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Irreversible drywall water damage occurs rapidly and if not dried promptly, it deteriorates and needs replacing. When drywall is exposed to flooding, it absorbs the water quickly and swells up. Moreover, a huge concern with wet drywall is the growth of mold and mildew and the associated health issues these pathogens bring.
Drywall is commonly used in both residential and commercial construction and is known by other names, such as sheetrock, wallboard and plasterboard, among others. These terms are variations of the same concept and can be used interchangeably. They refer to an interior wall made in the form of pre-constructed sheets or boards that are composed of various materials pressed together. Drywall can be made with components such as paper, fiberboard and plaster. Sheetrock is made of sand, water and gypsum, sandwiched between two layers of thick paperboards.
Because sheetrock or wallboard is used as an internal wall, it sometimes takes too long to spot drywall water damage. However, if water damage is suspected, a close inspection may reveal the mark where water has reached and saturated the drywall. In fact, drywall water damage will be apparent from the moisture and bulging or swelling of the board. The wetter the drywall is and the more water it absorbs, the softer and more yielding it becomes. If drywall damage is on the ceiling then a drip, sag, or discoloration on the ceiling should alert homeowners to investigate the cause of water damage immediately.
Since drywall absorbs water like a sponge, repair is only possible in the early stages of water damage. Quick drying of the drywall is crucial and using fans and a dehumidifier is recommended. In situations where water damage is minor, it is possible to get away with drying, taping, mudding and painting the wallboard.
At times, the damage may be hidden for a while and by the time it is finally discovered, it may be too late to dry and repair it. In this case, replacement rather than repair may be necessary. When drywall water damage is severe, professional water damage companies should replace the boards and disinfect the affected area as a precaution against mold. Handy people may decide to cut costs and replace damaged sheetrock themselves. However, replacing water-damaged drywall is not an easy project and should not be attempted by anyone other than a professional. Applying the layers of mud and smoothing them repeatedly is a very tedious and a precise work that may need to be redone until satisfactory results are achieved.