Use Screws Or Hammer Nails Back Into Joists?

Jeff C
by Jeff C
Looks like the majority of the nails holding my duct work to the joists are popping out causing a slight sag in the duct work. should I simply hammer the nails back into place or replace them with screws? Looking down the line, it appears most are at least a quarter inch out of the joists.
Nails are popping out of the joists causing duct work to sag
  8 answers
  • Hammer back up then put screw next to nail. This occurs as the wood dries out and the nails are moved back and forth due to expansion and contraction of the ducts. I left unchecked the duct system will fail and fall.
  • Jeff C Jeff C on Dec 16, 2012
    When you say place a screw next to the nail, are we talking about a sheet metal screw or some type of other screw? Looks like that perhaps I should place the screw at an upward 45 degree angle as I'm not sure I'll have the clearance to vertically put one next to the nail.
  • Vintage Headboards Vintage Headboards on Dec 16, 2012
    I think a coarse 2-1/2" drywall screw with a fender washer overlapping the support bracket should work for you. If the nail is coming out I would take a channel lock and pull out the nail and use a screw anyway - it's less likely to come out unless the piece is rotting which means you have much bigger problems than the bracket. I hope this works out for you.
  • I got to agree with Vintage about the washer & pulling the nail, but would recomend a deck or galvanized screw instead
  • Remove the nail and add a drywall or deck screw (not a sheet metal screw)
  • If you decide to pull the nail, get a drywall/deck screw that is at least 1 inch longer than the nail. That way you'll be sure to get some good wood support if you use the same nail hole. And be careful you don't pinch that wire.....
  • Use a galvanized sheet metal screw about 1.5 inches long. The same type that they use on the other parts of the ducts. Using deck screws, drywall screws will not succeed. The reactions of the two types of metal will corrode the screw over time and cause it to fail. IN addition the heads of the drywall screws are not correct and can fail over time. The screw should go through the bracket into the wood. If you remove the nail a larger screw is in order. However removing the nail is a pain and offers no additional support or benefit other then to look better. And I doubt that your concerned with that. As far as angle,. what ever gets the screw in and not out the side of the wood. The nail is really doing most of the work anyway. The screw is just to assure that the bracket does not work its way out again. In fact just nailing it back in will suffice for many more years, but the nails will work loose over time again. The screw is simply an additional prevention to assure it does not happen in your lifetime.
  • Jeff C Jeff C on Dec 17, 2012
    I'll pick up some sheet metal screws later today at the hardware store. I'll nail the nails back into place and then use a sheet metal screw next to it, trying to keep the screw straight so it goes right into the joist and not out the sides.