Drywall water damage can be a serious problem. You have obviously had a leak from either flooding or leaking and now it needs to be repaired. Just what is the best way to go about it?
First determine where the leak is coming from. You will need to make sure that it is fixed and will not be a bigger problem in the future. It can be very frustrating to go to the cost and spend the time to fix the drywall, only to have the leak return. Sometimes the leak is not actually coming from the wall. It is possible that it is coming from the ceiling and traveling down the wall.
Cut a hole into the wet drywall to begin some air circulation. Use a strong fan to help with this. If needed, use multiple fans for good air movement and drying. You will also want to place a dehumidifier in the area to reduce the moisture content in the wall and the room.
Monitor the drying process closely. After twelve hours it should be mostly dry. If it is not, cut a larger hole and make sure the fan is properly placed. If the drying process is not completed properly, dangerous mold can begin to grow in 24-48 hours. This will make your project much larger as mold can be difficult to remove.
If you do find mold on your project, do not touch it. Once you do, it can spread quickly. Contact a mold restoration professional to assist you with the removal of the mold and spores.
After everything is dry and your water leak is fixed, replace the drywall and any studs that are damaged. You may need a plywood backer if you had to cut a large hole. Be sure to wear a protective mask when you begin the repair process. These chemicals and dust can harm your lungs if inhaled.
Nail in your patch with a water resistant drywall patch to the backer board. Place joint compound over the joints and allow it to dry. Sand the joint compound down to a smooth finish.
Tape the joint where the drywall comes together with the existing wall using drywall tape. Once the edges are smooth and dry, paint the area to match the rest of the wall. Watch the are for further drywall water damage to be sure that your fix was complete.