Drywall construction has become the new standard for interior walls and ceilings throughout the country. It offers many benefits over the previous standard — called the lath and plaster method — including lower costs and less labor-intensive. However, drywall is not perfect. It can sustain damage due to reasons such as improper installation and natural wear and tear. Here are the most common issues for drywall repair.
Drywall Repair: Why Is Drywall Construction So Popular?
Plaster and drywall are two of the most popular choices when building interior walls and ceilings. Lath and plaster had been the preferred method prior to World War II. However, since then, drywall has overtaken plaster both in usage and popularity. Here are the three main reasons why drywall construction is so popular, especially in the United States.
Drywall panels — which is gypsum plaster encased in paper — are commonly sold in hardware stores. A standard sheet is 4×8 feet and 1/2-inch thick. You only need to measure and cut the panels before they can be installed on walls and ceilings. This is less labor-intensive than the lath and plaster method where you have to attach thin, long strips of wood onto the surface. Quick installation times have made drywall a more popular choice.
Lower Labor Costs
Drywall and plaster materials are comparable in costs. However, since plastering is considered a specialized trade, the labor costs for plasterwork are much higher. On the other hand, drywall construction does not require any specific skill or training. Many people choose to install drywall on their own to save on labor costs.
Plaster is more durable than drywall but both materials are still susceptible to damage. In case there is damage, the plaster will be harder to repair. You cannot simply repair it on your own. You will need the skills of a plasterer; but since they are quite rare, it might take you a while to find one.
While professional drywall repair is still the best option, people can immediately start repairing damaged drywall on their own.
7 Common Reasons for Drywall Repair
Drywall is a durable material. However, improper installation can lead to numerous issues. Here are the most common reasons for both residential drywall repair and commercial property drywall repair.
1. Small Holes
Drywall can develop small holes over time from the doorknob, furniture, or other things banging into the wall. You can use joint compound or adhesive backing tape to cover the small holes. Then, apply a thin layer of joint compound, let it dry, and smoothen the surface. Repeat the process two more times. Then, apply drywall tape and prime the area for painting.
2. Bigger Holes
Accidents happen and this can create bigger holes in your drywall. If the hole is too big to cover up with joint compound or adhesive tape, you will need to cut out the damaged area. Insert new drywall and use a joint compound to clean up the edges. Let the joint compound dry and then sand the surface to make it smooth. Repeat another two times. Then, apply drywall tape and prime it for painting.
3. Nail or Screw Pops
Screw pops are another common reason for drywall repair. This usually happens when screws are driven too far into the wall or the screws were not secured in the center of the stud. However, it may also be due to the natural expansion and contraction of the stud due to temperature changes.
For proper drywall repair, make sure to take out the screw completely. Do not hammer it back. Rather, install the screw at a different but nearby point. Make sure it is countersunk. Then, use a joint compound and drywall tape to refinish the surface.
4. Split or Lifted Drywall Tape
Drywall tape may split, loosen, or lift due to improper installation or natural wear and tear. To address this common drywall issue, use a knife to cut off the damaged section of the tape. Use a joint compound to smoothen the surface. Place new drywall tape over it, let it dry, and sand the surface. Repeat two more times. Then, prime the area for repainting.
5. Drywall Cracks
Drywall cracks are commonly found on the joints or where two panels meet. It can be caused by thermal contraction and expansion, which puts stress on the drywall material. Simply covering the crack with a joint compound will not suffice. You should first place fiberglass mesh tape on top of the crack to prevent it from getting bigger. Then, apply joint compound and tape to refinish the surface.
Keep in mind though that cracks can also indicate a problem with the structural integrity of the home or building. It might be better to enlist professional drywall restoration services to reduce the risk of large-scale damage to your property.
6. Corner Bead Cracks
Steel corner beads can also pop out of place over time. To fix the issue, you need to scrape the drywall covering the corner bead. Once the affected area is exposed, use a hammer to flatten the corner bead. In some cases, you might need to re-screw the corner bead. If the damage has been corrected, use a joint compound and drywall tape to refinish the surface.
7. Water Damage
One of the main disadvantages of drywall is that it is susceptible to water damage. If water damage is not addressed quickly, it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew — exposure to which can lead to serious health conditions. The best way to deal with water damage is to remove the affected area and install new drywall.
Why Should You Consider Professional Drywall Repair
One of the benefits of drywall construction is that you can do it yourself. However, most of the common drywall issues we discussed can also be the result of improper installation. If you keep experiencing issues with your drywall, you might be doing something wrong. Thus, the money you initially saved will not matter because you will need to keep paying for repairs.
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