pier systems, and crawl space supports to keep your foundation permanently supported. All of our solutions work to remove soil from the equation when it comes to supporting your foundation. Explore all of our solutions to learn more about how to repair your foundation for good.

Call Us for a Free Inspection

Since 2003, Tar Heel Basement Systems has been providing crawl space repair for homeowners across the state of North Carolina in Northern North Carolina, the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill metro area, Wilmington, and the Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point metro area. With thousands of positive online reviews and recent awards from Home Advisor and the Better Business Bureau, our commitment to honest and quality business is clear. Don’t let crawl space problem signs destroy your home’s insulation. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and experience the benefits of our foundation solutions. 

    Contact Us

    For Your Free Inspection

    * All fields are required.

    Publish Date:

    Last Modified Date:

    TarHeel Basement Systems Service Map

    Our Service Areas

    Greensboro Location

    611 Summit Ave, Suite 5
    Greensboro, NC 27405

    Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Location

    3333 Air Park Road
    Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526


    1209 Culbreth Dr., Ste 205
    Wilmington, NC 28405

    Winston-Salem/High Point Location

    2910 Griffith Rd
    Winston-Salem, NC 27103