dealing with drywall damage

How to Deal With Drywall Damage When Preparing To Paint

If your walls are ready for a facelift of fresh paint, it’s likely they also have a bit of drywall damage. Depending on the size of the damage, you might be tempted to ignore it, paint over it, or perhaps hang a painting in just the right spot. It’s important to understand that, in addition to being unseemly, even the smallest indications of drywall damage can be indicative of a bigger issue. And if you’re preparing to paint or hire Austin painters, it’s time to deal with drywall damage.

Over time, tiny cracks will grow much bigger in size and could eventually affect the integrity of your walls. Holes in the drywall can be a big problem too. They expose the inner plumbing and electrical systems. Depending on the location and the size of the hole, it could present a serious risk to the health and safety of you and your family. What should you do?

The first step is educating yourself on the five most common types of drywall damage.

1. Water Damage from Plumbing Leaks

If you notice stains in the drywall, it could be a sign of water damage. Water damage is dangerous because it can lead to the growth of toxic mold, making it a real health concern. You might also notice bubbling in the wall as water collects between the surface of the drywall and the paint.

2. Nails Sticking Out

This occurs when the drywall is no longer properly fastened in place. As the drywall shifts, nails in the wall may start to pop through, becoming clearly visible.

3. Cracks in the Wall or Ceiling

Cracks could be indicative of serious problems to the integrity of your home. If you continue to find cracks located on the ceiling of your home, it could be due to the condition of your roof. If left untreated, cracks will eventually increase in size, causing more damage and becoming more difficult to repair.

4. Holes

Even a small hole should not be ignored. Maybe the hole was a result of a furniture moving mishap or minor accident. Even so, small cracks and holes can get larger over time and become much bigger issues. Additionally, small holes that seem to appear over time could be a sign of termites.

5. Surface Damage

Maybe you’ve been tempted to use peel-and-stick tiles in your bathroom or attach a temperature seal to help control the temperature in certain areas of your home. When opting to remove these types of enhancements, you might find that they leave behind an unsightly mess on your drywall. While more of a cosmetic issue, walls with surface damage still pose a concern, especially if you’re working on increasing the resale value of your home.

When to Call in a Professional

Even if you’ve never patched drywall before, it’s possible to make some of the repairs on your own. There are also situations where attempting a DIY repair job could end up costing you a lot more than trusting a skilled professional to accomplish the task.

Assess the Damage

Before doing anything else, you should assess the damage. At this stage, it’s important to consider both the type of damage and the size. Is it a small nail hole or dent, or is it a hole the size of a baseball? Larger holes are more difficult to repair. Water damage and serious structural damage, such as cracks in stress points on your ceiling or nails popping out of place, generally come with additional concerns and may require a professional to ensure your safety.

Address the Issue

Most small scratches and dents caused by regular wear and tear can be handled with relative ease. It is common to find a few scrapes in your walls resulting from furniture bumps or doorknobs hitting with a little too much force. Nail holes left behind from hanging pictures are another issue that can be handled by most homeowners. These problems are small enough that they can be fixed without expensive kits or patches.

In both scenarios, the indentations or openings in the walls can be addressed with a little fast-drying spackle if the holes are no bigger than half an inch. For slightly bigger holes, a patch kit may be necessary. Patch kits include a mesh patch that is placed over the hole, providing an ideal surface to apply larger amounts of spackle. Both methods of repair are fairly straightforward and accessible to most homeowners. Unfortunately, spackle alone will not fix every type of issue.

With larger holes, it is necessary to incorporate new segments of drywall into the hole. Depending on the size and severity, these drywall segments can be attached by applying joint compound to parts of the new segment or using screws to affix the segment to strips of wood inside the wall.

Many homeowners can fix simple cracks, assuming the problem isn’t too serious. Cracks are thin and typically located at natural stress points, such as door frames, so they can be patched and repainted safely. Cracks usually appear due to the way a house settles over the years. However, it may be a good idea to keep the area under observation to ensure the cracks do not reappear and worsen sometime in the future. A professional should examine larger cracks to ensure that they aren’t caused by a serious structural problem.

Determine Your Comfort Level

Homeowners have different abilities, so it is important to remember to only take on what you’re comfortable with. Many of the above methods may seem relatively straightforward, but they could turn into bigger problems if done improperly. Be honest about your comfort level when deciding to attempt the repairs on your own. Making a mistake at this stage could worsen the problem and you may need to call a professional anyway. Avoid turning damage into something worse that evolves into a costly, dangerous situation.

Drywall experts have years of experience assessing damage, figuring out the source of the problem, and finding the most appropriate solution that takes into account your budget and safety. If you’re ready to improve your home’s interior and hire a professional interior painter, contact the pros at PaintPro.