One of the several scenarios in which a screw doesn't form a nice and tight seal on drywall paper just below the surface is if a joist/stud is not in the same level as the adjacent two and there is a gap between it and the drywall. As you're driving the screw to just below the paper, the paper breaks and the screw goes in too deep, resulting in less clamping force than a snug screw.

Q1: Is a screw like this completely useless? If not completely, how useless is it?

Q2: What percentage of screws per sheet are safe to be like this?

P.S.: I would appreciate no perfectionist type responses like "why do you have uneven joists" and such. I'm remodeling a 110 yr old house and I'm not replacing joists, some of which have sagged. I sister what I can but some require planing, and planing ceiling joists and having sawdust fall over me is my definition of misery. So I'm trying to be in an acceptable ballpark. Thanks

  • A popped screw is a popped screw - it's not supporting anything. Uneven joists are quite commonly manage, by sistering and/or perpendicular furring. What is the purpose of this self answered question?
    – tahwos
    Feb 14 '19 at 2:55
  • @tahwos it’s not self answered. The person that answered also made an edit to the question. The OP is amphibient.
    – Tyson
    Feb 14 '19 at 16:44
  • @Tyson I humbly stand corrected
    – tahwos
    Feb 16 '19 at 2:31
  1. It depends how far in. Ideally you want it less than 1/8" in. Within 1/2" drywall, that's a decent amount. If you get more than 1/4" in you run the risk of cracking the gypsum underneath and not providing the adhesion.
  2. I don't know about a percentage. I would drive another screw nearby if you over-drive one. Leave both in.
  • 1
    I doubt there is a percentage...imagine, all the holes people make when hanging things on walls....weeken it, yes, to falling off, not likely, unless you have enogh holes to make a dotted outline. Just drive another screw in an inch on either side and call it good.
    – Jeff Cates
    Feb 12 '19 at 3:13

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