We use water in many places in our homes: bathrooms, washrooms, kitchen, and even outside for our landscaping.
As helpful as it can be in our daily lives, it also can be destructive. Water on your walls and ceilings can at least become unsightly and at worst ruin drywall to the point where it falls apart and needs to be replaced.
It is possible to fix water damage to your walls and ceilings yourself.
First, find the source of the water leak. If your walls or ceilings are stained or damaged, there must be water coming from somewhere. Water can travel a long distance in the infrastructure of a house, so you will have to remove the damaged drywall and do some investigation to find the source.
Soiled and rotten drywall often means mold. Large areas of mold, especially black mold, is toxic, and requires a professional to remove it so at this point, give us a call at W.B. Sanders. Don’t mess around with mold, and if the leak seems too big for you to fix, it probably is. Call in a plumber to deal with that as well.
Next, remove the damaged drywall. Lay down tarps to collect all the pieces of drywall and wear gloves, goggles, dust mask and clothing that covers your body. Use the claw end of hammer or wrecking bar to pull the drywall down.
The next step is to replace the drywall. If you are patching a small hole, cut a piece that is 2” longer and 2” wider than you need. Then measure in 1” in all directions and cut. If the piece doesn’t fit, hold it up against the opening and use a utility knife to trim it.
If a larger are was damaged, you might need to replace the entire wallboard. If this is the case, remove all the old drywall and the screws that held it in place. Redrill holes to hang the new drywall. The old holes have been compromised and can no longer be used.
Once the new drywall is up, you must apply drywall tape and joint compound to the seams to seal the wall or ceiling back together. Once it is dry, gently smooth the area with sandpaper.
Now it is time to prime and paint the area using overlapping “W” strokes to assure an even application. A roller works very well, but you’ll likely have to use brushes to reach the small areas that the roller can get.
Finally, use a shop vacuum to clean up all the debris and dust that has been created. The contents of the tarp and empty paint cans should be disposed of appropriately. Carefully remove any painter’s tape so you don’t damage the new paint job. Clean your brushes and rollers with warm soapy water, and marvel at the wonderful repair job you just completed.