Be a Smooth Operator: Five Signs That Your Drywall Was Installed Incorrectly

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Drywall

Perfectly smooth, finished drywall is something we take for granted. Until it isn’t. Here are some of the key
problems that occur when a drywall job is not going smoothly.

When it comes to drywall installation quality material and installation matters. It’s essential to know how to
spot poor drywall installation and signs of bad drywall finishing versus a specific level of drywall finish. These
tips may help you correct a problem before it becomes widespread during construction and understand the
implications of maintenance costs on an established property where the drywall is beginning to fail.

1. Uneven seams.

If the seams between drywall panels are not properly taped and finished, they can be uneven, leading
to visible bulges and bumps on the wall. These imperfections will only get worse over time. The
solution requires sanding the damaged drywall, then applying layers of drywall compounds to even
out the seams.

2. Pop Go the Screws.

Like nail pops, screw pops occur when the screws used to attach the drywall to the framing become
loose, causing a bulge or small hole to form. This can be a sign of poor installation or structural issues.

Drywall screw pops typically form due to two reasons. Either the studs have expanded and contracted,
or the screw was installed too deep into the studs, breaking the protective paper layer on drywall and
compromising the integrity of the entire drywall sheet.

Florida’s humid environment means drywall installers must take extra precautions to prevent screw
pops from forming. One or two screw pops can be corrected, but multiple screw pops indicate the
drywall is failing and will need to be completely replaced.

3. Crooked or uneven walls.

If the drywall is not installed straight, the walls may appear crooked or uneven. This can be caused by
improper measurement or cutting of the drywall panels, and typically takes place when an installer is
working alone (it’s difficult to hold, hang and screw drywall evenly without a full crew) or too fast to
ensure a quality installation.

It might be tempting to try and cut the budget with less labor, but the cost of fixing crooked drywall
installation is high. It requires stripping the current drywall and completely re-installing new boards.
The combined cost of time and money eclipses any budget saved from originally hiring a skeleton
installation crew.

Importantly, walls appearing crooked or uneven can also be due to crooked or uneven framework. Our
experts can assess if the problem is a drywall issue or a bigger issue related to framing.

4. Poorly finished joints.

Proper drywall installation results in smooth walls with individual drywall sheets invisible to the
naked eye. However, if the drywall seams or joints between the panels are not properly installed or
finished, they can be visible and unsightly. Often, bad installation leads to drywall joint cracks and
gapping, in addition to drywall tape bubbles and blisters.

Poorly finished drywall joints can be caused by installing each sheet with too large a gap between
them (building codes vary, but there should be no more than 1/8” space between sheets) or from
improper taping, mudding, and sanding.

5. Hot Mess: Poor drywall texture application.

If the texture on the drywall is not applied evenly or is inconsistent, it can create an unprofessional and
unsightly appearance. Drywall texture issues can be caused by improper technique, inadequately
prepared materials, or bad equipment.

The fix requires applying a skim coat, often more than one, until the surface is again smooth and ready
to be textured properly. It’s essential to allow mud layers enough time to dry in between before
applying the next one. If not, the drywall tape may come loose.

The process is messy and time-consuming, so it’s always more cost-effective in the long run to
monitor work in progress and select the most experienced, proven drywaller for the job.
Another relatively common visual flaw is drywall cracks – yet cracking is rarely ever due to poor
drywall installation. Rather, cracking occurs from natural expansion and contraction from changes in
temperature and it can also be indicative of larger compromises in structural integrity. Hairline cracks
are easily corrected with simple texture applications, but any larger cracks could signal safety issues.

A professional drywall installation adds to a property’s aesthetics, it also provides important health and safety
features for occupants – playing a critical role in energy efficiency, reducing the risk of fire, and even improving
air quality.

With more than 60 years of experience, Raynor has successfully completed hundreds of projects with the
area’s top general contractors and owners. With our team of craftsmen, you can be confident that we have the
expertise, skill, and professionalism to deliver the best quality work and the commitment to finish the project
on schedule and per project parameters. Contact us to learn more about our professional drywall installation
and finishing services. Click here to learn more about the Raynor Group.

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