I bought a house that was built in 1948 and moved in 3 month ago. Now I notice nails popping from all the walls around my house and new cracks around all windows and doors. I noticed walls joints are showing.

I feel so disturbed, is it foundation issue?

I also hear dripping noise in my vents ( now heat is on. )

I checked the crawl space I found an additional piece of wood added to the foundation, is that normal?

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    Those do not look like "new" cracks or nail pops, did you just notice them or were they cosmetically concealed prior to your move-in perhaps? – Mark Schultheiss Dec 26 '20 at 19:28
  • it is less likely to be a foundation shift on a 70 year old home unless new foundation changes have been done. – Mark Schultheiss Dec 26 '20 at 19:29
  • We painted the walls before moving there was no signs of nails poops. And the picture of the crack is before moving. But we noticed many more new cracks I did not take pictures for it. It’s all around doors and windows – Anna Dec 26 '20 at 20:58
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    I just want to add we had 5 cracks in basement and we decided to do all of them we got US company so it. Does that effected the foundation? – Anna Dec 26 '20 at 21:03
  • Anna, all wood houses move a bit with humidity, weather, and temperature changes. The cracks are definitely old as you can see in the pictures they have been patched in the past, and painted over. As for the nails, it is not unusual to see that either. I venture to speculate that a proper repair of any of these thing would put your walls back in shape for years ("proper" for those cracks is cutting out and replacing cracked wallboard; proper for the "pops" is driving them firmly under, stabilizing surrounding wallboard, then patch & paint). – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 26 '20 at 21:15

Nails popping up above the surface is a common event and usually isn't cause for alarm. The reason this occurs is from slight movement of the framing members (due to expansion and contraction) that over time works the nail loose. Conversely, if the pops and cracks have appeared in a relatively short period of time, it may be time to search more closely for a structural problem. Where I live earthquakes and tremors are common. This quickens the loosening of nails.

Your crawlspace and the framing lumber in it look to be in good shape. This is pretty rare for a house built in the 1940's. I would guess it had some work done not to long ago. If so there might be settling issues that are causing movement.

I can't offer an answer for the dripping noise from your duct/vents. If it is the sound of dripping water it would be wise to verify the problem and repair it soon.

Hammer the pops back in slightly below wall surface. Than screw a 1 5/8 inch drywall screw about 2 inches above the pop. Screws hold better. apply joint compound, let dry, sand, and paint.

  • So you think I need to get structure engineer? The inspector did when we got the house did not highlight any concern about the crawling space. – Anna Dec 27 '20 at 4:06
  • I think that if you feel more peaceful having a professional say your house is stable and sound than you should. What I would do is make repairs to the cracks and nail pops and than monitor those repairs. If they reappear in a short time than I'd start asking for help from a qualified source. – ojait Dec 27 '20 at 15:39
  • I added photo of dry wall joints appearing and pooping out along with the nails. Does this look normal I can see the walls like it’s splitting into 2 or 3 dry walls PCs. – Anna Dec 28 '20 at 5:20

FWIW, all the cracks look old, There is nothing looking at the crack that it is new. New cracks have their own "look" about them. Perhaps they were just overlooked before. These are typical cracks from settling.

About the posts, this is typical of older construction. New construction would have used pressure treated wood to isolate the wood from the concrete. The first pic show newer wood being used as a post that should or could have been treated, but there is no discoloration suggesting any deterioration or even beginning to. The angled post appears to have been a temporary post used to jack up the beam to add the post I was referring to.

Nail pops are also a very undesired thing that happens as well. It is not structural, only cosmetic. Curious how it is showing now, unless they have been there since the remodel, if the walls were redone. Never the less, they have been there for a while too, not necessarily since 1948. The nature of the paint reveals that.

  • We painted the walls and there was no nails pooped at that time. – Anna Dec 26 '20 at 20:55
  • We painted only the rooms however the living was not painted. and basement was newly remodeled before moving – Anna Dec 26 '20 at 21:05

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