Nail pops, drywall issues, cracking - any advice?

Hi Everyone,

So we bought a house (N. central Virginia) last fall. House is 22 years old (2002 build). When we bought the house there was some evidence of previous settling, however after this winter I’m seeing a lot more drywall problems to include:

  1. A lot of hairline cracking coming from door / window frames, corners, and locations where the ceiling and wall join, and baseboards that are slightly separating from the wall… this is my primary issue, as we’re planning to repaint but I do not want to invest the money into that if it’s just going to crack again.

  2. Nail popping… it seems that some of the cracking at the corners of windows and doors may be due to drywall nails backing out and pushing the drywall. I only think this because one piece of drywall fell out and right behind the location where the cracking formed was a nail. There are other nail pops throughout the house.

  3. Evidence of previous repairs? I can’t really tell what it is (picture below) but it looks like there was a short piece of tape put where a crack was and then painted over. Can anyone tell me what they believe this tape looking patch is and if it is a reasonable patch?


I can’t seem to find a structural engineer in the North Central VA area … everyone I can find is a foundation company, and I am not going to even waste the time having them come over and try to sell me $20,000 of repairs to a foundation that isn’t shifting or actively cracking before I have an engineers report. Does anyone in the area have a structural engineer who can write a report they’d recommend?

Any advice appreciated.

  • Advice limited to your area is off-topic for this site. It would be helpful to rephrase your question to something that is answerable by people who are not located in your area. Commented May 7 at 22:31
  • that is why not using nails, use screws
    – Traveler
    Commented May 7 at 23:53


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