5 Tips For Water Damaged Drywall Repairs
In many modern homes, the wall material of choice is drywall. Drywall is made of powdered and compressed minerals, typically gypsum, that is sealed between two layers of thick paper backing. Although durable when dry, moisture can quickly lead to damage. If there is water damage in your home, then the drywall will require repair.
1. You Need Safety Gear
Drywall isn't completely free of risks, especially in older homes. Drywall mud and putties sometimes contain asbestos in old homes. Plus, all drywall contains gypsum dust, which can irritate your respiratory system if inhaled. It's a good idea to use a respirator when repairing water damaged drywall. Also, wear gloves and avoid coming in direct contact with anything that the flood waters touched, as flood water is often contaminated.
2. Know Line Locations
A variety of lines run behind the drywall in your home, including electrical and water lines. It's helpful if you know the location of these lines, which you may be able to determine from the placement of water and electrical fixtures. If you aren't positive about line locations, turn off the power to the section of the home you are working on and cut into the drywall carefully to avoid risks.
3. Drywall Is Absorbent
Drywall will absorb moisture, so the damage will likely creep up the wall much higher than the total height of the flood waters when they crested. This means that if there was a foot of water in the home, then the drywall damage may extend another foot or more above the water line. You can use a screwdriver to check for water damage -- if it easily pokes into the drywall with minimal pressure, then that section has absorbed water. When cutting out the damaged drywall, cut well above the line of actual damage and ignore the water line.
4. Interior Drying Is Needed
You can't patch the drywall until all the moisture inside and outside of the walls has dried. Otherwise, the drywall will simply absorb the ambient moisture and suffer more damage. It can be hard to dry out a flood site on your own. Professionals use a combination of water extractors and high powered blowers to remove all moisture before starting the repairs.
5. Don't Skip Mold Mitigation
Finally, you will also need to take some steps to protect against mold before patching the drywall. Simply wiping down the inside of the walls, as well as any exterior original drywall, with a moldicide or a dilute bleach solution should kill any remaining mold spores.
Contact a water damage restoration service, like All Things Restored LLC, for more help with flood damaged drywall.