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Drywall screw pops, ULW USG

13158 Views 54 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  ToolNut
Looking to see if anyone has had this problem out there. I am a carpenter by trade and I have been doing my own contracting over the past two years. I have been working in the trades since 2003 as an employee, sub-contractor, and now recently contractor. I do most of my work myself. I hung a basement with ULW 1/2" sheetrock from USG I think, (not green board, maybe my mistake). I had framing 16" o/c with all the drywall glued and screws 12" apart. 4 to 6 months after project completion, customer showed me screw pops. And i'm talking they were everywere. I believe every screw in the field had popped. I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. Has anyone had this problem or ever seen such a thing? I am at a loss as where to investigate, but I assume it is moisture related. Thinking the best fix is to hammer, skim, prime, and repaint. Thanks.
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Too many variables to give a precise answer.

1. Screws sunk too deep breaking the paper?

2. Was a vapor barrier installed behind the work to control humidity issues? ( if it was constructed against the cement/block wall)

3. Was the wood a little wet when wall was constructed?

4. Are there any rapid temperature changes like...... the basement only heated part time?
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Yeah way too many things could have caused this. Another is what adhesive did you use to secure the boards. Some can shrink and some expand. If you used a solvent based adhesive it could have shrunk.
By the way! Welcome to the forums from a "Gator" sailor. Spent a lot of my career on amphibs hauling you crazy bazzturds around :)
Iv'e seen screw pops with glued board ...And screw pops with board that was not glued. Screw pops are caused by wet green timber drying out and shrinking .
Yeah way too many things could have caused this. Another is what adhesive did you use to secure the boards. Some can shrink and some expand. If you used a solvent based adhesive it could have shrunk.
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Ask any commercial D/C that deals with metal studs about screw pops ... THEY HAVE NONE! The mills are allowed to send timbers out with a percentage of moisture . 8-10 % {I THINK}

Wood dries out from the outside in .... The deeper the screw is set the worse the screw pop will protrude .


Like said ,,, There are other variables . PROPANE HEAT!!!! A BIG NO NO !!! during finishing and paint ! Propane and space heaters [kero] are humidifiers ! [wet heat] Drywall finishing needs a dry heat!!!!
When the trusses show up and they slap em on the ground without any cover....Then they get snowed on /rained on etc.. Not only was that lumber green from the mill now It's soaked with moisture ! DOUBLE WHAMMY!!!


It ain't rocket surgery ! DRYWALL ! key word - DRY!


If the frame hasn't cured then It's not ready for drywall!
another note added to this is, if there natural gas connected to the house, get a natural gas heater its Dry heat vs wet heat from the propane heater.
Ask any commercial D/C that deals with metal studs about screw pops ... THEY HAVE NONE! The mills are allowed to send timbers out with a percentage of moisture . 8-10 % {I THINK}

Wood dries out from the outside in .... The deeper the screw is set the worse the screw pop will protrude .


Like said ,,, There are other variables . PROPANE HEAT!!!! A BIG NO NO !!! during finishing and paint ! Propane and space heaters [kero] are humidifiers ! [wet heat] Drywall finishing needs a dry heat!!!!
btu to btu, natural gas produce more water than propane when burned.
another note added to this is, if there natural gas connected to the house, get a natural gas heater its Dry heat vs wet heat from the propane heater.
I did a small warranty repair yesterday in a new developement. I was looking out the window and saw all the pretty new trusses for the house across the street exposed to the rain and sunk into a foot of mud.
When the trusses show up and they slap em on the ground without any cover....Then they get snowed on /rained on etc.. Not only was that lumber green from the mill now It's soaked with moisture ! DOUBLE WHAMMY!!!


It ain't rocket surgery ! DRYWALL ! key word - DRY!


If the frame hasn't cured then It's not ready for drywall!
The LWD didn't help this stuff is junk it is very easy to drive the screws to deep and tear the paper. As far as the moisture if it was that wouldn't the seams also crack? I have had 2 calls in a little over a month for H/O installed lite weight drywall on ceilings with screw pops.
I was talking with another D/C recently ..He said an H/o called him back for screw pops. They were only in the field of the board on the ceilings .All the field screws on the walls were fine [no pops on the walls]
The H/O told him that they had looked It up on the internet ..They said we know It's not your fault ! Ya Gotta love the interweb!!!:laughing:
I did a small warranty repair yesterday in a new developement. I was looking out the window and saw all the pretty new trusses for the house across the street exposed to the rain and sunk into a foot of mud.
screw pops

The way i see it the ultra lite rock has no body,thats why it's lite,it doesnt hold screws well In the basement i dont think its as much moistre problem as installation( holding boards tight to framing not letting screws suck boards tight)proper screw depth.The right screw gun.Was the popping more on walls or clg? Sometimes we double screw the field,Sometimes it helps sometimes it dont.Thats what happens when they try to gear the rock to do it yourselfers.Did you tape it? I didnt hear you mention anything about the high shoulders which also seems to be and added bonus to this new rock.
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That's not why .. The L/W board cuts cost for transportation . They can ship more board! It's all about them making money No matter how poor the product.. :thumbsup:
.Thats what happens when they try to gear the rock to do it yourselfers..
nail pops

That makes more sense, if they dont care about the pros they definately dont care about Do it yourselfers
Drywall screw pops

Hi all,

The primary causes for fastener related issues are over driving fasteners into the panel breaking the paper, and lumber shrinkage, or a combination of both. Lumber shrinkage is often the result of high moisture content in the lumber which is not allowed to properly acclimate prior to installing and finishing the wallboard. Refer to the USG Gypsum Construction Handbook for help in repairing and mitigating these types of issues.

Also, please message us directly with your contact information and we are more than happy to look into this issue further and help remedy.
Yes you are not alone! It is definitely the lightweight drywall causing the screws to STICK OUT not POP Weeks if not months later. We have I have been fighting this problem over the last year and half. First blamed my installers and was eating all repairs. Then after a year of every job we did with lightweight starting giving us problems I knew something was wrong. Lightweight drywall is very porious and airy like a sponge just hardened. It absorbs a lot of moisture sitting in yards, on the boom truck on damp or rainy days, and most of all when the paint goes on! We install it, finish it, and it looks flawless till jobs are completed and occupied with regulated heat then it starts to dry out and it shrinks causing the head of a fixed screw to pritrud out. This problem is nation wide and more and more contractors are catching on fast. I have went as far as reaching out to other companies that are my competition and they all are seeing the same issue. We all need to collectively get together on this and file a class action law suit! I personally have lost thousands and thousands of dollars making repairs and being back charged by my builder to repaint. These are all repair that would have never arose before the lightweight drtwall! I no im not alone.......... lets get it done and take these manufacturers to the cleaners like they have done to us over the last five years with there 20% and 30% increases time and time again. Only to sell us this crap!
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Ya ya. Its all our fault. It has nothing to do with your new rock... Thanks :censored:
Hi all,

The primary causes for fastener related issues are over driving fasteners into the panel breaking the paper, and lumber shrinkage, or a combination of both. Lumber shrinkage is often the result of high moisture content in the lumber which is not allowed to properly acclimate prior to installing and finishing the wallboard. Refer to the USG Gypsum Construction Handbook for help in repairing and mitigating these types of issues.

Also, please message us directly with your contact information and we are more than happy to look into this issue further and help remedy.
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