How to Fix Screw Pops in Drywall

Why does it happen, and how can it be fixed?

drywall screws and tube
Photo by Don Penny/Time Inc. Digital Studio

I've read about nail pops in drywall, but what do you do about screw pops? My house is five years old and I've had this problem on the walls and ceilings for four years. I've fixed a dozen or so by screwing each on back and spackling over it, but I'm getting tired of the repair work.
— Regis Famawi, Greenville, S.C.


Tom Silva replies: Screw pops aren't nearly as common as nail pops, but they do happen. Sometimes they're caused by screws pulling out of the framing because they're too short or have fine threads. Maybe they're too long and therefore couldn't hold the drywall tight to the framing as it shrank. Or maybe some crews missed the center of the stud and have worked loose or were sunk too deeply below the drywall surface.
At this point, there's not much you can do except continue making your repairs. Just be sure the new screws are the right type and length — coarse-thread, 1 1/4 inches long for 1/2-inch-thick drywall — and are placed in undamaged spots solidly in the framing.


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