How to Fix Water Damaged Walls?
It doesn't matter if your house is old or new, you're bound to face water damage at some point in your life. If you've already experienced a water leak in the past, there is a high chance you'll experience it in the future as well.
Plumbing leaks and water damaged walls are inevitable.
Why? Because the plumbing system in your house is operating non-stop. Pipes and appliances that use water may eventually start leaking due to the constant use. Plumbing leaks waste a lot of water. In fact, over 10,000 gallons of water is wasted every year in an average household's water leaks.
Water damaged walls may also result due to floods and storms. This kind of water damage is easy to identify. However, most of the time, the cause of water damage isn't always so obvious. If left unaddressed, water damage can destroy your plumbing system and cause structural issues to your drywall.
If you found water damaged walls in your house, it's safe to assume there's more damage than you can see on the outside. But the good news is that water damaged walls are repairable. You can call the professionals to repair the damaged walls for you.
Common Signs of Water Leaks
If you're reading this guide, you might have already spotted the water leak somewhere in your home. Yet, sometimes, water leaks may be hidden. These kinds of leaks are more dangerous. So, it's better to know the common signs of water leaks before it's too late.
The signs of water leakage include:
It's possible that the damage has already occurred to the drywall by the time you spot these signs. The gypsum drywall turns into a huge problem when it gets wet. The reason is that gypsum drywall is porous and soluble in water.
Water leakage leads to the growth of mold, bubbling, warping, stains, and deterioration. When the water reaches the drywall, it makes your walls and ceilings look unsightly. Eventually, it causes the wallboard to collapse and fall apart.
Steps to Repair the Water Damaged Walls
Follow these 7 steps to fix the water damaged walls:
You need to pay attention to your plumbing system and locate any possible water leaks. Faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms, showerheads, hot water heaters, washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, garbage disposals, and dishwashers are prone to leaks.
Use your eyes and ears to detect the water leaks. Look for soft spots and soggy areas, and hear if there is any sound of water leakage. Moreover, you can check your water meter and water bills.
The best way to confirm water leakage is to check your water meter. Turn off all the faucets and appliances that use water. Note your water meter readings. Avoid using water for at least an hour. Now, check the water meter readings again. If the reading is not the same, there's water leakage.
By looking for the above-mentioned signs of water leakage, you easily locate the leak. Once you do that, you have to fix the water leak.
If your faucet is leaking, you can replace the washer and fix the leak. However, if any of the plumbing pipes are leaking, you can apply epoxy putty as a temporary fix.
However, if the wall has absorbed a lot of water, you should get a dehumidifier and some towels. Run the dehumidifier and start blotting the walls carefully. This will help to remove the moisture. But be sure not to press too hard as the drywall will already be too soft.
If the Water Damage Toronto is due to flooding, you should rent out a large-capacity dehumidifier to thoroughly dry out the walls, surrounding wood, and carpets.
Next, you have to start removing the damaged sections of the wall. Don't forget to put down tarps and drop cloths. It'll make clean up easier for you because the tarps will catch the removed pieces, dust, and debris.
Now, take drywall saw to cut out the damaged section. Make sure you don't cut any wires or damage the plumbing while cutting the wall. Also, it's important to note that cutting out the damaged part in the shape of a square or a rectangle is highly recommended.
It'll help you fit the patches easily and make the blending of the mud and taping work smoother for you.
How to Manage Damage to Your Home?
After removing the damaged section, check the studs and insulation to see whether they're completely dry or not.
By doing so, you can prevent the new piece of drywall from getting damaged due to the already present moisture.
Water damaged drywalls are the perfect breeding spots for molds. Sometimes, the drywall has no structural defects in spite of the water damage. However, there is a high chance it might be infected with black mold growth.
So, once you have removed the damaged sections, disinfect the area and kill the mold. You can use diluted chlorine bleach to get rid of the mold and even the small water stains. Carefully scrub the drywall, and within a few hours, the mold will be killed.
In the next step, you have to take the measurements of the wall from which the damaged section has been removed. Take 2 to 3 measurements and take the average. You can use this average measurement to cut a replacement piece of drywall. It's better to cut the replacement piece 2-inch longer and 2-inch wider than the hole.
Now, lay this replacement piece down with the backside facing up. Take a pencil and draw a line by measuring 1-inch from all four sides. Your replacement piece is ready, and it'll fit perfectly.
To fit the replacement piece, you have to place 4 drywall clips around the hole and secure them with a drywall screw. But be careful not to over-tighten the screws. Still, if the replacement piece isn't a perfect fit, place it against the hole and cut it out using a utility knife.
Take a mesh or paper tape and put it over the seams. Now, start to apply the first coat of the mud (a.k.a. joint compound). Properly cover the joint and blend the mud. It'll be followed by priming and painting.
Spread out the mud about 4 to 6-inches from the repaired area and let it dry for 12 to 24 hours. When the first coat is completely dry, wear a dust mask and take fine-grit sandpaper and a sanding block to sand off any ridges and high spots.
You'll have to apply a second coat as well. But before you do that, use a vacuum and wipe off the remaining dust. Now, apply the second coat, blend it properly, and let it dry again for 12 to 24 hours. Again, sand off the ridges.
The dried mud absorbs a lot of moisture, so you need to coat it with a primer that'll effectively seal the area. After that, you can start painting the newly repaired section.
You can either use a roller or paintbrush to paint the repaired area. Pour the paint into the paint tray and coat your paintbrush or roller. Then use a zigzag pattern to paint the surface to give your paint a flat finish.
After blending the seams, priming, and painting, the water damaged wall will be completely fixed.
Finally, take a shop vacuum and clean up all the dust and debris. Carefully pick up the tarps you had laid down and be sure not to spread around any pieces, debris, and paint on the tarps. Don't forget to clean the paintbrushes and dispose of all the used paint cans.
You can use warm, soapy water to thoroughly clean the tools, paintbrushes, and roller covers. Once you have done all that, it's time to remove the painter's tape. You can prevent damage to the fresh paint by removing the tape at a 45-degree angle.
How Can GTA Restoration Help You?
If you can't fix the water damaged walls yourself, GTA Restoration can do the job for you. We have a team of licensed and highly-experienced professionals who will expertly assess the water damage, locate the cause, and repair the damaged walls.
Don't wait until the damage gets worse. Contact us right now and save yourself from a huge emergency plumbing disaster.