patching drywall around vents

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  #1  
Old 11-20-05, 07:56 PM
phatman
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patching drywall around vents

Thank you for your consideration. I was in HD asking for a solution to this issue, the department attendant shrugged when I asked. I have heat ducts on the walls in my house. The screwholes for the vent covers have crumbled away, leaving nothing for the screws to hold on to. I figure there would be something that is applied like drywall mud but holds better, to patch the voids, or maybe another cosmetically appealing solution. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!
 
  #2  
Old 11-21-05, 02:40 AM
M
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Usually the vent covers don't hold onto the sheetrock, they bite into a metal frame behind the wall, or into a stud. If there is no frame, or stud, it may have been an "add-on" return vent that was installed after the sheetrock.

If this is the case, you will need to reinforce the back of the sheetrock with wood so the vent screw has something to bite into.

All you need to do is cut a piece of furring strip a few inches longer (about 6 minimum) than the height of the opening. Apply some adhesive to the parts that will touch the back side of the wall (3 or so inches on each end of the wood). Hold the adhesive against the back of the sheetrock and put 1 or 2 screws through the sheetrock and into the reinforcement strip.

You should be able to replace the vent cover immediately, or you can wait several hours until the adhesive cures. If you replace the cover immediately, be careful not to push the vent cover screw to hard, or you will push the screws you put into the board right through the drywall.

2 more things: Don't obstruct the vent too much with the wood, you only need wood behind the vent cover screw. Also, if the screws that you put in to hold the wood are too far away from the vent you will need to fill and paint them afterwards.

I hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 11-21-05, 02:11 PM
phatman
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Hi. Thanks for the reply. I was trying to avoid cutting away any drywall. I realize that would be the proper fix, but I am trying to avoid having to patch and repaint the room. I thought there might be a compound i could fill the space with, something strong but not brittle as drywall mud is. I suppose another fix might be to get some 4" screws and hope there is something in there to affix to.
 
  #4  
Old 11-22-05, 01:20 AM
D
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If it really is screwed directly into the drywall, then the simplest fix would probably be to drill new holes elsewhere on the cover and install new screws (and maybe use molly bolts if you're worried about future crumbling at the new hole sites). Just don't make the new holes too close to the old ones.

The only thought I had for trying to patch and strengthen the holes is epoxy. I don't know if that can bond to drywall though. Might be worth looking into.
 

Last edited by dynagirl; 11-22-05 at 01:37 AM.
  #5  
Old 11-22-05, 02:46 AM
M
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You shouldn't need to patch any drywall, as the board is put through the vent opening and then pulled back toward you. The screws you put in to hold the board are covered by the vent. (Or you can "c" clamp it into place while the adhesive dries.

As far as something to patch drywall near the edges, there isn't anything that I know of that would be strong. Because the area is already crumbled, anything hard will fall out because of the crumbly bit.
 
 

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