Drywall is an inexpensive, versatile building material, so it should come as no surprise that it can be found in just about every American home. The only real problem with drywall is that it is more susceptible to damage than more sturdy materials, which means it needs to be replaced more often. Read on to find out about the signs it's time to replace drywall instead of having it repaired.
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Discoloration can be a problem for homeowners living in humid climates. Unfortunately, the water damage it represents can be a danger not just to the home but also to its residents in that it indicates a level of moisture that can provide a perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. If the damage is already significant, the drywall will need to be replaced. Keeping drywall costs low moving forward will require identifying the source of the moisture and removing it to prevent the same problem from occurring repeatedly.
Drywall cracks are usually the result of misplaced seams. While small cracks can be patched by professionals who know what they are doing, sheets of drywall with large cracks must be replaced to maintain the structural integrity of the wall. Make sure the seams are placed correctly when the drywall gets replaced by working with a trusted industry expert.
As with cracks, small holes can be patched, but larger ones can impact the wall's strength and structural integrity. Holes in the wall that are more than five inches across should be addressed through drywall replacement. If there are many smaller homes, it's also better to have the affected panel replaced than it is to attempt drywall repairs.
4. Bulging Walls
Bulging walls are usually caused by water damage. While it's possible to patch them, that's like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound without identifying the underlying source of the moisture damage. While drywall can last as long as 30-70 years if it's kept dry, water damage and ongoing exposure to moisture can reduce its expected lifespan by decades.
Most people think that termites thrive on a diet of wood, but in reality, it's the cellulose they love. This soft, white carbohydrate is plentiful in tree trunks, but it's also found in a home's drywall. Both dry wood and subterranean termites will be happy to turn the paper backing on modern drywall into a tasty snack, leaving the plaster beneath to crumble. As with water damage, the harm done by termites can be fixed by replacing the drywall but can only be prevented from recurring through additional measures.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional
Some people think of patching drywall as a DIY job. For handy homeowners with the right tools who want to install small patches in places like closets or utility rooms that no one sees, that might be the case. If the damage is substantial or it's found in a more visible location, it's always better to work with a professional drywall contractor to make sure the repairs or replacements are done right.
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