Water Damaged Sheetrock and Drywall

Water damage to sheet-rock and drywall is especially frustrating because, while it can be repaired, the cost to do so is often more expensive than the cost to replace it. Swelling and staining are common sins of water damage. If the drywall has been painted stains may not be readily apparent but will show through over time. Re-painting over damaged areas will not solve the problem.

Drywall and sheet-rock can usually be cut in a horizontal fashion, somewhere above the level of the damage and removed. You can replace it with an undamaged piece, prepare it and paint it. If you are less of a handy man and aren’t sure you can successfully hide the seam., then replace the whole piece. Either way, the end result will look much better than trying to patch it with a temporary fix.

Be sure that the wall cavity is dry and water free. Leaving water unattended in any area like this can make it a prime candidate for mold. Any water damaged insulation should be removed and replaced. Always avoid touching any moldy drywall. If you notice a mold growth, have a professional remove it for you. Be sure to wear a face mask when working around drywall products to prevent inhalation of dust chemicals, or other potentially harmful agents.

Have the Sniffles Got You Down?

Did you know mold allergies get worse during the winter?  Indoor heat inside your house pulls air from the crawl space into the living space. Sometimes it’s hard to see the water damage, you may need a professional with a moisture meter and infrared cameras to see if there’s a leak.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of mold are very similar to other allergies, such as sneezing, itching, running nose, congestion and dry, scaling skin. Reactions worsen in a damp or moldy room such as a basement.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew Inside Your Home

• Get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help. Also, a dust sample from your carpet can show whether mold spores are in your home. Check with your state health department about mold testing.

• Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. If you have mold in your crawl space or basement, locate the source and stop the water from coming in.

If your crawl space has mold, call an environmental service to get rid of it. If a small area is moldy, you can try cleaning it yourself.

• Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can’t see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.

• Wash mold off hard surfaces. You don’t have to use chlorine bleach; soap and water, combined with scrubbing from a stiff brush, works to remove mold. Some people also recommend vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Non-toxic cleaners are also available. Allow areas to dry completely.

• Dry water-damaged areas and items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Don’t install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.

• If ceiling tiles or carpet have become moldy, they must be replaced. Throw out all wet, moldy tiles and carpeting.

• Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window in the kitchen when you’re cooking or in the bathroom when you’re bathing.

• Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.

• Add insulation to windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.