Drywall is one of the most ubiquitous materials in common homes. Modern drywall products are always becoming more resilient, but no drywall is immune to all forms of damage. Drywall damage in residences usually follows one of a few basic patterns that homeowners can learn to identify. Here is a guide to three common types of drywall damage.
1. Holes and Punctures
Accidental bumps and dings in your walls are hard to ignore. Small punctures like doorknob dents are usually easy for homeowners to repair by applying joint compound and drywall patch tape. If you notice any raised spots after the repair, you can use a drywall sanding sponge to lightly smooth out the surface.
Large holes in drywall are more difficult to patch, and replacing the damaged section may be a better choice. In most cases, replacing the drywall is a better choice if the hole is larger than 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
2. Water Damage
Drywall is most often exposed to moisture when a plumbing leak occurs behind the walls. Drywall is porous enough for moisture to seep deep into the material. Water saturation breaks down drywall, causing it to weaken and sag. Water spots appear in soaked drywall because the infiltrating water carries minerals that cause stains.
Water damage in isolated areas can usually be resolved by cutting out the damaged section of drywall and replacing it. First, you will need to locate the source of moisture and correct the problem. In addition to plumbing leaks, drywall water damage can occur due to roof leaks, high humidity and condensation in your home, or foundation seepage.
Cracks usually develop in drywall when extreme stress is distributed across the material. One frequent source of stress that can cause drywall cracks is settling in the frame of your home. Factors like foundation shifting or temperature and moisture changes can cause your house's frame to shift and may lead to drywall cracks.
In some cases, drywall cracks may be the result of poor craftsmanship during installation. If the installer didn't use enough joint compound or failed to smooth the tape properly, sections of drywall may pull away from the wall. This can create a shearing force that leads to cracks in the wall. You can hire a drywall contractor to re-tape the affected wall if needed.
Drywall is meant to be easy to repair, especially for the most common types of damage that occur in homes. If you are faced with drywall damage that's too extensive for DIY repairs, get in touch with a local drywall repair contractor.