Before starting to repair your home after a water-related incident, it’s necessary to learn and understand how to prepare wall after water damage first. Fixing your walls without properly priming them will only end up with an unwanted result.
If you’re wondering about what you can do to bring back the good look of your walls, you can find the answers below.
What Does A Water Damaged Wall Looks Like
Luckily, taking notice of water damage behind walls is not hard. There are a few signs that serve as a specific indication that you can always watch out for. First, here are the things that you will see with a suspected water damaged wall.
1. Wet spots
Wet spots usually form scattered, especially if there are storms or leaking problems. If you notice dark areas in the walls and feel damp or cold when touched, that is a sign that the water is new. In some cases, it takes up to 24 hours before the mark shows up—giving the water to settle behind the wall.
If the spot feels more chalky and uneven in color, it is an old stain. However, there might still be damage left behind from the previous incident.
2. Bubbling and flaking paint
When drywalls get wet, they expand and return to their original size after drying—leaving the paint stretched. It can eventually lead to bubbling and flaking. While fixing this is relatively easy and can be done without the help of a professional, leaving it for a more extended period can cause more severe problems.
3. Sounds of running water
Some incidents are not always visible, but you can still notice them through hearing. Watch out for the sound of water behind walls. If you think that there might be something behind your drywalls, be sure to fix it right away.
4. Unpleasant smell
If there is a musty smell around your home, it might be coming from your walls. Wood and drywalls tend to rot when exposed to too much moisture and foster molds, termites, and fungi.
5. Mold or mildew
If there is a sudden appearance of small black or brown-black dots in your home, it is a sign of mold infestation. You can call an inspector to find its origin and what’s causing them to grow. It needs to be cleaned right away because it can be toxic and even cause diseases and allergic reactions.
How Long Does It Take For A Water Damage Wall To Dry?
The drying period of walls varies based on several factors: how long is the wall soaked with water, the environment, the equipment used to dry, and more. Homes in areas where the climate is moist and humid can take up to five days to fully dry without the help of any machines.
However, some can take either two days or weeks to completely dry. With the help of professionals who deal with water damage, the process is faster due to their tools. Drying naturally takes the most time.
Things To Do After Water Damage
Acting quickly with water damage is important because leaving the exposed area to moisture for a longer period can worsen things. Once you are sure of the problem, these are the things that you should do:
1. Look for structural and electrical damage
Electrical wires are often located behind drywall, so it is essential to check for potential electrical damage. They can start up a fire or a short circuit that will collapse the electrical connection of the whole house.
You should also look for more significant damage in your beams, partition, framing, joists, and more. If you leave any water damage behind, it can bring back the problem eventually.
2. Use safety gears
Rotting and mold-infested wood can be very toxic when ingested. You can use a mask, gloves, and other safety gear to ensure that you are aware
3. Call your insurance company
Some insurance companies have an inclusion of water damage incidents on their provisions. They will send an estimator and inspect the damage to know its value and how much can be covered by your insurance.
You can also provide a list of the damaged items in your home related to the incident. They can include them in your insurance coverage and minimize the amount you will spend fixing your walls. You can also call a trusted lawyer to help you with the process and ensure that you get everything you need.
Preparing The Wall After Water Damage
Before fixing your water-damaged walls, it’s crucial to find the source of the water and moisture first. Doing so removes the possibility of the same event from happening again in the future. For the following steps, these are the things that you can do to make sure the wall is ready for repair.
Step #1. Right after noticing the water damage, remove the baseboard and expose the wall behind it. You should also remove the rotting areas and severely affected wood structures. Cleaning up helps you check the site from contamination and faulty wiring.
Step #2. You can now start to dry the wall. You can use various methods depending on the damage’s severity and what works best for your situation.
You can use dehumidifiers, a fan, or air drying to do the process. Of course, it would still be better to use them all simultaneously, but one is enough if you have limited resources.
Keep in mind that the surface might appear dry at times, but the inside is still wet. Allot some more time to ensure that the area is completely dried out before working on it.
Step #3. Check for signs of molds. If you think there can be an infestation in your home, call a professional immediately to help you relieve the problem.
Once the wall is dry, cleaned, and free of toxic substances, you can now start with the repair. You can call a trusted company that specializes in fixing water damaged walls, or you can also choose to do the job yourself.
After finding out how to prepare a wall after water damage, you can now do whatever you want. Doing so will allow you to bring back the original beauty of your space. You don’t have to be worried about permanent damage because you can fix everything as long as you have the necessary tools and guide.