Drywall water damage can be very destructive to the wallboard, especially if it isn’t repaired quickly. It can cause mold, mildew and even structural damage if left untreated.

Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to repair wet drywall and prevent the issue from spreading. The first step is to find the source of the leak and fix it.

Stop the Source of the Leak

Drywall water damage is a common problem caused by numerous things, including flooding, hurricanes, burst pipes, or sink overflow. Regardless of the cause, tackling the problem as quickly as possible is important to avoid further damage and mold growth.

Start by locating the source of the leak. This may be as simple as tracing the source of a musty odor, which is usually a sign of mildew and mold. Once you’ve located the source of the problem, turn off the water supply so you can begin to repair the drywall.

Remove the Damaged Drywall

If drywall is visibly soaked with water or shows signs of swelling, discoloration, crumbling, or mold growth, it must be replaced. Moisture soaks into drywall quickly and can ruin it even if the visible damage doesn’t appear.

Place a level over the visually damaged area to determine how much it has sagged. This information can help you plan the layout of new drywall and prepare it for drywall water damage repair. If a section of the wall needs replacing, cut it into a square or rectangle so you can easily match the corners with replacement drywall. Remove the loose insulation from behind the drywall, even if it doesn’t seem wet.

Remediate the Mold

Once you’ve stopped the water flow, dried the area, and sanded the wall (using a grit that increases with each sanding), removing mold spores from the drywall is important. Using chlorine bleach and scrubbing the affected area until it is free of stains should eliminate unhealthy mold levels. Then you can begin the remediation process.
Be sure to wear protective gear while scrubbing the wall and removing drywall. It would help to use a dehumidifier to control moisture levels and prevent mold re-growth. Professionals should remediate any mold that remains, and you can always contact a company that provides a mold inspection in New London, CT, or anywhere else, to professionally assess and address the mold issue if you would prefer an expert approach.

Replace the Damaged Drywall

Once you’ve addressed the source of the water and removed standing water, it’s time to remove the damaged drywall. The drywall may sag from walls and ceilings or crumble to the touch if it is heavily water-infiltrated. Cut a line around the affected area with a utility knife and pull it down — along with any loose insulation (e.g., fiberglass, mineral wool).

Wet insulation can hold moisture for a long period and encourage mold growth. Dry and sanitize it before replacing the drywall.

Refinish the Walls

Water damage can devastate a home, especially when it leads to the foundation or structural failure of walls and ceilings. Depending on the damage severity, you may need to call a professional restoration service or, if it’s not too badly damaged, but you don’t know how to handle the repair yourself, someone qualified to carry out handyman jobs in Edina, or local to you.

However, if the water damage is limited to paint or wallpaper, you can handle the repair yourself. Inspect drywall for discoloration and other water-related problems, such as bubbling.

A visual inspection is a good start, but using a moisture meter on the wall’s interior is also important. This can help identify damp studs and insulation that must be removed.

Replace the Insulation

Drying wet drywall is essential to limit the development of mildew and mold. To speed the process, drain any remaining water, point an area fan at the wall, and plug in a dehumidifier. Opening doors and windows can also help with air circulation.

Once the drywall is dry, you can replace the insulation. This may seem tedious, but it will greatly improve the final appearance of your walls and ceilings. For best results, use a high-performance fiberglass product. Remove the old soggy insulation and stuff it into contractor trash bags.

Refinish the Floors

Drywall water damage should be repaired as quickly as possible, as the longer it sits, the more it will become prone to mold and mildew. It can also cause structural damage to the home, which may require professional restoration services.

Before repairing the drywall, make sure that you clear away any furniture or other objects that might get wet. Also, make sure that you seal any air vents and doors so that dust doesn’t spread throughout the house.

Once the drywall has dried, sand it down and apply a new coat of paint. Be sure to sand between the seams, and use a pigmented primer to keep the moisture from bleeding through your paint job.