Repairing Damaged Drywall
Before you go spending money on drywall supplies to repair damages, you must identify the problem. Even though it’s relatively easy to repair, you should still do some research beforehand. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a lumpy mess. If you REALLY mess up, you could end up requiring a full replacement. Think of how much more money you’ll end up paying a drywall company to come in to fix your mistakes.
What do you need to know to get started? Here are some guidelines on drywall repair:
- Choose the right compound for the job. The two most common compounds are all-purpose and lightweight, both of which are easy to work with. A lightweight compound would be ideal for a few minor repairs here and there. Premixed all-purpose drywall compound is ideal for joints. It’s recommended for repairing and laminating cracks in interior masonry and plaster that are not subject to moisture.
- When dealing with screw and nail holes (Up to 2-inches), the hole will need to be depressed back into the wall. Do this gently with a hammer. Use a flexible putty knife to apply spackling paste over the area once the hole has been depressed. Smooth out the edges and allow the spot to dry. A second coat may or may not be required. If it is, extend it out from the initial patch approximately three inches to create a smooth look. Sand the patch with grit sandpaper and wipe off remaining dust with cloth.
- Always wear a mask when sanding drywall, as the dust it creates is a respiratory irritant. You’ll also want to spread a plastic drop-cloth nearby. Wipe off the drop-cloth with a damp sponge, and then vacuum the surrounding areas.
- For medium-sized holes (2 to 6-inches), patch the area up with a special drywall patching kit. These patches are self-adhesive and feature aluminum backing. If you don’t use the right type of patching, the area will not dry properly.
- Need to fix an overcut? If you find that the drywall hole is too big for the new electrical box, you’ll need to fill in the hole. You can do this by measuring a piece of mesh tape to fit over the large hole, and trimming it to the appropriate length. Use joint compound to fill in all of the holes in the mesh tape. Also, cover the entire area with the joint compound. A second coat may or may not need to be applied when the first is dried. Finish by sanding the area smooth.
- When dealing with soggy ceilings, you can try reattaching the drywall along the seam by pressing up and nailing to the joint. To prevent water stains from bleeding through the repair, apply a coat of shellac-based, stain-sealing primer. You can blend the repaired area to the surrounding texture by using a roller to apply a mixture of drywall compound and water. Before the compound dries, use a short-handled stomping brush to add texture.
If you’re not fully confident that you will be able to repair damage, don’t hesitate to ask a reliable drywall company for advice.