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Water leaks in the home creep up on you. Most of the time you don’t hear them or see them until some pretty unsightly damage has been done. Fortunately, even at this stage, the water damage can often be repaired.

If the damage is extensive, you should probably call an expert. However, with the average spend on repairing water damage to an 80-square-feet bathroom put at around $1,900 by consumer website how much, you could save quite a sum by making the repair yourself.

I’ve previously given tips about the common mistakes to avoid when repairing a water-damaged ceiling. In this article, you’ll learn about the damage that water can do to your walls and how to fix water damaged walls, as I answer the most common questions asked by my clients.

How do I know my wall has been damaged by water?

You won’t always notice a steady stream of water meandering its way from ceiling to floor. Very often, water damage works from back to front or inside out. Water either permeates from behind the wall, or from a leak traveling through the middle of a section of drywall. Water will find the easiest route, encouraged by gravity.

The common signs of water damage include staining, bubbling and sagging. If you notice any of these symptoms, the first thing you should check for is a leak.

What are the most common reasons for water damage to a wall?

Water damage to a wall will be caused by a leak. That leak might be from a split or punctured water pipe, a leaking tank, or damage to your roof. The plumbing should be checked, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.

Perhaps the most important thing you’ll do when fixing a water damaged wall is locate and repair the cause of the leak – if you don’t do this, you’ll be in a perpetual cycle of damage and repair.

How bad could it get if water damage is left too long?

There are a number of things that could happen if you don’t repair a water damaged wall (and the cause of it). These include:

  • Mold growth that needs to be cleaned before becoming a health hazard
  • Unsightly staining that paint won’t cover for more than a couple of weeks
  • Wooden surfaces rotting and becoming unsightly and even dangerous
  • Structural problems, decreasing the value of your home by thousands of dollars

Where am I most likely to find water damaged walls?

Wherever water pipes are present, this is where you’re most likely to suffer water damage. So, bathroom and kitchen are favorites, but the upper floor in a house is also prone to water damaged walls caused by water coming through from the attic space.

Will I have to replace water damaged drywall?

If the water damage is minimal, you may be able to remove the small damage and then patch with spackling compounds. Apply with a putty knife, allow to dry, and sand to a smooth finish before painting.

For larger areas of damage, you will probably have to cut out and patch with a new piece of drywall. If this is the case, the edges will need to be taped and then the whole patch melded in with the surrounds by using spackling, sanding and painting.

What if the damage is only water stains?

If your wall is water stained and the wall isn’t damaged, wash with a detergent solution and allow to dry thoroughly. Next, paint over with a sealer and finish with the color paint to blend in with your wall.

If the damage to your wall is extensive, or if you’re not comfortable with how to fix water damaged wall, contact Porter’s today. No job is too large or too small, and we’ll be pleased to give advice and a free quote.

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