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Q.When installing drywall over existing wall finishes, we often need to use long fasteners to reach the underlying framing members. Can galvanized roofing nails be used to fasten drywall in these situations?

A.John Minoia responds: Ring-shank drywall nails are typically available in up to 2-inch lengths. When longer fasteners are required, galvanized roofing nails (generally available in up to 3-inch lengths) can be used. But you may want to consider using long drywall screws — they’re available in lengths up to 6 inches, and offer higher withdrawal values than roofing nails.

An alternative fastening method is to use "rock to rock" drywall laminating screws and construction adhesive. Apply adhesive to the existing wall surface, then "clamp" the new sheet to the underlying material with the laminating screws while the adhesive cures. The wide-bodied threads of the laminating screw provide more holding power than a standard drywall screw. It’s important that the existing wall surface is clean, sound, and compatible with the construction adhesive.

John Minoia, Jr., is a sales representative for the U.S. Gypsum Company.