If it hasn’t happened to you it likely will at some point in your life: you will find a damp spot on the drywall of your home, someone will spill something on a wall, or in the very worst case you will experience a burst pipe or hose and drywall will get soaked. Don’t panic; it isn’t the end of the world and there are some basic things you need to know as a homeowner. First and foremost: know what to do.
So the first thing you need to know is just because drywall gets wet doesn’t mean it’s ruined. If one of your children is playing and gets a little rambunctious and splashes water on your drywall, it will be okay. Dry the area, quickly. Most likely it won’t leave a stain of any kind. If however, you have one of those days where you come into the room and notice a little water stain, look into that. If you find that it was just a minor leak, quickly stop the leak. Now, your drywall is a little damp, but not soaked. Dry it out, put a fan blowing on the area and let the air flow help the drying process. Once it’s dry there might be a little staining, that is okay. Your remedy to that is nothing other than paint. A good quick coat of white paint will cover up the stain and your wall will be like new.
However, if you have one of those moments that are more severe, more extreme, you will get through it too. If the drywall in your home does get soaked from a flood, broken pipe or natural disaster, just drying it won’t help. The drywall will begin to warp and stain, and worst of all mold could start to grow. You just need to take it down as carefully as you can. If you do try to let it dry, it will end up crumbling to the touch into a dense chalky powder (Drywall is a gypsum product, meaning that it’s plaster—and it behaves just like plaster). Just take it down, dispose of it and install new sheets of drywall. You might even consider moisture resistant drywall, especially if you know that the area it’s going into is prone to moisture, like a bathroom or mud room, or even a front entrance. That might seem like overkill, but it’s worth it if you’re worried about it.
As mentioned before, one of the truly dangerous things that can happen with drywall in your home is that a little bit of moisture can get in there and mold can grow. You have to treat mold seriously; it is persistent and doesn’t go away easily. If you have a mild problem with mold, you may see some green or black discoloration and an odor. Paint will not fix this; you will need to replace the affected area and repair the damage. In extreme cases you may have to deal with black mold which can have some serious effects upon those near it. Symptoms can be headaches, sneezing, itchy scratchy eyes and a host of severe respiratory problems. So the real message here is if you see mold or smell it, don’t take a chance with it—remove it as fast as you can.
Drywall is an important part of your home, but you don’t need to fear if it gets wet. It can be repaired and made to look just like new with very little hassle. But just remember to treat it well, and it will keep your home looking great. And if the water that you’ve found on your drywall is too much, be sure to call the professionals. We’ll be there quickly to make sure that your home stays safe.