Drywall is something that nearly every home has, and for good reason. It insulates well, looks aesthetically pleasing, and is inexpensive. It’s pretty much a combination of everything you’d want in a wall, but there is also one downside that you may have experienced – it’s not very durable. Drywall can be delicate depending on the situation, it’s pretty much thick paper and can rip, break, tear and puncture, not to mention that it doesn’t hold up to water very well.
Regardless of its limited drawbacks, drywall can look extremely pleasing when it is finished properly and it can be dressed and adorned in multiple ways. Given that drywall is hung throughout the house, how can you tell when it may need to be replaced? Here are three signs that your drywall has probably reached its end of life and needs to be replaced. When you’re ready to get your drywall replaced, it’s best to contact your local drywall contractor for an estimate.
Discoloration – this is usually your first sign that water has penetrated your drywall. Often times you’ll see an orange discoloration and the shape could come in different shapes and sizes. Ceilings are most at risk because water will leak from pipes and just sit directly on top of the drywall. As the water sits, it eventually penetrates the drywall and creates a stain mark. Drywall does not hold up well to water and if penetration occurs often enough, the drywall will need to be replaced as the structural integrity will eventually become compromised.
Needless to say, once you’ve found that a problem exists, you’ll need to find the source of the leak and address it. Simply replacing the affected drywall will not fix the issue and the leak will continue to persist and you’ll find yourself replacing the same drywall once again. Only replace the drywall once the leak has been addressed with a plumber.
Bulge – this is an obvious sign that the drywall will need replacing. When drywall comes into contact with water that has penetrated the skin, the material within the drywall tends to soak up the water like a sponge and it will expand, or bloat. As the drywall soaks up more water, you’ll ses that it reacts by getting fatter and fatter. When this happens the structural integrity of the drywall becomes very compromised and becomes useless. Not only that, but it is very unsightly and likely has some discoloration to it as well.
If you’re experiencing water damage to your drywall then the best thing to do would be contact your experienced drywall contractor so they can have it replaced once you’ve found the cause of the water issue. The contractor will not only remove the existing drywall but will also hang new drywall, he’ll apply mud and tape, and will also prime and paint the walls if necessary. You’ll often see bulging in basements, for example, when water has entered the basement and the water doesn’t get drained. Eventually the drywall along the perimeter of the basement will bulge and will continue to creep up higher and higher until the problem is resolved.
Mold – though it’s usually not the kind that can cause severe health related issues, it’s still not something you want to avoid addressing. Mold can cause respiratory issues and can lead to more serious health concerns is not properly taken care of. You’ll typically see signs of mold in damper, more humid areas of the house, like a basement. Spores can colonize within as little as one day and grows at roughly one square inch per day and can spread across an entire wall in as little as a week.
The spread of mold is caused by excessive moisture in the house and does not have to be due to a water leak. If the excessive moisture is not addressed then replacing the drywall will only be a matter of time before the problem resurfaces once again. To prevent mold, you should improve the circulation of air by opening up windows or turning on a fan and using a dehumidifier to pump out excessive moisture found in the air. Humidity levels in your home fluctuate depending on the season – winter has less moisture in the air and summer has much more.
If drywall is taken well care of then it can last for a very long time, however, it is not extremely durable and water can really take its toll on the structural integrity of the drywall panels. When water comes into contact with the walls, the walls will always lose, so you need to make sure you address the underlying issue prior to replacing/repair the walls. Keep these three things in mind and if you ever see this type of damage to your walls then call up your local contractor right away to have it addressed right away..