How to Repair and Finish Water Damaged Surfaces

It's that time of year. Broken pipes, harsh climates and exposed areas of your home or office tend to poke their head through for a good friend Water Damage. Water damage and stains on drywall, ceilings and window areas are usually due to a leaky roof or plumbing fixture, though other causes can be at play. Minor damage and stains can easily be repaired if the damage is not severe enough to require the replacement of the damaged wallboard.

First Steps to Repair Water Damage

Make sure the drywall is still attached to the studs or framing securely. If any portion of wallboard is sagging from moisture or broken in areas, you should replace them first. Loose or blistered paint is ok; you want to really inspect the wallboard for stability. If the wallboard is sagging slightly, it can be salvaged, but seeking the advice of a professional is probably your best bet. You'd hate to spend endless man yours and resources on a repair project that still needs repair.

Water Damaged Dry Wall

After the wallboard has been re-secured, scrape off loose layers of drywall mud and paint. The moisture will have caused the mud and paint to loosen. A putty knife with a sharp edge is the best tool for this job.

Mold and Mildew

If you find mold or mildew, make sure to wipe the surface with alcohol or a solution of chlorine bleach and water to kill the mold entirely. After experiencing water damage, mold and mildew can spread quickly and cause more damage down the road and potentially be harmful to your home's health and safety.

Water damage will cause a stain to appear on the drywall, which is the first sign of problems. The stain will bleed through the finish paint if not sealed. You will find several paints or primers out there based in water, oil and alcohol (shellac) bases for sealing water stains. Experience with numerous water damage projects over the years, has lef us to believe that oil and alcohol base sealers usually work the best. They dry quick and can be brushed or rolled on. Most stains will cover with one coat, but if you have the product we recommend doing two coats to ensure a completely sealed surface. The seal coat not only prevents bleed through but also provides a clean, dust free surface for using patching materials.

Mold & Mildew on drywall

Drywall and Mud

First you want to smooth the surface. To do this, multiple applications of drywall compound are applied. Drywall compound can be bought pre-mixed or in a powder. Like any product on the market, there are pros and cons to both types. The pre-mixed will take longer to dry, shrinks more and may crack as it dries. The powder type must be mixed when needed and has a shorter working time.

Powder Advantages:

• You mix only what you need.

• It stores well in a dry place.

• It also dries quickly enough to allow for additional coats the same day.

• Minimal shrinking and cracking.

• It sands very easily and leaves a nice, smooth surface.

• It can be used for any size project and has good adhesion.

For the DIY-er, this is one product with many uses that can store, and go a long way. If cost is factored into your project, powder is likely the way to go after dealing with water damage.

Call Elite Finisher

For professional help with water damage, cabinet finishing or commercial paint jobs - call Elite Finisher in St. Paul to get your project scheduled today.