Water. It’s an essential resource of life on earth. Without it, we couldn’t survive.
But it can also be a real disaster when it permeates drywall, wood, and other components in your home, leaving them weakened and substantially damaged. The elements can be relentless, heavy rain, wind, hail damage, all of these can lead to some serious problems.
Moisture is one of the most destructive impacts on any home and if it seeps into the interior walls or ceilings of the home, it can severely impact the look and structural integrity of both. A roof leak can be one of the most devastating sources of water damage and, if left unchecked, the water damage could result in collapse of these components of your home’s makeup.
You may think you need to search for roofers Marietta to repair the damage for you, but this is not the case in every instance. Some forms of water damage can be repaired by the homeowner in a relatively short period of time.
Not all damage is the same, so it’s up to you to assess the damage fully and then decide if you want to make this a DIY project or call in someone with a little more know-how. Either way, the problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid compromising the integrity of your home and preventing a toxic situation from developing in the form of mold.
Find the Leak
The first thing to do is stop the water from continuing to get in. This can be a real challenge, because roof leaks can be deceptive. The water may be visible in one part of the home, but the physical breach is elsewhere. Since water flows freely, it can be difficult to identify where it’s getting in.
So the hunt is on, remain diligent and patient as you trace the leak back to the area of the roof that has been breached. You may need to start pulling back wet, damaged drywall to find the leak and you can test the areas of drywall that might be affected by checking to see if they are soft or crumbling at the touch.
If you encounter this kind of damage, the drywall is has been to badly saturated and it will need to be torn out. Some areas may not have physical damage but visible signs of impact in the form of discoloration.
A word of warning, if the leak has been left undiagnosed for an extended period of time, there may be some signs of mold. Not all mold is the same either and if you come across highly toxic forms of it such as black mold, then you may want to stop here and contact a mold removal specialist. Don’t attempt to remove it yourself or even get near it.
But if it’s a less dangerous form of mold then be sure to wear gloves, a mask, and goggles and take out the damaged drywall.
Tear Out the Drywall
Any drywall that is showing signs of sagging or feels soft to the touch has to go. It’s too badly compromised to be effective and leaving it in the home will do nothing more than promote the growth of mold and mildew and impact the structural integrity of the walls or ceiling.
Those panels that have been visibly affected with signs of discoloring and stains may be salvageable if they aren’t slumping or wilted. In these cases, make a thorough examination of the panel and see if the damaged area feels any different than the rest of the panel. If it still feels sturdy and strong but it’s just the discolored area that has sustained damage, then you can cut the affected area from the panel and replace it. You do not need to remove the panel entirely.
Repairing the Damage
For patching damaged areas of drywall, start by measuring the area that you cut out of the panel. These measurements will be necessary for cutting a replacement filler to fit in the hole you just made. When you are cutting your replacement piece, be sure to make it slightly wider and longer by about two inches.
Put the replacement on a flat surface with the back of it facing towards you. Measure in by one inch on each side and mark it. The resulting measurements should be in the shape of the hole you’re placing this new drywall into on your panel.
Cut carefully through the backside paper and gypsum but don’t cut the front layer of paper on the drywall. If the replacement piece you’ve trimmed doesn’t quite fit correctly, trim away the excess areas of the patch so that it fits snugly into the hole.
Larger holes will need more delicate work to be completed as a larger patch may be more difficult to secure in place. Slide the replacement drywall into the hole and keep it fully supported so that it doesn’t move while you’re applying some cement adhesive along the edges of the patch. Turn the patch slightly so that the adhesive securely takes hold.
Priming and Painting
Once you’re done, apply a primer to seal the freshly repaired drywall. After that dries, it’s time to repaint the wall or ceiling. Be sure to cover the area in long, even strokes. Overlapping is key so you don’t miss any spots.
If you wish, you can add a second coat for a lush, richer appearance.