How Water Can Cause Harm and Damage to Your Walls and How to Repair
Water is life, as the saying goes, and it can be soothing or a very destructive force in our lives. For instance, when you have a leaking ceiling or a leaking pipe in the wall, water spells serious t-r-o-u-b-l-e for your home. Whether major or minor water damage, it’s essential to repair drywall or sheetrock before the effects of the leak ripple outward and cause further harm to your home.
How Do I Identify and Stop the Water Leak?
OK. You’ve found a piece of wet drywall or a sagging or collapsed ceiling…there’s a leak happening somewhere! The first step is to shut off your water. Next, find out where the leak is coming from to determine if it’s something you can take care of on your own. If you don’t find out where the water is coming from, you can bet you will have the same or similar problems in the future, so don’t skip this part.
Too big a problem or you’re not into do-it-yourself repairs? Contact a licensed plumber to find the leak and get it fixed, pronto!
Caution: Nearly All Older Homes Are Likely to Have Asbestos
If you have an older home that was built in the 1980s or earlier, you should assume that any damaged or destroyed wall, roofing, ceiling, or flooring materials contained asbestos. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional inspect your home before starting any repairs. It may be impossible to tell if unlabeled building materials contain asbestos. Home materials that may contain asbestos include:
- Roofing materials
- Appliance components
- Ceiling products
- Cement board
- Electrical wiring
- Wall paneling
- Heating and cooling equipment
What Do I Do To Fix My Water Damaged Wall?
If you have experienced a significant flood or water damage, it is going to take a lot more time and work to repair on your own. After removing any damaged drywall, wait at least 48 hours. The time helps any excess water evaporate, and you can ensure that no other parts of the wall have been affected. To speed things up, use fans or dehumidifiers to help things dry out. While you’re waiting for the affected area of your drywall to dry out thoroughly, call an electrician to make sure that the leak or flood has not damaged switches and outlets in the wall.
Once the area is dry, and you’ve verified that all your outlets and switches are working, you can replace the insulation and drywall. This type of work may need to be done by a professional, so do not be afraid to call your favorite contractor to give you a hand.
Water Damage Wall Repair
Water damage wall repair may require a handyman or contractor, too. When left in place, soaked drywall or sheetrock can and WILL grow mold or mildew. Mold growth puts your health — and your family’s — at risk. Water-damaged drywall or sheetrock can also compromise the structural integrity of your home.
If the water damage is limited, and the drywall is still attached to the studs, then the damage wall repair can easily be done by cutting out the section of weak drywall and replace it. Heavily saturated drywall will eventually fall apart or crumble. Replace those sections of drywall, as well as any insulation that may have been affected by the water.
To remove a small section of your drywall, draw a small square or rectangle around the affected area, then use a sharp utility knife to cut the piece of drywall away. Cut a new piece of drywall sized for the area removed, seal it in place, then prep the area for repainting. When working with drywall or insulation, always wear a mask, eye protection, and gloves.
Schedule a service to have a professional examine the situation.