You’re not alone if you’ve noticed drywall water damage in your home. Drywall is a popular building material, and like any other material, it can be vulnerable to water damage.
If you suspect water damage on your drywall, the first step is to assess the damage. Next, identify the signs of water damage and take appropriate action. This post covers the five main signs of water damage on drywall and what to do if you suspect it.
Water seeping through the wall
Water seeping through the wall is one of the most common signs of water damage on drywall. This indicates that moisture has infiltrated your drywall, and it may be time to call a professional.
To check for water seeping through the wall, assess whether there’s visible damage. You can use a light to detect hidden leaks if there isn’t any visible damage. If you find any hidden leaks, call a professional to fix them before they cause more serious structural problems in your home.
If you see mold or mildew growing on your drywall, moisture has been seeping into your home and condensing on the wall surface. Moisture from water leaks usually seeps into the drywall and creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. Mold can cause severe structural defects in walls if not treated quickly.
To check for mold growth on your drywall, use a light to see if there’s any visible moisture. If you notice damage to the underlying insulation, water has penetrated your home and reached high enough levels to cause significant structural damage, but this might initially start with mold growth. In most cases, this indicates a complete loss of water protection in your home, and you should call a professional immediately.
If your drywall sags noticeably when touched, it may be time to replace it altogether. Signs of sagging drywall include a loss in wall thickness, bowed walls, and pulling away from the insulation. To check for signs of sagging drywall, place a hand against the wall and pull it in opposite directions. If the drywall moves significantly under your hand, it may be time to replace it.
In most cases, however, only a professional evaluation can determine if your drywall needs replacement or repairs.
Cracks in the drywall
If you see cracks in your drywall, it may be time to replace it. Signs of cracking include sharp edges or jagged patterns and a loss of mortar or joint compound. To check for signs of cracking, press your hand against the wall and pull slowly until the crack appears. You may need to replace your entire drywall panel if there are multiple cracks.
Water spots on the wall
Wet spots indicate that water has penetrated your home and reached enough levels to cause major damage. Signs of wetness include a thick layer of water droplets on the wall surface, pooling beneath furniture or appliances, or a general feeling of moisture in the air. To check for signs of wetness, place a hand against the wall and make an “x” with your fingers. If there’s a lot of water present anywhere near where your hand is placed, it may be time to replace your drywall.
Paint peeling from drywall
If you see paint peeling from your drywall, it may be time to replace it. Water damage is the main cause of paint peeling from drywall. Signs of paint peeling include large flakes that fall off the wall surface, noticeable damage caused by water droplets and wind, or a general feeling of deterioration in the wall’s appearance.
To check for signs of paint peeling, touch the surface with your fingers and pull away gently until some flake falls off. If there are multiple layers of drywall protecting underlying insulation and framing members, you will likely need to replace your entire panel. Not only is peeling paint a sign of water damage, but it can also lead to other damage, like mold and mildew.
Warps on drywall is another major sign that indicates water damage. If you see warp, then you most likely need to replace the wall, and bear in mind that the damage may not be limited to the area of the wall where the water is present.
If the damage is minor, you can try to dry the wall out and fix the cracks or bulging. If the damage is more serious, the wall may need to be replaced. In any case, addressing water damage as soon as possible is the best course of action. By doing so, you can prevent any further damage and potential structural problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do if you suspect water damage on your drywall
If you have any signs of water damage on your drywall – such as cracks, peeling paint, visible nail marks, or fractures – it’s essential to call a water damage professional ASAP. When water damage occurs, the wall can crack or fracture. This can happen anywhere on the surface of the drywall but is most common near or at joints and around pipes and wires. If you see a fracture, you must call a professional to assess and repair the damage as soon as possible. Don’t try to fix small fractures yourself – they can easily become worse and lead to further structural failures down the road!
Is there anything else I can do to help repair or protect my drywall from moisture and mold growth?
You can take a few easy steps to help repair or protect your drywall from moisture and mold growth.
- Seal any cracks or openings in the wall with caulk or sealant: This will help to prevent moisture and mold growth from entering the wall.
- Remove any potential water sources like plumbing leaks, broken pipes, etc.: If there are any areas of the wall where water may seep in, it is crucial to take action and seal these areas up.
- Raise the height of furniture off the floor: This will help to remove any excess moisture that may be present on the floor and potentially cause mold growth.
- Clean all surfaces that come into contact with drywall (walls, ceilings,…): Make sure there is no dirt, dust, or other debris on the wall that could potentially cause moisture and mold growth.
- Ensure air vents are not blocked by décor or furnishings: If the air vents in your home are blocked, this may obstruct the flow of fresh air and lead to moisture and mold growth.
If you have water damage on drywall, it’s vital to take action as soon as possible. Following the signs above can identify the damage and take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation. Don’t wait – act now to prevent further damage and restore your drywall! Water damage is one of the most common and costly home repairs. If you suspect drywall water damage in your home, take immediate action to prevent further damage.