Should You Replace Drywall If It Gets Wet
No, unfortunately, it’s not just in Florida and Texas. Water damage is actually quite common of an issue nationwide, with thousands of households experiencing some form of it every month. One of the most vulnerable parts of a property during water damage events is the drywall.
While quite durable overall, drywall really doesn’t get along with water. In this post, you’ll learn what to do if your drywall gets wet and how to know whether you should replace your wet drywall or not.
In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary:
- Implement dehumidifiers and fans to thoroughly dry the damp drywall
- If the drywall is more than 1% wet, it should be replaced
- Consult with a certified water damage restoration professional
Signs of Water Damage on Walls
Alright, let’s say that you haven’t experienced an abrupt event like a sewage backup or an appliance leak that’s pretty obvious to spot. In some cases, homeowners have a leak that’s hidden behind walls and that spills just enough water to cause damage over the long run.
In that case, you will have some signs of water damage on your walls that you should pay attention to. Those are:
- Peeling or bubbling paint
- Stains, usually of light brown or gray color
- Musty odor
If you see any of these signs right now, it’s time to raise an alarm. You can try to dry out your wallpaper, concrete, and drywall but it’s also important to detect and neutralize the moisture source to permanently resolve the problem.
How to Fix Water-Damaged Drywall
First step is to find a moisture source. Usually this shouldn’t be that hard. Since leaks cause damage around them, look at pipes which are behind those water damage signs you’ve noticed. If there’s mold, apply some mold removal techniques.
Once you’ve identified a leaking pipe, turn off the water supply until you get it fixed. You can use a tape or you can clamp it. You can also put a slip coupling on your pipe.
The next step is testing for drywall moisture levels. Sometimes your drywall is already too wet that putting in the hard work required to dry it out will just be a waste of your valuable time and energy. Note that you should replace a drywall if it’s only more than 1% wet. But how do you determine that?
You’ll need a moisture meter. Penetrating moisture meters are typically more accurate than non-penetrating, and they also come with more features.
If you already have one, great, but if not, note that they’re pricey so, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing, we’d advise consulting with a professional. We’ll get to that later.
You can also use a screwdriver to pry off the baseboards and poke holes in the drywall. If the drywall is soft and the screwdriver easily penetrates it, it is wet.
Wet drywall is not just an eyesore. It’s also a structural integrity threat and a health hazard. Any damp surface in your home can aid in mold development, and soft and weak drywall can further compromise your house.
So, to avoid this, turn up dehumidifiers and fans and put them to work. Fans are great for targeting small damp areas while dehumidifiers will aid in drying the entire room. If you don’t have this equipment, rent it out or borrow it from a friend or family member.
Also, tape plastic sheeting over doorways and windows to make the room as airtight as possible. Make sure you’re regularly checking the progress with your moisture meter.
How Long Does it Take to Dry Out a Drywall
It depends. It usually takes up to 3 days to dry out a drywall completely but in some cases it might take much longer than that. Factors like the extent of water damage, humidity levels, and weather conditions will all play a role in the length of your project.
You should, however, see improvements within the first 24 hours. If you don’t, it’s time to call a professional.
Hire a Water Damage Restoration Company
A lot of homeowners may get stuck at a certain step of the whole process. Some might not know how to fix a leaking pipe, others may struggle with drying.
Note that drying is sometimes pointless as there might already be too much damage for the drywall to be brought back to normal. If you don’t know what to do, call a water damage restoration company.
Our professionals will consult with you and help you learn what is the best way to go in your specific scenario.
How Much Does Fixing a Wet Drywall Cost
Water damage restoration costs between $300 and $800 for a professional drywall water damage repair job.
Great job on taking the steps and doing something, way better than leaving water damage untreated. However, sometimes it’s best to leave this work to professionals who do it for a living. Call us today!