While the Phoenix, AZ area is known for its hot, dry deserts, water damage can occur anywhere, especially during flood seasons. Arizona’s monsoon season lasts between the summer months of June and September, making water damage and even mold most prevalent.
Regardless of the weather, manmade disasters can still cause water damage, like sewage backups, leaking pipes, appliance leaks and more. Once water damage starts, it can spread quickly without proper cleanup. If it has made contact with your walls and floors, the porous material will be quick to soak it up like a sponge, which is why it’s especially important to react immediately.
It is most highly recommended to work with a water damage restoration professional to dry out affected building materials like drywall, but if you feel confident to try it yourself, here are the steps.
Cut Out the Damaged Sections
Before getting started, it’s important to read all steps before proceeding with cutting out the damaged drywall sections so you know what you’re doing ahead of time. While the water damage likely has not affected proportionate areas of the drywall, it’s best to cut it out in a rectangle or square. Use a drywall or keyhole saw to cut out the area, looking for wires and plumbing every step of the way. Be sure to take your time.
Cutting out a square or rectangle around the water damage does increase the amount of material you’re removing; however, the mudding and taping process will be much easier when blending it with the remaining area. If you’re working on a ceiling, patches larger than 1 square foot can be held in place with drywall clips. For anything larger, use ceiling joists to fully secure the patch’s weight as well as the drywall above it to prevent it from falling.
Measure and Install Replacement Pieces
After removing and discarding the damaged drywall, measure the size of the replacement before cutting out a new sheet. Then place four drywall clips around the hole, securing each into place with a drywall screw. Make sure to countersink the screw but not overdrive the screw head.
After placing the drywall clips, cut out the drywall patch and attach it to the drywall clips (and ceiling joists if needed) using the drywall screws. Remember not to overtighten them.
When replacing larger sections, any openings for outlets will need to be measured and cut out before attaching the panel to the wall.
When planning for large repairs, know that drywall comes with a butt and bound edge. The bound edge (long edge) is thinner than the rest of the drywall sheet. If you reduce the thickness, it’s easier to hide long taped seams under multiple coats of joint compound.
The butt edges on the ends are as thick as the rest of the sheet. So to get an even, balanced look, it’s crucial to avoid joining butt edges to bound edges.
It’s also important to keep in mind that because drywall studs are vertical, drywall is usually attached with the longer sides running horizontal to the studs. This in turn helps to keep it secure while breaking up vertical seams in the drywall that are usually more noticeable at the end of the job.
Blend the Paint and Seams
After installing the replacement pieces, you’ll need to blend and paint the seams for a nice, finished look. First, tape over them with either paper or mesh tape. Although it’s more convenient to use mesh tape since it’s self-adhesive, professional drywall installers prefer paper tape.
After prepping the seam, apply the first coat of joint compound or “mud”. The key is to cover the joint and use the mud to repair the rest of the wall. Spread the mixture out evenly, about 4 – 6 inches from the edge of the repair, allowing it to dry for 1 – 2 days and then sand off any ridges. Don’t forget to wear a dusk mask.
Remove any remaining dust from the first coat with a vacuum and apply the second coat. Repeat the process of allowing it to dry and sanding it. Remember the process can take a few days, so it’s important to stay patient.
Also keep in mind that dried compound will also absorb a lot of moisture, so the repair will need to be painted with a primer first before painting. And voila! The job is finished.
Professional Water Damage Restoration
While small amounts of drywall can be cut out and replaced with a new sheet, larger areas will require more extensive repairs. For whole rooms, basements or even other materials affected by water damage, it’s crucial to call a water damage restoration company. At the rate the damage spreads, it will be costlier in the end to fix it yourself with the amount of it time it takes, and there is always a risk for mold growth.
If you need emergency water damage restoration in the Phoenix, AZ area, a professional like ServiceMaster All Care Restoration is available 24/7 to help. Our technicians are trained, experienced and use advanced techniques and equipment to restore water-damaged areas.
We can also handle mold growth if it has already started using professional products and equipment to identify and remove all areas of mold. Following the job, we will work with your insurance agency during the claims process for additional peace of mind.
Don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMaster All Care Restoration at (623) 486-0700 for complete water damage restoration services in the Phoenix, AZ area.