Water-damaged drywall is a severe problem that can lead to mould growth and structural damage. The various causes of wet drywall include flooding, a burst pipe, a roof leak, and air conditioner condensation. If you have water-damaged drywall in your home, it’s essential to repair it as soon as possible.
How to Determine if Drywall Is Wet
The first step is to inspect the drywall and determine if it’s wet. If the drywall is damp to the touch or has visible water stains, then it is likely that the material is wet. Additionally, the drywall may show signs of flaking or peeling paint if it is water-damaged.
Another way to tell if the drywall is wet is by looking for mould growth. Mould spores are present in most homes, but they only grow when the conditions are right. If you see mould growing on the drywall, it’s a sure indicator that the material is wet.
If you’re unsure if the drywall is wet, you can use a moisture metre to test the material. Moisture metres are available at most hardware stores and home improvement centres. To use one, insert the probes into the drywall and wait for a reading.
The drywall is probably not wet if the moisture metre doesn’t give you a reading. However, if the reading is above 15 percent, the drywall will need further inspection, and if the levels rise above 25 percent, the drywall is wet and needs to be repaired.
Potential Causes of Damaged Drywall
There are several potential causes of water-damaged drywall. The most common include:
- Flooding. The drywall may likely be damaged if your home has flooded. Floodwaters can contain sewage and other contaminants that can lead to mould growth.
- Roof Leaks. A roof leak is another common cause of wet drywall. If you suspect that your roof is leaking, it’s essential to have it repaired by a professional.
- Burst Pipes. A burst pipe can quickly flood a room, creating extensive water damage to flooring, walls, and furnishings. Have a leaky pipe repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
- Air Conditioner Condensation. In some cases, air conditioner condensation causes water damage. Condensation from an air conditioner can drip onto the drywall, causing it to become wet. A dripping unit usually indicates it is malfunctioning or requires maintenance.
- Sink Overflow. If an overflowing sink is a disaster waiting to happen. The surrounding drywall can quickly show signs of water damage. To prevent this, fix any leaks in your sink and be careful not to overfill it.
- Storms. Severe weather, such as thunderstorms and heavy rains, can cause extensive damage to homes, including water-damaged drywall. If a storm has damaged your home, it must be repaired as soon as possible before mould has the chance to grow.
It is crucial to repair or replace water-damaged drywall quickly and efficiently. Delaying repair to wet drywall can compromise the structural integrity of other areas and, in rare cases, cause materials to weaken and collapse.
What to Do Before You Repair Water-Damaged Drywall
Once you have determined that the drywall is wet, it’s time to start the repair process. Always take the proper safety precautions by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and turning off any circuit breakers surrounding the water.
The first step is to remove items, such as paintings, frames, and mirrors on or around the affected wall. These objects can get in the way during repair and may become damaged if left in place. Moulding and baseboards should also be carefully removed to prevent moisture from staying trapped in the plaster walls.
Removing any wallpaper from the affected area is critical because it creates a seal that can hold moisture in the walls. Your local hardware store should have a wallpaper removal solution you can use to dissolve the wallpaper adhesive. Then, use an 8-15 centimetre wide knife to detach the wallpaper.
How to Repair Water-Damaged Drywall
After removing any necessary fixtures and personal items, it is time to use soap and hot water to remove any visible stains that the drywall has sustained.
Once the area is clean, you will need to repair any cracks or holes in the drywall. To do this, cut out the damaged section with a putty knife and then use a joint compound to patch the hole.
Make sure you allow the drywall a proper amount of time to completely dry. Opening doors and windows to circulate the air and using a fan can speed up drying.
You may need to replace the entire sheet if the drywall is heavily damaged. In less severe cases, it may be possible to patch the hole with a new piece of drywall.
Once the drywall has been patched, it’s time to apply a primer and paint to the wall material. Be sure to use a mildew-resistant primer to prevent future water damage; it’s essential to find and fix the source of the problem. If you’re unsure what caused the damage, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to help you determine the cause and make the necessary repairs.
For Professional Water Damage Restoration, Contact the PuroClean Experts!
If you’re struggling with water damage in your house, contact your local PuroClean for assistance. Our team of experts will work quickly and efficiently to perform our water damage restoration services. To locate a PuroClean office near you, call (877) 261-7876.
PuroClean is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company. Founded in 2001, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mould mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States and Canada through its franchise network of over 300-plus offices. Learn more.