Replace Water Damaged Drywall
LESLIE: Gwen in Florida has got mold on her mind. How can we help you?
GWEN: Oh, I just need some help with my – I don’t know if it’s a mold problem or what it is exactly. We had water leakage in a common wall between two rooms.
GWEN: One of the rooms is the bathroom and it’s right where the shower is. The other room is an office and the office smells kind of musty and icky and we did get the roof repaired where the know the leak was coming from but we’d have to tear out the whole wall to find out …
TOM: How long did it stay wet, Gwen?
GWEN: It was during the hurricane – the last, yucky hurricane that came through here …
TOM: But I mean was it like a few days or something like that?
GWEN: When I realized it was wet I cleaned everything on the inside and then the guy didn’t come fix the roof for about six months.
TOM: Oh. Well geez, it might – you may have a mold problem. If that stayed wet for six months, Lord knows what you’re going to find inside that wall.
LESLIE: And kept getting wetter and wetter …
LESLIE: … due to continuing rains.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. So I think in this case it probably might be a pretty good idea to remove and replace that drywall in that area; see what you got.
GWEN: The one side is a custom shower that …
TOM: Well can’t you do it from the other side?
GWEN: If we do it from the other side it – I guess we can try that. That might be easier.
TOM: Well if you had the option of opening up a shower wall and opening up a regular drywall wall you would simply open up the drywall wall.
LESLIE: Because the drywall wall is probably where the mold is growing. If your shower wall has tile or any sort of waterproof material on top of it you’re dealing with a waterproof backer board of some sort, so the problem is definitely within the framework or that drywall.
TOM: And you know drywall, while it seems like a major job to open that wall up …
LESLIE: It’s not.
TOM: … it’s not and it’s not that hard to fix it.
LESLIE: You will feel so good about yourself if you do this project because it is very simple to replace drywall.
GWEN: Oh, I’d love to try that but I’m not sure I know how. (chuckles)
TOM: Well it’s not difficult to do, Gwen. Maybe you can get somebody to help you. But basically, what you’re going to want to do is, very simply, if you start at the corner you’re going to cut that first with a utility knife and then you’re going to identify …
LESLIE: Because there’s some tape in that corner.
TOM: Yep, and you’re going to identify where the stud is in the wall. You can find that with a stud finder. And then right in the middle of the stud is where you’re going to cut that other piece of drywall out and you’ll make two vertical cuts and then once you have the vertical cuts you’ll also cut it across the ceiling. Then you can remove that whole thing in a clean way because basically, remember, when you cut drywall out you want to have a clean edge so that you can patch it back in just as easily. You know, cutting drywall is pretty easy stuff.
LESLIE: And the reason why you split it on the stud is so that when you put the new piece on you have something to attach to so you’re not just floating in space.
GWEN: I never would have thought of that.
TOM: And now you can do it.
TOM: Alright, Gwen. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Folks, this is not that hard. You can do it.