Did you buy a newly-constructed home about a year ago and are just now noticing ugly “nail pops?” They probably weren’t there when you moved in. And they are not (usually) a symptom of shoddy construction. It’s just that all newly-built houses go through a settling process, and that’s when these things appear.
What to do? You can call your builder, sure. They may come and repair those suckers for you. But they don’t legally have to. Because under Ontario’s New Home Warranty Program, ordinary nail pops are not covered. So do you have to hire an expensive drywall guy? No, you can fix them yourselves. Here’s how.
First, locate all your nail pops by shining a lamp at an angle to the wall. Start by screwing in a new drywall screw adjacent to the popped one. Make sure you screw it in until it bends, but does not break, the surface of the wall. Then use a nail set or a heavy-duty nail to hammer the offending screw back below the surface.
Now apply some pre-mixed drywall compound with a six-inch drywall knife. Scrape it flat. Sand it with fine-grit sandpaper and repeat. On the final sanding, try to get everything as smooth as possible.
Now you’re ready to paint. With luck, you asked the builder for the exact colour code of your paint. Or if you were really smart, you asked the builder to leave you with a little bit of that exact paint. If that didn’t happen, and it probably didn’t, at least know the paint chip code. You might not get a perfect match unless you repaint the whole wall, but it will still look better than that unsightly nail pop.
To get professional instruction on everything to do with drywall, sign up for our Drywall Essentials course at www.biyworkshops.com. We’ll give you insider tips on creating a perfect, paint-ready finish for every wall you build or repair.
Jim Caruk, HGTV Host, has been a renovation contractor for more than 30 years. He is the founder of Build It Yourself Learning Centers which teaches homeowners how to complete their own repairs and renovations (www.biyworkshops.com).