How to Repair Water Damaged Drywall

When water leaks onto drywall it can cause severe damage. Fortunately, fixing water damaged drywall is a very doable project for all homeowners. Here are some quick tips:

For Minor Damage

Be sure to use a setting-type joint compound for water damage repairs to drywall. Ready-mixed compound is not hard enough and is vulnerable to moisture.
Use a putty knife to scrape off all wall damage. Cut and remove peeling drywall tape. Clean any dust then prime the visible damage with primer-sealer to block the stain and seal the damaged area. Let the primer dry and replace any missing tape with fiberglass mesh.

Major Damage

When exposed to a lot of water, drywall warps as gypsum swells. When gypsum dries, it may harden into an unattractive bulge. Bulging gypsum like this needs to be cut out and replaced


Use a drywall saw to cut across the damage and a drywall knife to score the drywall over wood framing. Score with a sharp blade until you cut through the gypsum and paper. Remove any screws or nails holding the drywall up and pull the damaged wallboard free.

Cut a new piece of drywall matching the old piece and fit it into the empty space. Match the edges of the new piece to the surrounding drywall edges.

Tape the joints around the new piece of drywall with mesh tape and apply a mud coat.

When the seams dry, apply a mud coat to level out the patch. Use a joint knife to apply a thick coat of mud that fills in over the patch and overlaps the taped edges. Immediately skim the excess mud from the patch to level it with the surrounding drywall.

Let the mud set and scrape off any excess. Sand the edges of the repair that turn white. Brush off dust and wipe the surface with a damp rag to remove residue.
Always overlap the edges of the previous coat of mud and skim the mud out as thin as possible to make final sanding easier. Allow the final coat of mud to set and dry completely before final sanding.Bottom of Form

If You Need More Help, Call Mr. Drywall

If DIY isn’t your thing, call Mr. Drywall. We are experienced professionals that have been repairing drywall for years. Contact us today for more information.