Wet Drywall in Basement
Wet drywall can be a problem that’s difficult to find and even more difficult to fix. The solution of ripping out the drywall and replacing it doesn’t typically work because your new drywall will probably become wet quickly too. So how can you fix the problem of wet drywall in your basement? Here’s what you need to know about this issue.
Wet Drywall Repair Solutions in Virginia, Maryland, and DC
Wet drywall typically comes around because of cracks in your walls and general leaking. There are many ways to repair it, but you need to know the facts about wet drywall before you set about fixing the problem.
Does This Wet Drywall Look Familiar?
Sometimes, looking at pictures can be the best way of diagnosing a problem. Do any of these images seem familiar?
Why Do I Have Wet Drywall?
Wet drywall can come from a variety of sources, and many people don’t know why their drywall could be wet. Here are a few prominent reasons you might be seeing wet drywall in your home.
- Internal Leaks
Internal leaks are one of the more common reasons you could find wet drywall. Do you have a pipe hidden in the wall that’s leaking without your knowledge? Did you recently have a pipe burst in the floor above, causing flooding? Have you noticed that one of your pipe connections is leaking more than normal? These are all sources of internal leaks.
Of all types of leaks, internal ones can sometimes be difficult to fix. When you have a flood in the area, you’ll usually go down to your basement and make sure nothing bad happened. However, if you have a leaky pipe in the bathroom above your basement, you might not realize that it migrated downward. Any time you experience any strange leaks in your home, make sure you check your basement to clear it of leaks as well.
- External Leaks
Another possible cause of concern for your home when it comes to wet drywall is leaks from the outside. Did you recently have a flood in the area? Did it rain for a long time after not having any rain at all? Have you noted that water has been pooling around your home’s foundation? All of these sources of external water can cause leaks that will invade the home.
These external leaks are definitely a concern because they’re often responsible for an overly moist basement more so than standing water in the basement. Though you might think standing water is more dangerous than moisture, moisture can still cause foundation problems and mold, and it can be even more difficult to uncover than standing water.
- Cracks in Your Walls
If your walls have cracks in them, no matter how tiny, rest assured that water will find a way through those cracks eventually. Water wants to fill any space it enters, and if there’s any way for that space to become larger, the water will follow it. Therefore, it makes sense that water would work through the cracks in your walls.
The problem is, cracks can sometimes be extremely tiny. These cracks, known as “hairline cracks,” can be almost impossible to notice, which can lead to them going unnoticed for a long time, especially if you think a moist basement is normal. If you notice any amount of water seepage in your basement, even if it’s small, you should probably seek help for your basement’s health.
Any basement with high levels of moisture will probably deal with condensation at some point. The air can only hold a certain amount of moisture, which people express using the concept of “relative humidity.” When the relative humidity grows over 100%, that extra humidity has to go somewhere. Outside, it turns into rain; inside, it turns into condensation, usually on cool surfaces.
Condensation can be a big problem in your basement because it can provide a fertile breeding ground for mold and mildew. This is especially true when you have drywall because the condensation can form on the drywall and therefore lead to wet drywall even without an internal or external leak. This is just one of the reasons you need to fix your damp basement as soon as possible.
How Can I Fix the Wet Drywall?
Fixing wet drywall isn’t necessarily an easy task. You need to take a multi-pronged approach to fixing this problem. Here are the four biggest steps to fixing your wet drywall.
- Find the Source of the Leak
Your first step has to be finding the source of the leak. Although this can seem like the easiest step, it might actually be a very difficult step, especially without proper knowledge and training in basement waterproofing.
This is also partly because there may be more than one leak source. For example, you might have a very big and pressing leak from a broken pipe in the basement, but your basement could also have cracked walls or condensation issues. The only way to really know is to consult with a basement repair expert who can help.
- Fix the Source of the Leak
The next step is probably the most difficult: You have to fix the leak at the source. Although this might be easy if you have a leak caused by a burst water pipe or a flood in the floor above, for example, it will be much more difficult if you have a leak from cracked basement walls or leaking basement windows. You can’t just fix these with a simple patch.
Fixing the source of the leak requires that you fix the source of the problem. If you have bowing basement walls, for example, you can’t just put up an epoxy solution and call it a day. You need to invest the time, money and energy into making sure you’re fixing the basement walls themselves.
- Replace the Wet Drywall
The reason this step is after fixing the leaks in your basement is that some people feel like they can just replace the wet drywall and think nothing else of the wetness in their basement. After all, as long as you’re fixing the issues the wet drywall causes, you should be fine, right?
This only holds true if you have wet drywall from something like an unexpected flood in your basement. If you have wet drywall because of an unnoticed leak, because of high moisture levels, or another reason that’s ongoing, you have to fix that problem before you can replace the drywall. Otherwise, you’ll end up with wet drywall again in a short period of time.
- Maintain the Basement
Lastly, it’s important that you maintain the basement once you’ve replaced this wet drywall. After all, you don’t want to end up with the same problem. This may mean regularly checking up on your pipes if your pipes burst because they were old, it may mean installing a dehumidifier if your basement problem was moisture, or it may mean something else entirely.
Maintaining your basement health is, of course, something you should be doing at all times. It’s vital that you keep your basement in good shape. However, it’s especially important to maintain your basement after you’ve just fixed it. If your basement waterproofing expert suggests any specific ways of maintaining your basement, it’s a good idea to follow them.
Can I Fix the Basement Myself?
This age of DIYs has created a fair number of people who believe it’s possible for them to fix their basements on their own. However, this isn’t a good idea. These are just a few of the reasons you should rely on a basement waterproofing expert.
- A Wide Variety of Possible Culprits
The first reason you shouldn’t try to fix your basement yourself is the fact that there are many possible culprits for wet drywall. Sure, the wet drywall may be exclusively because your basement flooded, but there might also be other problems you can’t see anymore because of the flooding. To the layman’s eye, this can be a difficult thing to figure out.
It’s also possible that you could see a problem where there is none. What happens if you see a crack in the wall, then fix that crack and assume you fixed the problem, but that wasn’t actually what was causing the wet drywall? You may rest easy, but the problem is getting worse. That’s why you should trust trained basement waterproofing professionals.
- The Possibility of Making the Problem Worse
Whenever you try to fix something on your own when you don’t have a lot of knowledge of the problem, it’s always possible that you could just make it worse. After all, you may not know how the inside of your home works. It’s possible that, in trying to fix the problem as a whole, you could end up making it much worse.
This possibility should definitely preclude you from attempting a fix on your own, especially a fix for something as potentially serious as wet drywall. A fix that would be generally affordable and simple can become much more expensive and a multi-day affair if you try to fix it, then make the problem worse. You should only rely on a JES waterproofing expert for this reason.
- The Possibility of Only Partially Fixing the Problem
It’s possible that you might fix the problem on your own when you try to fix the issue. However, it’s also possible that you could fix part of the problem. This might even be more dangerous than making the problem worse, because it usually means that you’ll leave the problem alone, feeling like you’ve fixed it entirely.
The problem comes later when you realize you haven’t fixed it. During the time that’s elapsed, the home will have continued to fall into disrepair. You may end up with a much worse problem in your basement, like serious foundational issues, because you didn’t properly address the issues you were initially dealing with.
- Cheap Fixes That Aren’t Really Cheap
It’s common for people to invest in cheap fixes in an attempt to fix their wet drywall. For example, if someone has serious waterproofing problems, they might try to fix it by simply replacing the drywall. This is much cheaper than calling in an expert and looking for the actual problem, which might need an extreme fix and could cost even more money after all is said and done.
However, the biggest problem is that these cheap fixes definitely aren’t really cheap. Sure, they might look cheap at the front end, but are they really? More likely than not, you’ll have to invest in these cheap fixes over and over again, eventually spending more than you would have if you had just called in a basement waterproofing expert. That’s why you need to avoid fixes that look cheap and easy, because chances are, they’re neither of these things.
Trust Basement Waterproofing Experts to Fix Wet Drywall and Other Basement Problems
There are a lot of reasons your drywall could be wet, and these reasons span a wide variety of issues. That’s a huge part of the reason why basement waterproofing can be so difficult. Wet drywall might be from a number of things, and only an expert can help you discern which one is yours and give you advice on how to fix it.
Whether you’re looking for a way to fix your wet drywall problems or you have other basement problems you want help with fixing, you should trust basement waterproofing experts to give you accurate information. Request an inspection today and you’ll be able to fix your basement problems as quickly as possible, ensuring that you complete the treatment for your problems.