Common Causes Of Drywall Damage
Most houses have drywall, and the older a house is, the more chance there is for that drywall to become damaged.
Often, the damage can be accidental, but most of the damage can be avoided. This article takes you through the most common ways for drywall to become damaged, from poor installation to household pests.
There are two points where the drywall can start to look terrible if the installation is poor: the tape lines and the fasteners.
When drywall is installed, nails or screws are used to fasten the drywall to the material behind it. If the installation is poor, the drywall can shift over time and those screws and nails can start to pop out. You can nail or screw them back in and patch, but it might continue to happen.
The same can happen with the tape. If the drywall sheet is not installed correctly, it can start to buckle or loosen, and the tape can start to peel off. Patching the problem may work for a time, but poor installation needs to be fixed at some point.
Sometimes, you cannot do anything about drywall damage. Obviously, there are things that you can do to avoid leaks, but most of the time, they are a surprise, and you have no warning at all.
If water gets into the drywall, the material will start to bulge, and you might need to repair an entire sheet or cut part of it out to replace it. If you have older plumbing in your home, it is worth having it checked out so that you do not have a surprise leak.
We know about termites in wood, but what about your drywall?
Usually, termites like to find a home in rotting wood, and that is how they are initially invited into your home, but once they are in there, they will also go after your drywall. If they find their way into your walls, then an exterminator is your best bet for getting them out.
Signs of termites in your drywall include tiny holes in the material, damaged paint, and a hollow sound when you knock on the wall. If you think that you have termites, call an exterminator in before they do even more damage.
Dents & Scratches
This is the most common type of damage and is brought about by, well, by life itself.
As you move around your home, it is almost impossible for you not to bump into things occasionally. Over time, your drywall is going to receive its fair share of scratches, bumps, abrasions, and holes. Even with the best intentions, it can be impossible not to damage the walls, especially if you have kids or pets.
If you notice any holes or dents, patching them immediately can stop the damage from becoming worse.
Cracks can form when there is water damage, or when the foundation of your house shifts slightly. It is more common for cracks to be caused by plumbing issues, so regular inspection of your plumbing can stop problems in their tracks.
Little cracks might not look like much, but they can develop into larger cracks over time. If you patch them as you see them, you can stop them from developing.
As you strip paint from a wall, remove tiles or wallpaper, or take out baseboards, you can damage the drywall too. Often, there is nothing that you can do to stop this damage. The damage can be worse if the tiles or baseboards were not installed correctly in the first place. You might find yourself removing them and peeling off strips of drywall, or having to remove chunks of drywall because too much construction adhesive has been used.
A heat gun and a utility knife can be used to make the process smoother and will eliminate some of the damage to the drywall. When you are done with the renos, or as a part of them, use drywall compound and some sandpaper to fill and smooth the walls.
An L-shaped corner piece protects the corners of the drywall, but there is only so much that it can do. Once it is covered and mudded, it can be invisible, but it is the most common place to receive dents from furniture or other large items. You might even dent it with the vacuum as you are cleaning your home.
You can usually patch this with some compound but, for larger areas, you might have to cut out the corner bead piece and replace it.
Sometimes, the damage is not a hole at all, but a scuff mark. These are most commonly caused by furniture that is sat up against the wall. As the item shifts slightly over time, it can rub against the wall and remove the top layer of drywall. It ends up looking like someone has drawn no it with a pencil.
If the drywall itself isn’t chipped or scratched deeply, you can often remove the mark with a wet sponge. Failing that, you can paint over it.