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Is Drywall Ruined If It Gets Wet?

Water is definitely one of the best gifts we have as humans. But you might doubt this when it ruins things in the home, for example, your drywall, wooden floors, and ceilings. Drywall damage from water intrusion is one of the most common sources of concern for many homeowners. 

So, is drywall really ruined if it gets wet?

Well, no. Drywall is not entirely ruined when it gets wet. It could always be salvaged if paid the right amount of professional attention. And could even end up getting restored to an optimal condition. 

However, this restoration depends on a number of factors, such as the extent of water damage. It also depends on how long the drywall was exposed to water. If the water damage to your drywall is severe, you might have to get new drywall. 

What Does Water Damage on Walls Look Like?

While it is very possible to be unaware that there has been a leak in your home it is not hard to figure out that your drywall has suffered some water damage. This is because drywall simply lacks the ability to hide water damage for too long, making it super easy for you to spot the affected area.  

Here are a few physical signs that signify water damage:

Discoloration

When water penetrates a wall, it usually leaves stains on the wall exterior. These water stains usually take anywhere between 12 to 48 hours to show, and could vary in color, ranging from yellow and brown to white and black. 

It is worthy to note that the discoloration never gives an accurate prediction of the extent of damage the wall has taken, which is why it is important for you to take immediate action as soon as you notice any spots on your wall.  

Bubbling and Cracking 

Bubbling, just as the name implies, occurs when water gathers behind the wall paint and forms bubbles. The paint expands as a result of these bubbles and eventually begins to crack. Not only does this cause a mess on your walls, but it also indicates that molds are right along the corner.

Molding 

As a result of its porosity, wet drywall provides a great environment for molds to grow and thrive. Molds could start growing in as little as 24 hours after the wall gets wet, and could get obvious within a week. While small mold damage spots on your wall might be easy to clean, they are always a sign of an underlying issue. 

water damage to drywall looks like bubbles under the paint

How Do You Fix Water Damaged Drywall?

If you have had flood damage or leak in your home recently, and you suspect that it might have affected your drywall, here are a few steps to take to ensure water damage restoration:

Stop the Source of Water

First, before you go ahead to fix wet drywall, ensure that the source of the water is stopped. While you really can’t do anything to prevent flooding, you could take action if it is the case of a leak or broken pipe. 

Once you’re convinced you’ve stemmed the source of water, then you may proceed to other remediation steps.

Evaluate the Damage

Before fixing your wet drywall, find out just how much water damage the drywall has suffered. This can be done in a couple of ways. You could use a non-penetrating/penetrating moisture meter to test how much water the interior of the wall has been subjected to. 

You could also remove the baseboards at the bottom of the wall and use a sharp object like a screwdriver to poke holes in the wall. If the screwdriver penetrates the wall easily, then the wall has gone soft due to moisture. If your results show that a lot of water damage has been done to the wall, you might need to get it replaced.

Basic Drying Out

If the amount of water damage to your drywall is minute, perhaps a little dampening from a splash or a leak that was detected early, then you could handle it by quickly drying out the area with towels and fans. However, if the affected area is large, you should move on to the next step. 

Contact A Professional 

If your drywall has suffered extensive damage, the safest thing to do is to contact and hire the services of a restoration company. With the advanced equipment in their possession and their experience, they would either dry out the water to minimize damage or completely remove the damaged drywall and replace it with a new one.

To contact a professional restoration service about water damage to your drywall, click here.

How Long Does It Take to Dry Out Water Damage?

After soaking up as much of the moisture as you can with towels, simply let the fans, dehumidifiers or other drying equipment run for three days. Then gauge the humidity level with a non-penetrating moisture meter.

If the meter still shows a high level of moisture, keep drying for another two days to ensure complete drying.