When drywall becomes wet, the gypsum plaster swells and softens. If the water is not removed quickly, the drywall can become permanently damaged and begin to crumble.
If you notice that your drywall is starting to crumble, take action quickly to prevent further damage. You will learn common causes of drywall damage and some tips on how to fix it.
What Causes Drywall to Damage and Crumble?
Before you try to fix or repair drywall, it is important to find the main cause of damage. Drywall is usually at risk of damage that can be caused by any number of things such as:
Water Damage And Moisture Problems
Water damage is one of the most common causes of drywall damage. When water gets behind it, it can accelerate the deterioration process and cause the drywall to crumble.
Water damage mostly occurs due to:
- Leaky Roofs: A leaking roof is one of the most prevalent causes of water damage, and it can wreak havoc on your drywall in a relatively short period.
- Plumbing Leaks: Another common source of water damage is plumbing leaks. A plumbing leak can occur for several reasons, such as a faulty pipe or a cracked sink.
- Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew can also cause damage to your drywall. If mold and mildew are not removed quickly, they can cause the gypsum plaster to swell and soften.
- Clogged Gutters: If the gutters are not able to drain properly, the water will eventually find its way into your home and damage your walls and ceilings.
- Improperly Sealed Windows And Doors: If the windows and doors are not properly sealed, it can lead to water infiltration or moisture and hence lead to subsequent damage to your drywall.
- Flooding: Flooding can also cause extensive damage to your drywall. If your home is subjected to a flood, The water will eventually seep into the walls and ceilings and can cause moisture in your drywall.
Fire damage can be caused by several things, such as faulty wiring, an electrical short, a lit match, or a careless smoker. Additionally. if there is wiring behind your drywall and is not working properly, it can overheat and cause the drywall to catch on fire.
The external paper of the drywall is sometimes flammable and can easily catch fire. If your home is subjected to a fire, the drywall can easily begin to crumble.
Insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles can cause extensive damage to your drywall. Termites are particularly destructive, as they can eat away at the wood framing and drywall behind it.
Carpenter ants are also dangerous. The like to nest in drywall, and their chewing can cause the it to become weak and crumble.
Gypsum Core Damage
If the gypsum core of the drywall is damaged, it will begin to crumble. This is the part of the drywall that swells and becomes soft when it gets wet. If it is cracked or broken, water will be able to seep in and cause further damage.
How To Fix Crumbling Drywall?
You can usually fix small damages in your drywall yourself as long you have the tools, the right know-how and time to get it sorted. However, if the damage is too big, you might need to replace a part of the drywall or all of it. Below are step by step instructions:
1. Remove The Damaged Drywall
If the damage is small, you can usually just remove the damaged section of drywall. However, if the damage is extensive, you might have to remove the entire panel.
To remove it, you will need
Start by cutting the damaged section of drywall out of the wall. Be sure to cut along the studs so that you can reuse them later. Once the damaged section is removed, use a straight edge and utility knife to cut away any of the taped seams. After use a drywall saw to cut through the gypsum plaster and the metal lath.
When you have finished removing the damaged section, be sure to dispose of it properly. Drywall can be recycled, but it should not be put in your regular trash.
2. Cut A New Piece Of Drywall
Once you have removed the damaged drywall, you will need to cut a new piece of drywall to fit in its place. Be sure to measure the opening carefully and cut the drywall accordingly.
If you are cutting the drywall yourself, be sure to wear a dust mask and eye protection. Drywall dust can be very harmful if inhaled, so it is important to take precautions when cutting it.
3. Install The New Piece Of Drywall
Once you have cut the new piece of drywall to size, it is time to install it in the wall. This can be a bit tricky, so be sure to follow the steps carefully.
- Start by placing the new piece of drywall in the opening. Be sure to line it up with the studs. Mark the studs on the drywall so that you know where to screw it in.
- Once you have the drywall in place, use a screw gun to fasten it to the studs. Screw-in screws every 8-12 inches along the edge of the drywall. Make sure that you are driving screws into the studs and not just into the plaster.
- Then, use a tape measure and a level to make sure that the drywall is level. If it is not, make any necessary adjustments.
In the final step, we will use joint compound to fill in any seams or cracks.
Step 4 – Tape And Mud The Seams Of The New Drywall
Once the new drywall is in place, you will need to tape and mud the seams.
- Use a taping knife to apply a layer of joint compound to the seam.
- After use a drywall knife to smooth out the joint compound.
- Once the seam is smooth, apply a second layer of joint compound and let it dry.
PRO TIP: Use a dehumidifier in your room while replacing the drywall panel. It will help reduce the existing moisture and prevent future damage.
Step 5 – Paint The Area
Once the area is repaired and mudded, you can paint it. Be sure to use a primer so the pain will adhere better.
The primer will also help to seal the surface and with help of paint protect the surface from moisture.
How To fix Small Holes Or Damage In Drywall
If you’re dealing with just a few small cracks or holes in your drywall, simply repair them. There are two easy methods to repair minor damages to your drywall, including:
Use Patching Compound
- Clean the Area – The first step is to clean the area around the hole or damage. This will help to ensure that the patching compound will adhere to the surface of the drywall.
- Apply The Patching Compound – Next, use a putty knife to apply a layer of patching compound over the hole or damage.
- Let The Patching Compound Dry – Once the patching compound is applied, let it dry for about 24 hours.
- Sand And Paint The Area – After the patching compound has dried, you can sand it and paint it.
Drywall repair patch
Drywall repair patch kits are available at most hardware stores and can be used to repair small holes or damage in your drywall. Steps are as follows:
- Clean The Area – The first step is to clean the area around the hole or damage. This will help to ensure that the patch will adhere to the surface of the drywall.
- Apply The Patch – Next, use a putty knife to apply the patch over the hole or damage.
- Let The Patch Dry – Once the patch is applied, let it dry for about 24 hours.
- Sand And Paint The Area – After the patch has dried, you can sand it and paint it.”
Fix With Hot Glue
There is a neat trick fixing small holes in drywal with help of hot glue and popsicle.
- Prepare the damaged part or hole and clean it properly.
- Cut and glue a popsicle stick behind the hole. It will give a sturdy backdrop to hold the new replacement patch.
- The next step is to cut and glue drywall patch over the hole on to the popsicle.
- Use a pair of scissors to hold the patch in place while the glue dries.
- Once the glue has dried, you can remove the scissors.
- After the patch has dried, you can paint it.
Can I fix the drywall myself?
Yes, it is possible to fix drywall yourself especially if there is small damage and does not require pro skills. However, in case of larger damage where you need to replace the whole panel, it can be a difficult task.
How do I remove moisture from my drywall?
To remove moisture from your drywall you can use a dehumidifier. It will help to reduce the existing moisture and prevent future damage to your drywall.
Is it necessary to prime and paint my drywall after repairing it?
Yes, you should always prime and paint your drywall after repairing it. The primer will help to seal the surface of the drywall and the paint will help to protect it from damage.
What safety measures should I take before repairing drywall?
Gypsum powder contains particles that are harmful to your lungs. A dust mask and safety goggles are highly recommended. They will help to protect you from the dust and debris that is created during the repair process.
What is the best way to remove insects from damaged drywall?
The best way to remove insects from damaged drywall is to use a vacuum cleaner. This will help to remove the insects and the eggs that they have deposited in the wall. Additionally, you can also use a pesticide to kill the insects.
What supplies and material do I need to repair my drywall?
You can use a putty knife, sandpaper, patching compound, a screwdriver, and a drill. Additionally, you can use a hot glue gun, drywall repair patch, paint, and primer to fix small holes and damages.