This must be a common problem as I had it in my 8 year old townhouse as well.
My house is 2-years old. We worked closely with the builder during construction and one of the things I asked for was to have all the drywall installed with screws instead of nails.
I think we must have rushed him a bit to hit our move-in schedule because I believe they used nails to "tack up" the drywall, then screws to do the final fastening. (When I visited the job site, they were using screws.)
Within a year the nails began popping out of the drywall. In some places you can see a small bulge in the paint... in others the nail pops out up to 1/8 inch- enough to break through the tape and spackle.
What is the cause of this? Is it just the house settling? Did they use the wrong nails?
The house probably just settled and backed the nails out. First I would check on any warranty info from the builder, it's always easier to just have someone else do it and if it is under warranty then it should be free. Wouldn't hurt to call and find out.
And what is the best way to fix the problem... just pound them back in or is it best to attempt to remove them and replace them with drywall screws? In some places they are becoming unsightly.
If it isn't under warranty then it isn't too hard to fix anyway.
List of materials from Home Depot:
1. A 2-5/8"x3-3/4"x1" Purple 3M™
SandBlaster™ Sanding Sponge -
Medium Grit for $2.99.
2. A 3" plastic putty knife for $.87
3. A 1 quart tub of joint compound for $2.98.
You will want to bring in a peice of the paint from where one of the nails has popped through so they can color match it but as far as price, that depends on the paint you decide on.
1. Pull the nail out trying not to make any damage.
2. Sand the spot a little to smooth any damage that is already there.
3. Wipe it softly with a lightly dampened cloth. Be careful not to wipe too much, if the wall has flat paint on it you may rub the paint off.
4. Trowel joint compound into the hole let dry for a few hours.
You will most likely need to go through steps 2 - 4 until it looks like the rest of the wall. The only time you really need to replace the nail with a screw is if you have a group of nails in one area popping. The nails should have been just to hold the drywall in place until they could screw it.
Seems like a simple thing... but there's a lot of 'em!
Thanks for any thoughts...
Just make sure the paint matches in some inconspicuous area before using it. Unless you have decided to just repaint the whole wall