Drywall is one of the cost-effective, versatile, and heavily used interior construction materials in houses. Water-resistance is not its plus point; thus, water damage is one of the most common reasons for drywall replacements.
Only in certain limited cases, the drywall can be retained after water damage. Such a situation usually involves brief exposure of small amounts of water such as temporary accidents and water splashes, which most of the time cause superficial damage to the wall. The portion affected should be wiped off with an absorbent towel and dried thoroughly with the help of a fan to ensure the water is not absorbed by the wall, which might lead to permanent damage.
In cases where the water exposure is substantial due to flooding or for extended periods, the gypsum in the drywall will inevitably become saturated, often resulting in deformation, such as sagging, bulging, or even collapsing based on the extent of the damage caused by the water.
Even if the drywall affected by water exposure appears intact, it inevitably triggers mold growth. Most of the time, this mold appears as dark spotting or blotches. Mold spores are present everywhere in the atmosphere, and these mold spores can take 12-24 hours to germinate and 1-12 days to colonize a wet wall. You might be able to remove or eliminate the visible mold growth with surface decontaminants and biocides. However, it is mostly superficial fix since the pores will still have some microscopic spores left in them. Hence, Once mold has penetrated a porous material, the only practical solution is to replace the part or whole affected panel.
Removal of moldy drywall is recommended as its presence in the home is never healthy, and it can cause lung problems, allergies, or comprise the immune system/response of the people and animals residing in the house.
It is best to have trained professionals remove the moldy walls as mold tends to release many spores when it is disturbed. Improper removal can cause the spores to spread around the entire home, cross-contaminate various surfaces, which can increase the cleaning work and reduce the air quality of the house.
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