Does Drywall Need To Be Replaced After Flood Damage?
Research shows that more than half of the buildings in the US are situated in areas prone to natural hazards. Climate scientists say that climate change is steadily increasing the risk of damage from natural hazards. Data shows that floods are the leading cause of property damage in the US. Floods cause a lot of structural damage to buildings. The severity of flood damage increases when water enters the building and stays there for more time. Floods cause structural damage to buildings in different ways including compromising the building materials which are exposed to moisture.
Flooding can result in water damage that causes several problems. This is why water damage restoration is to be done as soon as possible. The longer buildings are exposed to flood water, the more severe the water damage. Exposure to moisture causes damage to building materials like drywall. In this article, Proven Restoration, LLC deals with the subject of if and when drywall needs replacement after flood damage. Proven Restoration, LLC is a water damage restoration company based in Katy, Texas that also offers services like mold remediation, water damage repair, duct cleaning, and disinfection services.
What is Drywall?
Drywall is a building material made of gypsum used to construct walls and ceilings. It is also used to design architectural features like eaves and arches. It is used to cover columns and steel beams in commercial buildings. When drywall is used in ceilings and walls it makes them more resistant to fire. Drywall replaced plaster that was used to construct walls and ceilings as it reduced construction time, is more cost-effective, needs less labor, and is easier to repair.
While it is a durable material, drywall is very susceptible to water damage. Damp drywall can lead to mold and other hazards. But whether drywall needs to be replaced depends on the extent of water damage.
Signs Of Wet Drywall
- Water spots or stains, usually of a brownish tinge
- Discolored walls, or black, brown, or green spots on walls
- Peeling or bubbling of paint or wallpaper
- Bubbles on wall
- Sagging or crumbling walls
Checking for Moisture in Drywall
After any flooding in a building, the drywall can be checked for moisture using the following methods:
Testing the drywall: A non-penetrating moisture meter can be used to detect water close to the surface of the drywall. Alternatively, the baseboards can be removed and a screwdriver can be poked through the wall. If the drywall feels soft, it indicates that the drywall is wet.
Testing the interior of the wall: A penetrating moisture meter can be used to detect water inside the wall. A larger hole can be cut and the wall studs and insulation checked for moisture.
What Happens To Wet Drywall
Depending on the extent of water damage and how long the drywall was exposed to water, the structural integrity is affected. Also, according to FEMA, mold growth happens in wet drywall within 24 to 48 hours. This also depends on other factors like the temperature, humidity, whether or not the drywall installed was mold-resistant, etc. If there are any signs of mold remediation should be done by a water damage restoration company, which is also licensed to perform mold removal.
Can Drywall Be Salvaged?
If the drywall is damp it can be dried out. Very minimal moisture that has not penetrated inside may be dried by towels, and natural air and sunlight exposure. Using dehumidifiers and high-volume fans is the best way to dry out moisture. After cleaning and drying, the drywall can be checked for moisture using a moisture meter.
When Should Drywall Be Replaced?
Mold growing on drywall is a definite reason to replace it. It can be hazardous to health depending on the type of mold present. Removal of moldy drywall is best done by trained professionals to limit the risk of spores spreading and for safety. Proven Restoration LLC offers water damage restoration and mold remediation services in Texas.
Category 2 (greywater) or category 3 (blackwater) water damage warrants drywall replacement, irrespective of whether mold is present or not. Flood damage by water that is contaminated is best tackled by personnel trained and experienced in handling flood damage restoration, like Proven Restoration LLC in Katy, Texas.
If only some areas are affected by water damage, or there are just a few wet spots, sections of drywall can be replaced rather than replacing entire drywall panels.
Proven Restoration LLC can be contacted at (832) 430-7320 for flood damage restoration, water extraction, dry out, and cleanup in Houston, Texas. The company is insured, bonded, and licensed by the state of Texas and can be relied on for prompt and professional water restoration and mold remediation services.