The 10 Most Common Causes of Damage to Drywall
Have you been noticing scuffs and holes on the drywall in your house? Wondering how they got there? There are a number of ways drywall can get damaged, some of which you should know about before moving that extra large couch upstairs. Whether it’s water damage or damage from previous renovations, we’ve compiled 10 of the most common reasons for damage to drywall. Read on to find out what they are, how you can avoid them, and how to repair this drywall damage.
1. Popping Nails
- Occasionally, if nails are not securely set in the centre of the joist or stud, over time a nail may pop through the drywall. Don’t reach for the hammer and try to nail it back, as you can do further damage and the nail could eventually come out again. Simply remove the nail and find where the stud is, then nail it through in a slightly different point so you know it’s properly and securely fastened.
2. Furniture Scuffs
- Scuff marks from furniture are another form of damage you may find, even before you move into your home. They’re typically more minor, and have the appearance of a pencil or marker stain. Avoid scuffs by carefully moving items around in your house and not placing bigger furniture too close to the wall. If the damage hasn’t actually ripped off pieces of drywall, the problem can be solved with an easy-to-find cleaning sponge.
3. Smaller Holes
- Small holes can be caused by a number of things, like a door that swings open too hard. You can avoid this from happening again by buying an adhesive backing plate for the wall. Just line it up with the door knob or corner of the door and you’ll protect the drywall from future damage.
- If you need to repair a small hole in the drywall you can use joint compound and patch over it. Use drywall tape to cover the hole and press it into the compound. Smooth, let dry, and sand it clean the following day. You’ll need to paint it the same colour as the wall so there is no trace of damage left behind.
4. Bigger Holes
- Did a wrecking ball crash through your wall while filming a music video or did you accidentally trip, resulting in a large hole in your drywall? However that hole got there, you can avoid it happening again by just being more careful.
- To repair a bigger hole in the drywall you’ll need to cut out the damaged area completely. Once that’s done you can insert new drywall. Make sure there aren’t any pipes or wires before you cut it out, and do so with as much care and precision as possible. Clean up the edges with a joint compound and use drywall tape and press it into the compound. Let dry before sanding it smooth, painting it afterwards if necessary.
5. Water Damage
- If you suspect there is water damage caused by a broken water line then you have some repairs to get to, and fast! Once you have fixed the water line, making that your first priority, the next step is fixing the water damaged drywall. This particular situation is not always avoidable, but you can decrease the chances of it happening again by ensuring that the plumbing in your home is working well.
- Fixing water damaged drywall is necessary not only because it looks terrible, but because the drywall will not hold up due to it being weakened and can even be dangerous to your health. Remove the drywall immediately so that it doesn’t start to grow mold. Replace the drywall and be sure that it has countersunk 1/16th of an inch.
- It’s just a little crack that hardly anyone will notice, right? Wrong. A little crack can later turn into a big problem. Cracks in drywall can cause further more complex damage not only to the drywall but to the entire foundation of the house you live in. Usually cracks form on ceilings where there are traces of moisture. Avoiding this issue means inspecting your roof and/or the plumbing inside your home. Sometimes cracks are caused simply by the house settling or poorly installed drywall.
- To fix the cracks in your drywall you’ll need to patch over them with joint compound.
7. Joint Tape Loosened
- As previously mentioned, joint tape is used to apply a thicker layer of joint compound to your drywall. Sometimes the joint tape comes loose from moisture and becomes very noticeable. To repair this, cut the tape and spread joint compound over it. Place a new piece of joint tape onto it and let it dry for the night. Sand it smooth the next day and, if necessary, prime and paint it so it looks good as new.
8. Dented Corner Bead
- A corner bead is an L-shaped metal strip used to cover the corners of drywall and left invisible after joint compound has been applied to it. Regular wear and tear of that corner can cause damage, denting the corner bead. This can be anything from using a vacuum cleaner to moving items around yours house carelessly.
- Fix it by using a hacksaw and cutting about 2 inches above and below the damaged spot. Cut along the vertical edge with a utility knife and pry it off from the wall with a thin pry bar. Use extra caution when doing this so you don’t damage the other areas of the drywall as well. Replace the corner bead and secure it with 1-1/2 inch drywall screws. Apply joint compound and sand smooth.
9. Tile Removal Damage
- Ceramic tile looks fantastic and serves a great purpose, especially as bathroom flooring. Bathroom renovations require a lot of care, though, and drywall damage can occur when removing the tiles incorrectly. To keep this from happening use a wide-blade putty knife or break the tiles first before removing them with special tools. A heat gun can also help with the process without causing damage to the drywall.
- Repair the existing drywall by removing the damaged area with a utility knife and then applying a premixed drywall compound. Let dry, then smooth and sand. Prime and paint where necessary as well.
10. Termite Damage
- Lastly, and unfortunately, there’s drywall damage created by termites. Depending on how soon you manage to detect them the signs of damage can range from nearly invisible to painfully obvious. Some signs of termite damage include: small pinholes, a hollow sound when knocking on the wall, paint bubbling, and crumbling baseboards. Avoid this from happening by getting your house inspected thoroughly and calling a pest prevention company at the first hint of the insects.
- If the damage has not affected the structural foundation of your home then you can repair the drywall safely. Remove baseboards if necessary and cut out the damaged drywall entirely. Replace with new drywall and smooth the surface with joint compound. Let dry, sand, and paint.
You may have discovered that joint compound is your best friend when you notice any of the 10 most common causes of drywall damage. If you would like further assistance with the finishing touches of any of these issues, call HPT today! Give us a call today at 416-494-9095 or email us at Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com!