How to repair water damaged drywall
First, clear the area. Remove water-soaked furniture and building materials. Also, remove wet carpet and padding, or at least pull it back to allow the floor to air out.
Take safety precautions
When removing drywall, wear respiratory protection as some older drywall joint compound contains asbestos. Additionally, remove non-affected electrical outlets before tearing out wall material. Switch off the circuit breakers first. If the outlets have been flooded, remove and discard them.
Remove damaged materials
Start by deciding how much drywall to cut out. If the water level was less than two-and-a-half feet, remove the wall material to a height of four feet. That helps when reinstalling full sheets of drywall. If the water level was greater than two-and-a-half feet, remove the wall material to a height of eight feet or the ceiling junction, whichever is higher.
If you don’t know the water level, inspect the drywall. Remove any cracked, crumbling or sagging drywall. But if it’s just damp and the water source was clean (e.g.,. a burst pipe in your home), you can likely dry it. Depending on the extent of the water damage, you may also need to remove damaged wall studs, flooring, cabinets, and ceilings. Next, it’s time to cut the damaged portions of the drywall.
Dry the water damaged walls
Once the damaged drywall is removed, start drying the area around and inside the wall. Use high-efficiency blowers and dehumidifiers and open the windows and doors. Use fans to increase air flow behind walls and leave them running for at least two days so the studs and flooring can completely dry.
How to replace water damaged drywall
Now it’s time to hang new drywall. First, measure the size of the hole to help you know how much to cut out from a new sheet of drywall. Put four drywall clips around the hole and secure each one with a drywall screw.
Then, insert the drywall pieces and secure them to drywall clips. Don’t over-tighten the drywall screws. Use drywall tape and joint compound to blend it in with the existing drywall. Finally, sand the area several times for a smooth wall surface.
Paint the restored drywall
This is the final step in restoring water damaged drywall. First, make sure that the joint compound is completely dry as it would contain a lot of moisture. Then, paint the wall with a primer to help seal the area. After that, paint the entire wall to ensure the color is uniform throughout.