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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Repair Water-Damaged Drywall

12/28/2023 (Permalink)

how to repair water damage drywall How to Repair Water-Damaged Drywall - An Expert Guide

Whether it comes from a plumbing problem, a natural disaster, or any other source, water inside your home is never a good thing. Even if there isn’t any standing water, the moisture can cause major problems, and you probably want to know how to repair water damaged drywall. Here, our team at SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy offers tips for restoring drywall after water damage to prevent mold growth and further damage.

What Happens When Drywall Gets Wet?  

In most cases, water is the enemy of drywall or sheetrock. Contractors typically use a specific type of wall material in bathrooms or other places where it’s likely to experience more moisture. Elsewhere, the wall material should remain dry to ensure structural integrity and prevent mold and mildew infestation.

Water damage on walls can range from unsightly yellowish-brown stains and musty smells to a complete collapse. You might notice that paint or wallpaper starts to bubble or peel, or even water dripping from the walls or ceilings. Soaked sheetrock often feels soft and crumbly, leaving a chalky film on your hands when you touch it. 

In extreme cases, water damage on wall boards causes them to buckle, warp, or even collapse. Without immediate repair, moisture will cause mold to grow and spread, putting your family at risk for serious health issues. 

Fixing Water-Soaked Drywall  

The first step in water-damaged drywall installation is finding and fixing the source of the water. It’s not always immediately clear where the water is coming from, so it might require some investigation to locate and address the leak. Often, this means removing the drywall that has water damage to gain access to the pipes behind it and make repairs. 

If the drywall sustains water damage from a flood, the first step is to remove the standing water and attempt to dry the material. It usually takes several days to dry wet sheetrock using fans and dehumidifiers, and even that isn’t a guarantee that it’s still structurally sound. Even after drying, you might still need professional guidance on how to repair water-damaged drywall. 

How To Repair Minor Water-Damaged Drywall 

If the damage is minimal and mostly cosmetic, you have a few options for restoration. Following some simple steps for repairing water-damaged sheetrock can keep your home in good condition and stop the damage from spreading. 

When the damage is strictly cosmetic, you can remove stains and restore the finish by scraping bubbling or peeling paint off the wall and then sanding down the surface. Apply fresh coats of primer and paint and let them dry. 

If the damage goes deeper but doesn’t affect any more than a small area (less than 6 inches square), you can remove the affected section and patch it with some new drywall. However, larger sections of damaged drywall, especially when they are moldy, usually need professional attention. If the water damage extends beyond 12 inches square, or a mold infestation covers more than 10 square feet of sheetrock, you need professional remediation. 

Repairing Significantly Water-Damaged Drywall 

Significant water damage that affects areas larger than 12 square inches or causes the wall to sag more than 3/8 of an inch requires replacing the entire sheetrock panel. Larger pieces of drywall need anchoring to the wall studs or ceiling joists, a project you should leave to a professional.

In fact, when it comes to disaster cleanup, it’s best to avoid DIY water-damaged drywall restoration for safety reasons. Mold is of particular concern when it comes to wet walls, and professional remediation and abatement professionals have the skills and equipment to deal with it without creating health risks for building occupants. Even without widespread mold, dealing with large sections of drywall can be challenging, as the material is often heavy and requires precision to guarantee a safe and seamless replacement. 

Trust SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy to Deal With Water-Damaged Drywall 

If this drywall water damage repair guide still has you wondering what to do about a problem in your South Shore home, get in touch with the cleanup and restoration experts of SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy for help at (781) 337-0344. These experienced and knowledgeable professionals can offer insight into how to repair water-damaged drywall and help you recover from a disaster with prompt extraction, drying, cleanup, and restoration services.

Whether your roof leaks or a pipe bursts in the basement, get the help you need to stop water damage fast and keep your home safe by contacting us.

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