Repairing Water-Damaged Sheetrock Walls and Ceilings

Repairing Sheetrock Damaged by Water

When water damages drywall or sheetrock in your walls or ceilings, it can make them look awful. Moisture leads to mold growth and can compromise your wall or ceiling enough that it collapses or crumbles. However, you can repair water damaged walls and ceilings. There is a process to follow that takes the guesswork out drywall repair. Sante Property Damage Reconstruction has some top water damaged drywall tips listed below.

Find the Leak in the Ceiling or Wall

Before making any drywall repairs, find the source of the leak. If you don’t fix the source of the water and moisture first, your water damage repairs will do you no good. Whether the source is a leaking roof, a broken pipe or a failing toilet, it can be hard to find. Sometimes the leak does damage you can spot away from the actual source of the water damage problem. Explore and investigate. Start by removing the water-damaged sheetrock or drywall so you can better see where the leak is coming from. This will also help to start drying out the water-damaged space.

Water Damaged Sheetrock and Mold

Water damaged sheetrock and drywall is very conducive to growing mold. This problem sounds dangerous, and it can be. This is one of the reasons repairing water damaged drywall is essential. If you didn’t identify the leak early, you likely will find mold. Some mold (like black mold) is best handled by a professional sheetrock repair contractor. Black mold can be toxic and spread easily via spores. As little as 10 square feet of black mold can be a major problem. If you are in this situation, call a professional immediately to repair water damaged sheetrock.

Take Down the Damaged Drywall

Always do your prep work with water damaged drywall to save time and a huge mess. Put down drop clothes or tarps to catch all the crumbling drywall pieces, dust, and other debris. Wear a mask to keep from inhaling dust and debris. Protect your eyes with safety glasses. Wallboard or sheetrock that has absorbed lots of water will sag from the ceiling or crumble when you touch it. Take down the water damaged sheetrock by hand or use the claw end of a hammer or wrecking bar.

If your water damaged drywall only shows water stains and is still structurally sound, it may be repaired by cutting out the damaged portion. Use a keyhole saw to cut around the impacted area. Cut a square or rectangle. You can then make a patch with another piece of new drywall.

Repairing water damaged sheetrock on your own? Sante Property Damage Reconstruction is available to help. Feel free to call us anytime at (844) 254-1480.  

How to Repair Water Damaged Sheetrock and Drywall

Finally, mark a square around the water damaged area. Try to remove the drywall along the original seams if possible. This will give you framing to attach the replacement piece and make it easier to cut the hole square. Measure the hole. Use these dimensions to cut a replacement piece two inches longer and two inches wider than the hole. Lay the replacement piece on a flat surface with the back side facing up. Measure one inch from all four edges and draw a pencil line. Make sure the area inside the pencil mark matches the size of the hole.

For the area outside the pencil marking, use a straight edge and a utility knife to cut through the back side paper and the drywall gypsum. Be careful not to cut the front facing layer of paper. Use a putty knife to peel away the back side paper and gypsum. If your hole is 6 inches or less, apply a thin layer of joint compound around the hole. Place your patch in the hole. Using a putty knife, work the paper edge down into the compound. Feather the edges of the compound and allow it to dry. Sand lightly with a fine grit sandpaper. Let it stand and then apply a second layer of joint compound. If your hole is bigger than 6” (up to 12”) you must use a different technique. The patch needs more support.

Use a drill to create two small holes in the replacement board. Feed a piece of string through the holes and tie both ends to the middle of a stick. Allow for about 8 inches of string between the stick and the board. The stick side is the front. You can use the stick to hold the patch in place. Twist the stick to apply pressure to the rear of the board. This will steady it in the hole. Apply a smooth coat of cement adhesive around the edges. Insert the patch into the hole, placing it so that the cement adhesive grips the solid area around the rear of the hole. Turn the stick clockwise twisting the string and increasing the pressure against the patch board at the rear of the hole. This will hold the board firmly in place until the adhesive dries. Fill in the area with joint compound and let it dry thoroughly.

If the patch is below the surface of the surrounding drywall, use mesh tape to span the joints around the new piece. Apply the “mud” or joint compound following the contour of the seam so the surface is flat. Then apply a second coat of mud to the seams and immediately skim the excess off working across the tape to smooth the mud out onto both surfaces. Areas of damage larger than 12 square inches may require an entire new sheetrock panel.

Prime and Paint Drywall

Next, apply a good primer and sealer with a large paintbrush or roller. Cover the entire wall or ceiling. Open a window to make sure you have plenty of ventilation. Paint width wise in square sections.

Use a zigzag pattern of overlapping “W” strokes. Move right to left and then left to right, spreading evenly with vertical strokes. To ensure even coverage, use light strokes and paint over the entire surface. Now your water damaged sheetrock should be repaired as good as new.

More Resources:

Water Damage Reconstruction for Drywall and Sheetrock

Sante Property Damage Reconstruction
100 Peters Road
Suite B
Bloomfield, CT 06002

Call (844) 254-1480

Business Hours: 24/7


Contact Information

Sante Damage Reconstruction
100 Peters Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002

Phone: (860) 216-2784
Business Hours: 24/7

CT Contractor License: 0609599


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