Drywall Repair: Water Damage

newly repaired drywall
  • 24-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
High strength fans
Joint compound
Drywall patch
Drywall tape
Putty knife
Nails of various sizes

Water damage can be devastating to your drywall, and if not taken care of immediately, it can have a lasting effect. The damage can be recognized and corrected, and depending on the area, you can even do the repair work yourself. To circumvent the long-term effects of water damage, there are some steps that you can follow to restore your drywall and minimize the water damage.

Step 1 - Find the Source of the Damage

Start by isolating the area that has been damaged by water. Observe the manner in which the water damage has occurred. If it is due to stagnant water, it may be repaired. If it is due to some sort of a leaking pipe, you may need the help of an expert. Once the source is established, cut out the wet drywall and allow air to circulate through the opening. This is where the high strength fan comes into play.

Step 2 - Watch the Drying Process

The drying process can take a while, sometimes even a full day. However, while it is going on, you need to observe whether the area is being dried effectively. If even after 10 hours certain sections are significantly wet, you may need to cut out more of the wall and expose it to the air. Failing to observe the drying process may result in mold buildup, which will only add to your woes. Mold can seep into the water system and be very expensive to completely remove. It is best to keep it from happening by taking some extra care during the drying process.

Step 3 - Nail in New Drywall

Once the section is sufficiently dry, replace any worn out or weakened studs with new ones and place a new drywall patch over the holes. Use a plywood backer board if the hole is large in order to support the drywall in place. Then, nail in the drywall to the backer board and spread some joint compound using a putty knife. Smooth out the surfaces and look out for any leaks that may appear on the floor. In case they do, leave a small gap between the drywall and the floor to protect the wall.

Step 4 - Add Drywall Tape and Paint

Finally, use the drywall tape to tape out the area where the drywall meets the existing wall. There are tapes that are specifically manufactured for such purposes and are available in local hardware stores. Once a smooth finish is obtained, you can paint over the drywall to match your existing décor - the last step in restoring your drywall to its original glory.