How To Dry Out Water Damaged Drywalls
Water can cause serious damage to your home, especially if the walls get wet. Wet drywall starts to weaken. In conditions of more water or wet over a long time, the walls can actually fall apart.The only way save the walls is by drying them out as quickly as possible. Failing, the only optionwill be to replace them.
What Are the Signs of Drywall Water Damage?
From water spots to peeling paint, there are several signs of water damaged walls:
- Water Spots or Stains – Yellow-brown stains normally indicate slow or inconsistentleak. These stains normally radiate out from a central point, with the darkest area in the center.
- Discoloration – Walls may look darker, but they can be lighter depending on the paint color.
- Peeling Paint or Wallpaper – Water causes paint or wallpaper to peel up and even chip or flake.
- Bubbles – Bubbles in paint or wallpaper usually happens when the water soaks through from behind.
- Sagging or Crumbling Walls – Larger amounts of water will cause walls to sag, buckle or even crumble. In most cases, replacing the drywall is the only option.
Does Wet Drywall Always Need To Be Replaced?
Wet drywall does not always need to be replaced, this depends upon the quantity of water and how much time it remained before it was extracted. By acting quickly you can dry out and save your walls. This however depends upon few factors.
- Quantity of water Involved – The more the water involved, the less likely you’ll be able to save wet drywall.
- How soon water is removed– The longer the wall remains wet, more likely it will require replacement.
- How quickly walls can be dried– Even after the water is cleaned, your walls will remain wet for days as the drywalls absorb moisture, so it very important to dry them quickly.
How To Repair Water Damaged Drywall
The process of drywall water damage repair involves removing the excess water, throwing away damaged items and then cleaning up the mess. These steps explain how to repair water damaged walls.
Steps To Repairing Water Damaged Walls
1. Stop Water from Soaking into Walls
First you need to stop the water from soaking into the walls. If there is a burst pipe or leak, turn off the water shut off valve to stop the flow. However in case of a sump pump failure or drain backup, there is not much you can do.
Next, plan to remove the water as quickly as possible. A pump is the best way to get rid of the water fast. If you don’t have one, you can get a water pump from an equipment rental company.
A wet-dry vacuum can also be used instead of a pump. However, it can only be used if there is less water as will take a lot of time and will lead to more damage.
As a last resort, you can use a bucket or towels to get rid of the water. Regardless of whichever method you undertake, the goal should be to quickly remove as much water as you can. The longer you take, the less likely you can save your walls.
2. Throw Away Damaged Drywall
Once the water is gone, throw away anything too damaged to save, that includes personal items and parts of the wall. Drywall is cracking, crumbling, or sagging, should be cut out. If the walls are only damp, it can be dried.
To cut out the water damaged drywall, make a straight cut at least two inches above the waterline. There are chances that you may need to remove damaged studs, flooring, cabinets and ceilings as well.
3. Dry Water Damaged Walls
To dry water damaged walls quickly use high-volume fans and dehumidifiers designed for structural drying.
Regular house fans will work too, but drying will take much longer. If you need equipment, you can get it at your local rental company.
Let the fans run until your home is completely dry. With the right kind of fans, this will usually take between 24 and 36 hours. However, it could take four to five days using house fans.
4. Disinfect and Deodorize
Once they are dry, you need to disinfect and deodorize the area. To disinfect your walls, mix one cup bleach into a gallon of water. Then either wipe them down with a rag or use a spray bottle and let them air dry.
To remove odors, open up windows and use house fans to circulate fresh air. For intense odors, sprinkle baking soda around and let it sit overnight. Then vacuum it up in the morning.
5. Repair Damaged Walls
Then you need to repair water damaged drywall. You can patch cracks or gaps less than a quarter-inch wide with just drywall mud. However, you should use drywall tape to help strengthen larger cracks up to an inch wide.
If the crack is larger than an inch, you need to replace it with a new piece of drywall. Cut the new drywall slightly smaller than the damaged area and attach it to the studs with drywall screws.
Start with a thin layer of mud, then tape the seam and blend it with more mud. You may need to sand the joint and apply more mud to smooth out your wall.
6. Paint or Hang New Wallpaper
Finally, you can paint or hang new wallpaper. For the best results, start with a few layers of stain- blocking primer first. This will keep the wall from soaking up too much paint as well as cover any water stains.
Even with primer, you will probably need at least two coats of paint. Blend each coat further into the existing parts of the wall. Then paint the whole wall to make sure the color is even throughout.
If you didn’t need to cut out wet drywall, you can paint over water stains. However, you need to scrape away loose material with a putty knife first. For added protection against mold, you should wipe the area down with bleach again.
If necessary, use some drywall mud to smooth out the wall and let it dry overnight. Then give it a light sanding and wipe away the dust with a clean, dry rag before painting. Start with a stain- blocking primer before applying the topcoat.
When hanging new wallpaper, remove any damaged paper first. Then follow the directions for your wallpaper glue.