Although drywall is pretty sturdy, it can get damaged after exposure to water for a long period. As a result, it will lose structural integrity and become weak. The sooner you notice the problem, the better. First, check the drywall for moisture.
You can use a non-penetrating moisture meter or a screwdriver to drill holes. If your notice softness in your drywall, it is wet.
Secondly, check the interior part of the drywall using the moisture meter and drill a larger whole. Check the moisture content of the insulation, especially if made of fiberglass or cellulose. If the insulation becomes wet, it will lose its resale value and become a potential liability.
Other than the presence of water spots, a wet wall will experience discoloration. You will notice that it’s darker in the wet areas. The colors may vary depending on the original color of your drywall and other factors.
Does Your Drywall Require Replacement?
In some cases, wet drywalls can be retained. However, experts recommend most homeowners to replace their drywalls after water damages. Since the panels are not load-bearing, they can be removed with ease and replaced by qualified handymen without a negative effect on the structure of your house.
If the material was exposed to water for a significant amount of time, it becomes saturated and starts deforming or collapsing.
Even if you make efforts to dry the panels, they are unlikely to regain their original shape. Saturated walls lose their solidity and crumble easily. If that happens, the drywall should be removed and replaced as soon as possible.
How Do You Dry Wet Drywalls?
Have you noticed wetness in your drywall?
The good news is, you may be able to dry it and hence regain its original looks.
First, gauge the extent of water damage using a moisture meter. If it shows a reading above 1%, your wall is compromised. Secondly, remove baseboards to ensure faster drying and check signs of mold growth.
Thirdly, use air-moving equipment that can generate about 115 degrees. You can rent the equipment from a nearby home improvement store. Next, ensure that the room is airtight and fire up the machine. Usually, the walls take about three days to dry completely. Lastly, double-check the moisture level and repaint the panels.