Drywall is a building material that’s found in most homes. It’s durable, fire resistant, and can help you save on energy costs. However, it can also get damaged by water or termites. If you find that your drywall has holes or dents, it’s time to take action!
The severity of the damage is a key factor in whether you should fix it yourself or call a pro. For example, cracks that are larger than 1/8 inch, cracks that occur along with a sagging ceiling or discolorations in the drywall are signs of structural problems. If you can’t see the cause of the problem, you should hire a professional who will investigate and correct it at its source.
Small dents and holes are the easiest to repair, but you may need to sand and paint once you’ve patched them. This doesn’t require special equipment or a lot of skill, and you can do it yourself if you have the necessary supplies.
Start by cleaning the area around the ding or hole. Use a degreaser or trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove dirt and grease that could prevent the joint compound from adhering properly. Apply primer – oil or acrylic – to the surface to aid in the application of joint compound, if needed.
Fill the ding or hole with a thin layer of spackle or joint compound. Using a putty knife that’s made for repairing drywall, smooth the filler over the indent or hole until it matches the wall. When the patch is dry, sand it to flush it with the wall.
For a patch larger than 1/2 inch across, you should add mesh to keep the joint compound from shrinking and cracking as it dries. You can purchase mesh at hardware stores and home goods retailers. You can also add fiberglass mesh tape if you have an especially large hole, but this will cost more.
Next, cut a piece of drywall that’s the same thickness as the existing wall. Then, cut strips of drywall joint tape to cover each seam. Make sure that the tapes overlap at all corners and lay flat, without wrinkles or bulges.
Apply two or three thin coats of joint compound to the patch, overlapping the edges so that the tapes blend in with the wall. Once each coat is dry, sand the area and touch up paint.
When applying the first coat, suck off excess mud and knock off any ridges or dips with your taping knife. Repeat the process until you have a clean, even patch.
After the patch dries, sand it to a finer grit and prime it. Then, paint it a color that will blend with the rest of your walls or ceiling.
Depending on the type of damage, drywall repair can take hours or weeks. It also depends on the experience level of the person doing the work and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Before you begin drywall repair, you should protect yourself and your belongings by wearing eye protection and a dust mask. During the repair, the drywall compound will generate a fine dust that can be very dangerous to inhale. This dust can also infiltrate your furniture and clothes, which is why it’s important to wear protective gear while working on a drywall job.