Fixing wall water damage is never fun. It can be expensive if you do not fix the problem soon enough. Whether you have a home in an area that floods a lot, or you struggle with a leaky roof, pipe, or other structural issues, water damage occurs when water gets into your home through any cracks in the foundation.
It can also seep through broken pipes and cause significant problems that will result in hefty repair bills to protect your home.
Even though you cannot prevent a natural disaster like a flood or heavy rain, here is how you can detect signs of wall water damage and take care of the problem to avoid a permanent disaster.
How to Identify Wall Water Damage?
Water damage is a significant problem. This can become the most expensive repair cost unless you tackle the issue before it gets worse. You should call a professional if you notice any foundation damages where your walls or ceilings are stained.
This is because drywall can hold a lot of moisture until it becomes crumbly and soft. Then it will become swollen with a bulge if there is water collected in your walls. You may also hear sounds of dripping or water moving in the walls.
Another sign of discovering wall water damage is if the humidity level in your home is being affected. If the heat in your home cannot be maintained well, you should check for wall water damage.
One of the most obvious signs is if you smell or see any mold or mildew. To handle water damage mold, you should consult a handyman because this can be dangerous to breathe in.
Otherwise, touch your walls to see if there are any cold and damp spots. This is helpful if you do not see discoloration stains because there may still be water within your walls that has not seeped through yet.
How to Fix Wall Water Damage?
Fixing the wall water damage in your home may seem daunting, but it is possible. It is necessary to know how to take care of the problem quickly if you have an emergency and need to buy some time before calling a professional service.
If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast with the right resources and time, you can approach fixing the damage on your own. It will depend on whether your walls have water from a recent single flood, or if this happens all the time because of leaks through cracks in your foundation.
Tending to the problem should be your top priority because water damage can bleed through your paint. Then your bedroom or living room walls will look discolored and unattractive.
You will see a giant stain on the walls, and this would ruin the relaxing ambiance you want for your home. Besides the walls looking terrible, they can also weaken if you do not save them from water damage.
There can be a lot of mold and mildew growing inside your walls. All these problems will become too expensive to fix if you do not rush to them soon enough.
If you have already called a professional service to help, it is best to temporarily paint over the water damage until they take care of it. Otherwise, you can repair the drywall and call a plumber to take care of the leak.
Remove Damaged Plaster
The first step is to begin repairing the walls that have suffered from water damage. This will require locating and stopping the leak, so you should become good at identifying the source of water.
Otherwise, you will struggle with the same problem and need to do the entire process all over again. Ensure that your plaster has had some time to dry out after you stop the leak. Then you need to remove all the damaged parts of your walls.
This will include all the peeling and bubbling paint or crumbling coats of plaster. With a putty knife, you can lift off all the flaking bits of paint. This can also be done if you have a lot of bubbling plaster.
It is best to apply a bit of pressure with the blade to loosen the material and dig out all the soft and broken parts.
Then you should go around the edges of the water-damaged wall areas. Keep digging with your knife till you reach plaster that has not been damaged. This should feel hard, so you will know when you reach the spot.
Then you need to test the paint coat surrounding the immediate area to check whether it will peel off easily or not. Starting from the center of the damage, work your way out with the putty knife and keep scraping and hacking off all the loose paint.
Sealing the Wall Water Damage
The next step is to seal the water damage. This is where you need to go over the surface using a stiff nylon brush. This should help remove all loose particles.
Then you should rinse the surrounding surfaces with a bucket of clean water and a sponge. You need to continue doing this until you are done removing all the residual deposits. Let the wall dry for a little while before proceeding to the next step.
When your surface is all clean and dry, you should cover the area with a primer. Priming is necessary because it blocks potential residual contamination that may stay on the surface and bond with your patching compound.
This will also help prevent any stains from bleeding through your walls when you apply the finishing paint. Otherwise, you may end up having a ton of bubbles in the new coat of paint.
Shake the can of primer vigorously to ensure that it is adequately mixed. Then you must coat all your affected surfaces and overlap this onto the wall paint around the areas you are working on.
You will need to use numerous thin coats of joint compound to fill in the missing plaster. This is required to level out the wall and repair the wall water damage. Start by mixing a little bit of compound and apply the first coat with the help of your knife.
This process should feel as though you are buttering toast with a lot of mud. Then you need to go back and skim off any excess. Use parallel strokes from one side of your repair to another to do this effectively.
Then you must float your blade across the damage to fill it in and skim roughly on the surrounding walls to leave a thin coat there.
While working, do not let the mud build up higher over the area that needs to be repaired. You should also avoid leaving behind thick mud near the perimeter. Otherwise, you may end up doing some unnecessary sanding.
If the repair area is too large, you can use a thin and longer board to go over the entire area at once. Rest this board on the surrounding surface and drag it across the wet mud a few times to smoothen it out.
If you see or feel any ridges in the mud, you can ignore this for the time being. After it sets, you can scrape all these off before you need to apply another coat of mud.
When the joint compound has set and hardened, then you should use your knife in an upward stroke to shave off all ridges and roughness on your surface. It would help to use sandpaper to get rid of any bumps for the smoothest surface.
Applying Second Coat
With the same process as before, you need to apply a second thick coat of mud. This is where you should focus more on filling the deepest parts of the damage. The rest of the areas or edges can have a lighter coat.
Start by skimming off any excess mud using parallel strokes with your knife. However, this time you need to move in a perpendicular direction to your first layer of coat.
For instance, if you used horizontal strokes for the last process, you need to use vertical strokes this time. If there are ridges left by your knife’s blade, you can ignore these.
Try to keep the mud as thin as you can on the surrounding wall surface. Then you will not need to sand those areas too much.
The final step is to sand the repair areas. Always smoothen the outer edges of the patch into the surrounding wall’s surface. Then you should wipe off all the dust from sanding with a damp cloth and use the same primer sealer as before.
This can be a tricky process for a homeowner, so you should always consult with a professional service to avoid damaging your walls any further. To save time and money, check out these water damage restoration services.
Protect Your Walls
It is crucial to prevent wall water damage to protect the structure and appearance of your home. If you do not take care of this problem quickly, the leak can seep through your wall’s paint.
If this happens, you will notice an ugly brown stain that will make you never want to invite anybody over for a movie night. It is always best to hire a professional service than risk causing even more damage.
Then you can relax and let your handyman repair your walls. If you enjoyed reading this guide, check out some of our other posts for more information.