Bottom of the Drywall got wet? Not sure how to go about repairing it or if it can be simply dried out?
In this guide you will learn:
- What happens when the Bottom of Drywall Gets wet & Most common causes,
- How to Determine if it should be replaced or can be dried out,
- How to Dry out & Repair the bottom of your water damaged drywall.
Common Causes of Water Damage to Bottom of Drywall
There can be several different reasons why there is water damage at the bottom of your drywall.
Things like a pipe behind the wall bursting or flood situation which can cause the bottom of the drywall to get wet.
Unnoticed water from a leaking roof could also find its way behind the drywall and pool at the bottom of it making it wet.
All of these issues can cause severe water damage to the bottom of the drywall. Especially if the wall is exposed to water over long periods of time.
When that happens the problem of mold can arise which is a whole other issue in and of itself.
Drywall is fairly durable and can survive light moisture damage, but a lot of water can really ruin it for good.
Bottom of Drywall Got Wet – How Bad Is It?
If drywall gets significantly wet its structure will eventually weaken and start breaking down. It could even get to the point where mold can form within the wall and spread throughout the house.
This can cause not only damage to your house but also health problems.
Now should the moisture problem at the bottom of the drywall be relatively small and a one-time occurrence, then you shouldn’t have much to worry about as it can be dried out.
In prolonged exposure to water and moisture, the drywall can start losing its original shape and become discoloured with the wall turning chalky.
In case the bottom of the drywall has started to become discolored and it’s apparent that it has lost it’s shape there is no other option than to replace the bottom part of the drywall wall.
If you’re not sure how bad the overall damage is then you may want to call a professional water damage restoration company and have them look over the drywall water damage.
This can help to determine if perhaps mold has started to grow in the wet drywall and if the whole drywall sheet needs to be replaced.
Does It Need to Be Replaced or Can It Be Dried Out?
This depends on how severe the water damage is to the bottom of the drywall. Should the damage be very minimal, such as a one-time splash or a small flood situation that’s taken care of immediately, then it can be dried out.
Aiming fans at the moist drywall and turning on a dehumidifier should be done immediately.
However, drywall can only take on so much water before it starts to deteriorate. The drywall will most likely need to be replaced in prolonged exposure to the water if it’s apparent that it has started losing its shape.
The good thing about drywall though is that it’s affordable and it’s not that hard to replace parts of it.
You do need to act fast to dry it out, the longer you wait the worse the damage will become within the wall.
Eventually, it could lead to more structural issues to the surrounding areas as well.
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Can You Just Replace Bottom of Drywall That Got Wet instead of all drywall?
It’s absolutely possible to just replace the bottom of the drywall and you do not need to replace the whole drywall wall if the rest of the drywall is dry and hasn’t got any visible structural changes.
If the water damage has gone unnoticed for a longer period, such as in the case of a pipe leaking inside a wall, this might be a different situation.
In case of this, it’s advisable to remove the clearly water damaged drywall in the bottom first and then assess the situation once you get access to the inside of the wall.
If there are any visible signs of discolouration on the rest of the drywall or any signs of mold, it’s advisable to just replace the whole drywall sheet to get rid of a breeding ground for mold.
Repairing the Bottom of Drywall
You will want to remove anything near the drywall such as furniture and even the carpet.
Also, consider safety when repairing the drywall if the house is fairly old as there might be materials inside the wall that contain asbestos. It’s advisable to wear a respiratory mask while doing this if you are not exactly sure what’s behind the drywall itself.
The electricity in the home should be turned for this job as well in case there are any live wiring behind the wall as you tear into the wall.
Cutting Out the Water Damaged Drywall
Starting off, you want to mark the area where the water damage is located in the bottom of your wall. Then, cut around the marked off area with a utility knife, going about three quarters in.
Knock around the hole with a hammer to loosen up the surrounding drywall and remove any fiberglass, etc.
After the old drywall is cut out, you want to dry out the area with a fan or a dehumidifier.
The next step is to sanitize the damaged area for any possible mold build-up and then you can start getting ready to hang up your new drywall.
Replacing the drywall
Now that you’ve removed the damaged drywall and dried out any moisture residue, then you can turn to the new drywall and begin cutting out the proper size for replacement.
With the piece of drywall, you want to place it over the damaged area and secure it in place. You can do this by attaching drywall clips to the new drywall piece and then putting screws into the drywall clips.
This will hold it in place for the time being.
Next, smooth over the new drywall with joint compound to blend it in , sand it to achieve a smooth finish & apply more joint compound/sand again till the perfect finish is achieved and it’s ready to be painted.
The final step would be to caulk the bottom where the bottom meets the floor and wait it to properly dry. You want to make sure this is airtight to keep the air in and any debris or bugs out.
After that, you can put the carpet and any wall trim back as well as put the furniture, if any needed to be moved, back to where it was.
When To Call a Professional
Should the drywall be completely soaked by floodwater and you suspect there is a lot of moisture that needs to be dried out inside the wall it’s probably best to call in a professional to do the job.
They will have the industrial-grade equipment required to properly remove the water & dry out any remaining moisture.
With water damage to drywall, you don’t want to waste time. You don’t want to let it sit there and deteriorate even more. This can lead to mold taking over your wall and causing structural issues within all your home.
We have Water Damage Restoration Technicians that can help dry out the walls & Repair any Water Damage to Drywall.
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