It’s easy to not fully pay attention to your drywall as you walk past it, but for safety reasons, maybe it’s time to do so and ask, does it need water damage repair? Here’s what to look for and what to do next.
Drywall is known by a lot of names. You may know it as drywall, plasterboard, gypsum board, or by any number of brand names. Most of the time, you won’t give it a second thought. However, you may be unlucky and have water damage in those walls. Before you know it, they will be soft and weak, requiring you to replace or fix them.
Here’s what to look out for, and what you should do.
The Dangers of Drywall Water Damage
Water can cause all kinds of problems in your home. Leaking pipes can lead to mold and mildew, which aggravate allergies. If there’s a leak in the roof, you’ll get water marks on your ceiling, or even wood rot. When it comes to drywall though, those damages are even worse.
If water is allowed to get into the walls, it can lead to the deformation of the wall. The problem with drywall is that it can’t stand up to a lot of water. Even if you accidentally splash a little water on it, you’ll need to run a fan on it to dry it out. It tends to absorb water, which starts the decomposition process.
Even if you catch the water damage quickly, water will cause a lot of damage. Once the drywall has soaked it up, it will never go back to its original shape. That means you’ll need water damage repair in order to keep your home safe.
The Signs of Water Damage in Drywall
Firstly, you need to know what you’re looking for when it comes to water damage. If you’ve suffered storms or wet weather, it’s a good idea to check your walls. This is especially true in basements, where flood water can pool.
Here’s what you should be looking for:
Moisture: This is the most obvious sign that there’s a problem with your walls. If you have a non penetrating moisture meter, use that to check your walls. If you don’t, you can simply take the baseboards off the walls, and use a screwdriver to poke into it. Moreover, if the wall is soft and allows the screwdriver in, then that’s a sign that there’s water damage.
Wet Insulation: If you’ve found moisture, then your next step is to see if it has made its way to the insulation. If you have a penetrating moisture meter, now is the time to use it. If you don’t, use that screwdriver to make a bigger hole. Can you see insulation, and is it wet? If so, the wall section will have to be replaced.
It’s very important you check for moisture content here, as this is the main sign the walls have taken on damage. If there’s any sign of moisture, it’s time to call an expert and have it inspected and repaired.
Water Damage in Drywall Ceilings
In some cases, you’ll find you have water damage in your ceiling. This will lead to paint blistering, as well as bubbles. These usually happen due to roof leaks. If you find this, the first thing to do is locate the leak right away. That needs to be corrected first, so you can repair the ceiling and stop it from getting re-saturated.
In most cases, it’s recommended that you don’t replace the ceiling. It’s very difficult to work over your head, even for an expert. If the damage isn’t too bad, it can be repaired and painted over to seal it and make it safe again. Of course, if there’s a lot of damage then you’ll need to have it replaced. Have an expert take a look at it, and you’ll know for sure either way.
How Water Damaged Drywall is Repaired
Now that you’ve identified the problem, you’ll need to call in an expert to help you out, replacing the sections of wall that took on water. You’ll see lots of guides online that show you how to replace the walls yourself, but the problem is that it’s an important job. You need to ensure that it’s done properly, in order to keep your home safe.
Once you’ve called the experts, how will they go about repairing your walls? They will usually cut away the affected areas, and replace the drywall.
Firstly, they will cut out the drywall as soon as possible. This is done because drywall holds onto water very well, and that’s an excellent breeding ground for mold. The quicker it’s cut out, the better. When they do this, they’ll wear safety equipment such as goggles and gloves, to protect them from any mold that will be present. This is another reason you don’t want to do it yourself, as it exposes you to the dangers of toxic mold.
The wall will be cut out with any number of tools, from a razor knife to a reciprocating saw. The expert will use the tool that suits the area best, to ensure they cut every single bit of saturated wall out. Once they’ve done that, they will install new drywall in the gap, so your walls will be strong and stable once more.
Can Drywall Be Repaired?
Does drywall always need to be taken out and replaced? It does depend on how much water got into it. When you tested, were you able to detect much moisture? If there wasn’t a lot, then you may be able to just repair it.
Repair usually consists of drying out the drywall as much as possible, and then filling in any cracks or holes. Once that’s been done, the wall can be repainted. Again, if you’re not sure how to do this, you can call on an expert to help you get the wall repaired.
If your drywall takes on water, it can be a serious problem. However, all is not lost. Test it for water, and if you find any, call on a repair service to replace the wall for you. Do it as soon as possible, so you don’t have to worry about other damage to your home.