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How important is tape or mesh when patching?


VoltageHz's Avatar
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09-29-09, 01:11 PM   #1  
How important is tape or mesh when patching?

I know the right way to patch a hole is to use tape or mesh, but I know of a lot of tradesmen, such as electrician, who don't. The typical scenario is to cut out a hole in the sheetrock (many times with a holesaw), do their work, then replace the cut-out of sheetrock into the hole with a board or piece of metal stud behind it to hold it in place. Then they go right over it with a fast setting compound such as Sheetrock 20 minute setting compound powder.

From the results I've seen, this works pretty well and doesn't require the customer to pay for the tradesman to return two more times. However, I know the "right" way is to use tape or mesh and to give it another coat or two of premixed joint compound.

My question is how bad is it to do it without tape and without extra coats of spackle? Is it definitely going to crack or look bad? Will it get worse over time?

 
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marksr's Avatar
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09-29-09, 04:14 PM   #2  
It's better to use tape. You can get away with more when using a setting compound. If they had used regular premixed joint compound - the repair would crack! I doubt you could get a good job with just one coat of setting compound but not everyone knows the difference.


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09-30-09, 05:21 AM   #3  
Hmmm....I don't know any electricians or plumbers that would touch drywall let alone fix it. Especially in the commercial senario you posed.

 
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09-30-09, 05:23 AM   #4  
marksr, thanks!

Posted By: coops28 Hmmm....I don't know any electricians or plumbers that would touch drywall let alone fix it. Especially in the commercial senario you posed.
I was talking about residential. I'd say more than half will patch the wall themselves.

 
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09-30-09, 05:37 AM   #5  
If patching an actual hole in the wall you are far better off to use what we in the business call a blow out patch. This consists of a piece of drywall that is slightly bigger than the hole in question.

To utilize a blowout patch you would start by making the hole in question square and relatively equal size. So say you have a hole from a door knob going through your drywall a typical door knob is 2" wide for this I would cut the hole to be 3" X 3" square. Then you would cut a pice of drywall to be 5" X 5" on the back of the piece of drywall you would then mark lines 1" in from each edge. With a utility knife on the back side still; score your lines just as you would to normally cut a piece of drywall. snap the lines your scored but DO NOT cut the paper on the front of the patch, Instead peel the gypsum away from the paper leaving the 1" border all the way around the front side of your new patch, using scissors round off the corners of this flap just slightly.

Check the patch for fit and trim if needed, I find it best to trim the hole instead of the patch as many times attempting to trim the patch will result in cutting through the face paper. Now take any scrap of wood about 6" long and place a drywall screw just slightly into the board at the center. This is to give you something to hold onto as you attach the board to the inside of the wall.

Slide the board into the hole vertically or horizontally makes no real difference and while holding the screw you already installed place a screw through the walls drywall abouth 3/4" from the edge of the hole and into each end of the board to secure it behind the hole. Now you can remove the first screw as the board will of course not fall into your wall now.

Now use what ever type of drywall compound you choose be it 20/40 minute mud or even premix compound. Put he mud around the edges of the hole out to about 1" inch beyond the hole. On the back of your patch put joint compound on the side edges of the patch no more than say 1/4" thick. Place the patch in the hole pressing it evenly back against the board you installed. Grab that screw you took out of the center of the board and now use it to attach through the center of your patch and into the board behind it.

You now have a patch in place that has seam coverage already in place no need for tape of any kind and the seam is far stronger as the paper is firmly a part of the patch. Smooth it out as you would with any tape to remove the bulk of the compound you put around the hole under the face paper then apply a skim coat of compound over the entire patch and feather it out to about 4 inches beyond the edges of the patch itself.

This feathering will stop the patch from being a visual hump on the wall. Allow the compound to dry and sand it. Apply the second coat with the largest mud knife you have making it as flat and smooth as possible. Let dry and sand lightly. now to check for imperfections slide your hand gently around the patched area while NOT looking at it. If you look at it your mind will play tricks on you, by not looking at it you will feel any distortion in the wall no matter how slight. Mud and sand as needed to fix any found imperfections. Prime paint and stand back and look at your work and say DAMN I'M GOOD! LOL

Again Im sorry for so much reading i do have a tendancy to over explain things its an issue i cant seem to get away from.

Hope this helps a Bit!

 
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09-30-09, 05:44 AM   #6  
The issue with blow out patches is that they require much more care to look good, it needs to be properly feathered in to avoid a hump in the wall. The same with tape.

It was explained to me by many electrician that replacing the piece of sheetrock that was cut out and mudding the gaps yields a perfectly smooth patch, no hump.

My only concern with that is cracking.


BTW, I've never screwed a blow out patch in, I've always just mudded it in. Good idea, I'll try your method next time.

 
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09-30-09, 06:02 AM   #7  
Hey Hey Voltage,
I know what you mean about not screwing blow out patches in and it is exactly how I used to do it. BUT I found through the years that the simple opening and closing of doors in a home while the patch is not dry creates enough of a vacumn to cause the patch to be either sucked a bit further into the hole or pushed out a bit. That is why I started screwing them in to assure that can not happen.

 
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