As a building material, drywall has the benefit of being relatively cheap and easy to work with. One of its principal drawbacks, however, is that when it is exposed to water, it is prone to collapse. If you would like to learn more about the process of repairing drywall that has suffered water damage, read on. This article will introduce you to some of the basic strategies involved.
Testing for water damage
The drywall most likely to be damaged by water is that in your ceiling. Because ceiling repairs are so hard to perform, it's important to first verify that water damage is indeed the problem. After all, there's no reason to go tearing your ceiling apart if you don't have to. Often, minor dampness can be allowed to dry without any negative repercussions.
If the ceiling looks damp, or seems to be sagging, begin by removing any furniture or valuables from the area. Then ascend a step ladder and carefully probe the ceiling with your finger. If it seems excessively spongy or soft, you will probably need to remove it. You may first want to drain any pooled water by punching a nail through the drywall--just make sure you have a bucket to catch the water that might come streaming out!
Removing the damaged drywall
The sooner you remove your water-damaged drywall, the better. That's because wet drywall is the perfect breeding ground for mold, which can begin blooming within a few days.
When removing damaged drywall, you want to be sure to cut it back to the center line of a nearby ceiling joist. Otherwise you won't be able to correctly attach your replacement piece of drywall. In order to fully mitigate the chance of mold growth, be sure to mark out a square or rectangle that is larger than the wet patch by at at least 4 inches on each side.
Once you've established your cut-lines, use a sharp cutting blade to separate the damaged dry wall. Then remove any nails or screws left behind using a hammer or screwdriver.
Installing a fresh piece of drywall
If the piece of drywall you removed is still intact, you can use it as a template for a replacement piece. Otherwise, carefully measure the hole in the ceiling and cut a corresponding piece of fresh drywall. This you should either nail or screw in place--for consistency's sake, go with whichever method the damaged portion of drywall used.
Repairing water damaged drywall can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. But with a little bit of practice, even amateurs can do an adequate job. Just be sure to arm yourself with the right information before getting underway. The tips outlined above should provide you with a good start. For more info, check online.