Someone slipped on the stairs and grabbed the railing. Unfortunately, the railing came loose, pulling a screw from the stud.

Could pulling the screw out like this have damaged the stud in a meaningful way?

  • @crip659 if shelf was pushed top to bottom?
    – Madz
    Feb 16, 2022 at 16:54
  • 1
    Most screws used for shelves are of the small size in diameter. If using large lag bolts/screws they might cause some damage to the stud, but they are usually more than enough to hold a few people up. Usually the most damage to a stud would less holding power for a screw(of the same size) in the same place/hole.
    – crip659
    Feb 16, 2022 at 17:27
  • I was looking for the right word (not english fluent), but I wanted to refer my question to a handrail which I might have damaged by falling in the stairs and gripping to it. Do handrails use large enough screws to do any significant damage? There are 4 brackets holding the rail.
    – Madz
    Feb 16, 2022 at 21:36
  • 2
    Usually not. It takes a lot to cause enough damage to a stud for stud repair to be needed. A lot more than most people can cause by themselves. You did more damage to your body by falling than to the stud. Handrail will probably need to be raise or lowered a bit(an inch/2cm) when you put it back up, if using the same studs to put screws into good wood, or use toothpicks and glue to fill in the holes.
    – crip659
    Feb 16, 2022 at 22:15
  • What do you mean by "shelf was pushed top to bottom?"
    – gnicko
    Feb 17, 2022 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


Tearing out a screw by force could damage the screw hole so that it can't be re-used by the same size screw without some repair, but could not do more significant damage to the stud (if that is what you mean by "meaningful") in a non-obvious way. If the stud were broken or the whole edge of it torn off, it would have to break through the drywall and the damage would be obvious.

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