Best way to fix popping nails

Don't think you're done after pounding them back into wall

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Q: Our home is two years old, and we have recently noticed round holes in the wallboard, usually in the ceiling near a wall. Upon inspection we noticed that the wallboard nails are working out. Is it sufficient to simply pound them back in and recover the surface, or are more elaborate measures called for? --Malcolm M., via e-mail A: What you're seeing are known as "nail pops," and are fairly common in new homes. Much of the lumber that is available to builders today has a higher moisture content than the lumber of years past, and is often fairly damp when it's installed. Over time, the heat in the house dries out and shrinks the wood, and nails can work loose. This is especially common in drywall ceilings, where the weight of the drywall and the relatively small size of the nails make it easier for them to pull out slightly. Nail pops can be hammered back in. Use a hammer with a crowned (convex) face so that as you tap the nail back in, you create a small "dimple" in the f...