When Should I Replace Drywall After Water Damage?

Drywall. Wallboard. Plasterboard. Gypsum board.

Sheetrock.

Call it what you want – drywall will always be an important building material in modern-day homes.

It’s typically used to create flat facades between rooms.

Water and Drywall – Understanding the Relationship

As the name suggests, drywall is meant to stay dry.

The interior components of drywall structures have little to no water resistance.

Gypsum, one of the main building blocks of drywall, is highly porous. It can absorb large amounts of water and can hold it for long periods.

Overexposure to water can disintegrate even the sturdiest of drywall structures.

That’s why drywalls suffer the most when there’s water damage inside homes – be AC leaks or plumbing ruptures – drywalls suffer the most.

Keep your drywall exposed to water for too long; it’ll become soft, weak, and a breeding ground for pests.

Thankfully, drywall isn’t a load-bearing structure.

It’s easily replaceable.

You can easily remove your old drywall structures and install new ones without threatening your home’s integrity.

But, no homeowner likes these tasks’ costs, efforts, and troubles.

That’s why knowing exactly when drywall structures need replacing is very important.

More importantly, homeowners must know when these structures can be salvaged.

Let’s understand how water damages drywall and when you should retain or replace it –

Dampening Due to Atmospheric Moisture

All buildings experience this form of water damage, and it doesn’t harm them too much.

However, years of moisture damage can cause the drywall to become discolored.

Bubbling, peeling, or flaking paint & water stains on the drywall are also symptoms of excessive moisture damage.

  • Replace or Retain: You can remedy this type of water damage by painting your drywall with moisture-resistant paint. Just look out for mold or mildew growth which is familiar with this type of moisture damage. If some regions of your drywall begin to warp or sag, cut them off and install new sheets of moisture-resistant drywall. Total replacement isn’t necessary.

Heavy Dampening Due to Rain, Flood Damage, or Leaks 

If your drywall is exposed to rain or floodwater for extended periods, it’ll become irreparably damaged.

When such rain or flood-damaged drywall dries, it doesn’t return to its original shape.

It becomes discolored, warped, and very weak.

Firm pressure can cause such drywall to crumble and become compressed chalky powder.

  • Replace or Retain: Replace. Such heavily dampened drywall isn’t just harmful to look at and an accident hazard. Unless the homeowner prevents excessive damage by using professional drying techniques, this type of drywall is doomed for failure.

Deformation Due to Flooding or Rainfall

If your drywall absorbs too much water during storms or heavy rainfall, it will become 100% unsalvageable.

The over-saturated drywall will sag & bulge outward.

Such a structure will pose countless safety hazards along with glaring aesthetic issues.

  • Replace or Retain: Drywall sagging/bulging will never retain its original shape or structural integrity. Cutting it out & replacing it is the only solution.

Homeowners who don’t want to constantly replace their drywall structures must invest in water damage prevention tactics.

Savvy homeowners get regular Texas City water damage remediation services to protect their moisture-damaged drywalls from destruction.

Water damage remediation experts help homeowners prevent their drywalls from getting warped, rotten, discolored, and weakened.

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