How to Tell if a Drywall is Water Damaged
If you’re like me, you’ve spent hours and hours trying to figure out how to tell if a drywall is water damaged. I mean it’s not as easy as just looking at the walls right? You can’t always see the damage, which means sometimes people will install new drywall over old water damaged boards thinking they are good as new! But even worse than that is when people don’t know they have water damage until there’s already mold or mildew growing behind their wallboard. Gross! In this article, we’ll walk you step-by-step through how to tell if a drywall is water damaged. And I promise that it will be easy!
What is Water Damage?
Before we get started, let’s talk about water damage in general. When a drywall absorbs too much moisture from the air or from a standing source of water, it experiences water damage. As the boards swell with moisture, they are weakened to where they can no longer support themselves. The most common signs of water damage are bulging walls, popping nails and paint bubbles. But don’t worry if you see any of these signs because we will show you how to tell if a drywall is water damaged below!
Here are the most common signs of water damage to look for:
• Bubbles in the paint – This is a very easy and popular way to tell if a drywall has experienced water damage. It happens a lot with popcorn ceilings because they absorb a lot of moisture from shower steam.
• Sagging walls – If your walls don’t seem to be holding themselves up anymore, this could be a sign of water damage.
• Weak drywall nails – If your drywall nails are popping out of the wall every time you push on them, consider adding more screws around the perimeter. This is another common result from too much moisture in your walls!
• Undersized holes in your wallboard – This usually happens when people attempt to repair drywall that is already damaged. They try patching the hole with new drywall, but it shrinks around the edges creating an ugly gap.
• Mold or mildew in your walls – Yuck! If you’ve discovered mold or mildew growing in your walls this likely means your walls are dry enough to paint, but there’s still some water damage remaining.
• Warped boards – If your boards are buckling or curling up at the edges, you definitely have water damage!
How To Tell If Drywall Is Water Damaged
Luckily for us, it is actually pretty easy to tell if a drywall has experienced water damage. If the drywall is bulging, popping nails or covered in bubbles, it’s likely there was some water damage at one point. But if you want to be 100% sure that your walls are ready for paint, just run these quick tests on them!
Test #1 – Touch Test
This is my personal favorite because it’s so easy! Simply grab a loose piece of drywall and firmly touch both its top and bottom edges. If the board flexes, doesn’t return to shape immediately or feels moist, all of these are signs of water damage.
Test #2 – Peel Test
Grab a corner of a board and pull upward with a slow steady force. If you notice any flakes coming off, or if the board doesn’t feel sturdy, this indicates a potential water damage problem.
Test #3 – Ring Test
The ring test is more of a professional method of discovering water damage because it requires a screwdriver and hammer. 🙂 First use your hammer to poke some small holes in the drywall. Next grab a screwdriver and try to pry a few boards out of the wall. If any board doesn’t immediately pop back into its original position, it’s likely there was water damage!
Test #4 – Flashlight Test
This is another common test that professional drywall finishers use to determine if their walls are ready for paint. Simply hold a flashlight behind a wallboard and look for any shadows on the other side. If you see any, there is likely some water damage left in your drywall that could interfere with paint adhesion later on down the road!
So… What Now?
If you have been able to determine from one of these tests that there is water damage in your drywall, you need to decide what to do with it. It may be tempting to simply paint over the bulging walls, but this is only going to cause more problems down the road! If there’s any chance that your walls are holding some moisture, leave them alone until they have had time to fully dry out.
Waterproofing Drywall: How Does It Work?
In order to properly treat water damaged drywall you have to first figure out what kind of damage it has. Drywall can be repaired from minor water damage, but a complete wetting will require a different approach. If your drywall was wet long enough that there is surface mold or mildew growing on the wall, then chances are the wood has been damaged as well. In this case you will need a different form of treatment before the walls can be painted.
In order to determine if the wood has been damaged from water, simply take a screwdriver and pry a few pieces out of the wall. If any pieces come out without much effort then there is likely significant wood damage that needs to be addressed. To treat any remaining moisture in the wood, simply use a spray bottle with bleach and water solution and saturate the drywall from behind.
After a few days of sitting saturated like this you should notice that the mold or mildew has stopped growing on your walls. If not, then give it another day or two until the solution has had time to work. This isn’t needed for minor water damage, as the bleach should dry out within a day or two.
This being said, if your walls have been wet long enough to cause significant wood damage, then you should really consult a professional before attempting to paint over the affected areas. Before painting, your walls will need to be cleaned and dried out thoroughly by professionals with dehumidifiers. If not, the paint is likely going to peel off within a few months time!
Water Damage Restoration Services
If you have water-damaged drywall or stains, contact A1 Water Damage Restorations. We have years of expertise in the sector, and our goal is to offer you with the greatest service feasible. As a result, we wish to provide a secure environment for your house after the damages have been repaired so that it can be restored back to its original condition without any concerns about safety hazards that may have existed before restoration work was completed.
A1 Water Damage Restorations is 24/ 7 service. Call us today for free estimate or to schedule your same day service cleaning.
Address: 2173 S Wabash St, Denver, CO 80231, United States