Regardless of the cause, water damage must be handled right away to prevent its spread as well as mold growth that can develop in as little as 24 hours after the damage occurs. Porous materials like drywall are especially at risk due to their sponge-like texture, quickly absorbing the water and becoming rotted, stained, and warped. If damaged drywall is not handled right away, it must be replaced, which can be quite costly and not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
So if you just found wet drywall in your home, at what point should it be replaced? In some cases, it can become soaked beyond repair, and in others, it can be dried and saved. But it’s actually the level of contamination within the water that will determine whether or not the drywall can be saved.
While each flooding situation is different, a team of water damage restoration experts is needed to specifically determine whether or not your wet drywall will need to be replaced. But in any case, they will work quickly to prevent the damage from spreading and take steps to prevent mold growth.
Here is some additional information.
Anything damaged by sewage waste, or category 3 water damage, such as a toilet or sewer backup, must be replaced. While hard surfaces like tile, porcelain, Formica, and aluminum can be sterilized, all porous materials will need to be replaced. This includes carpeting, furniture, area rugs, drywall, wood floors, etc.
Any dishwasher or washing machine overflow, basement seepage, or yard runoff will be difficult to determine. With category 2 water damage, or simply unsanitary water, there is a lower health risk so a proper deep cleaning and disinfection may be enough to save the drywall.
If the source of water was a leak from a roof, window, or pipe, you have a good chance of being able to dry out the wall. But this is only if mold is not present.
This porous material is basically comprised of gypsum sandwiched between two layers of paper. It may feel hard on the surface, but its porous surfaces will quickly absorb water in the event of a leak or flood. If left to sit when wet, it will start to sag, swell, and buckle, creating a perfect environment for mold growth. This is why it’s crucial to respond right away and dry out the wall. Otherwise, it must be replaced.
In the case of wet flooring, or even standing water, the water will easily travel upward within the drywall and inside the wall cavities. Water technicians will often remove baseboards to inspect the level of damage, checking if it’s soft and/or in need of replacement.
It may also be necessary to check for condensation higher along the wall, in which the professionals will create a small inspection hole or use a penetrating moisture meter. If the insulation or wood studs are wet, heavy-duty drying equipment will need to be used to dry out the hidden area. The bottom two feet of the drywall may also need to be replaced.
While smaller areas may dry on their own, larger areas will need to be sealed off with plastic sheeting as the professionals set up the industrial air movers and dehumidification equipment. If the wall contains vinyl wallpaper or high-gloss paint, the drying process can be challenging, as openings may need to be made at the top and bottom to allow for effective drying. Even with this process, the drying process can take up to a few days and should always be monitored with moisture tests.
If there are overhead leaks, drywall ceilings can be a dangerous hazard as water can build up in the ceiling, causing it to collapse.
Beware of any water stains or dampness in the ceilings as well as any signs of bulging or sagging building materials.
Carpeting and rugs are also made from synthetic, porous materials, which puts them at a huge risk for mold growth if they become wet. But they can also be saved if they’re dried out within 24 – 48 hours of becoming wet.
For small leaks and spills, simply blot them dry with a few towels. A bit of baking soda can also absorb remaining moisture. Vacuum the baking soda after it becomes dry.
When dealing with a soaked area rug or carpeting, a wet vacuum will be needed, and the carpeting will need to be lifted up so it can be dried from both sides. But since carpet padding can’t easily be cleaned, and it is inexpensive, it will likely need to be replaced.
Regardless of whether or not wet drywall can be replaced, you can minimize losses and expenses by acting right away upon discovering water damage in your home or building. As it can spread to other materials, and even cause mold growth, a team of water damage restoration professionals will quickly cut off the source of damage and start the drying process to contain the water.
For property owners living in Quincy, IL or the surrounding areas, ServiceMaster Cleaning and Restoration is available 24/7 to provide complete water damage restoration services. Our experts are trained, licensed, and experienced to respond to your first call and prevent the damage from spreading.
Setting up high-velocity air movers and dehumidifiers, they will ensure an effective and efficient drying process while monitoring the progress and repositioning the equipment as necessary. They will also determine whether or not the drywall can be replaced. Even if it does, you can ensure they will return the damaged area to a safe and healthy condition.
If there is any mold growth present, our professionals are also licensed and trained to remove mold at its source, using eco-friendly, IICRC-certified products. They will also wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and create a barrier around the affected area to prevent cross contamination.
Following the service, they will work with your insurance provider during the claims process for additional peace of mind.
Don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMaster Cleaning and Restoration at 866-801-2653 for emergency water damage restoration services in the Quincy, IL area if you recently found water damage in your home or building.