How Are Water Damaged Walls Repaired?
Updated: Feb 8
Oh no! You've discovered dripping pipes, a leaky roof, or a basement flood in your home. Before mold and mildew can set in, you have to figure out a way to repair/replace those water damaged walls. Failing to do so could mean not just the beginning of mold, but the spread of it. Before you know it, you've got an extremely unhealthy environment in what used to be your safe haven – your beloved home.
The majority of drywall is formed by a mineral called gypsum. It is highly absorbent and porous. What that means for your wall is that, with exposure to water, it quickly loses its structural integrity. So, if you notice moisture in a wall, what must you do?
First Things First – Where Is That Water Coming From?
Before you can figure out what kind of damage has occurred in the ceiling or wall of your home, you've got to find out where the water is coming from. Sometimes, unexpected areas can be affected by a leak located elsewhere because water travels easily. To assist you in your endeavor, you may need to call in a qualified, licensed plumber. The water is just going to come back again if you don't find the source and rectify the situation.
Just How Bad Is It?
Depending on how long the surface in question was saturated and the amount of existing water, the damage may be repairable. The drywall will likely have to be replaced, however, if it crumbles to the touch or was heavily saturated and is sagging. If the damaged area is small, and the drywall is still securely fastened to the studs, you might be able to patch the wall by removing a small portion.
What Drywall Must Be Removed
Before you get started on the drywall removal process, make sure that you have your mask and safety goggles. Also remember, to catch the debris and dust, lay down a tarp in the work area. Mark a rectangle or square around the area that's been damaged if you're repairing just a small section. This is the area you will cut out.
A sharp utility knife will allow you to cut along the line you've marked. You can now remove the wet drywall and the baseboard trim (and wet insulation if applicable). More drywall must be removed, however, if you find that, above the line you've already cut, additional insulation is wet.
To make sure that the area is fully dry, at least 48 hours should be allowed before you start replacing drywall. Dehumidifiers and fans can help move this process along. While you're waiting, to figure out whether or not switches and outlets need to be replaced, you may consider an electrical inspection by a licensed electrician.
Replacing Drywall and Insulation
Once your electrician has inspected switches and outlets and the affected areas are completely dry, the replacement of drywall and insulation can begin. If you haven't worked with drywall and insulation before, you may choose to hire a licensed contractor to finish the job.
Trust Provision to Repair Water Damage
At Provision, we know just what it takes to repair your walls after water damage and get your house back to the home you love. Be sure to call us as soon as you notice a moisture problem because in no time at all, mold will begin to grow and spread from the damaged area throughout your home.
Contact us today at Provision if you'd like more information. Check out our FAQ page to see what kinds of questions others have asked.