DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Walls and Ceilings > water damage. patch or replace?

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-28-2009, 11:56 AM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1
Default water damage. patch or replace?

Hello, water damage to bottom 3" / 6" of drywall along the floor. Would it be advisable to cut a 12" section out, running along the floor or replacing the the whole wall of sheetrock?

bigfun is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 01:47 PM  
Emperor Penguin
Nestor_Kelebay's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,844
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts



1. Buy a 2X6, set your circular saw to cut 1/2 inch deep, remove baseboards, stand your 2X6 in front of the wall, set your circular saw on top and cut the drywall a uniform 10 or 11 inches above the floor, and hopefully that will be UNDER your electrical outlets so that you don't have to start bothering with cutting holes in your new panels to fit around those. Wear dust mask. Vaccuum up after dust settles.

2. Buy "Dens-Shield", made by the Georgia Pacific Company at any drywall wholesaler. (Yes, they will sell to you if you pay cash cuz they sell to contractors and builders, not retail stores, so there's no one to bark at them for stealing their business.) Dens-Shield comes in smaller 32 inch by 60 inch panels for bathrooms, but you can also buy it in 4X8 foot sheets. It's 1/2 inch thick just like drywall, but it's highly water resistant.

3. Decide what baseboard you want to put in (now would be a good time to switch to a different style if you want). Have a sheet of 1/2 inch thick construction grade SPRUCE plywood ripped into strips a little narrower than the baseboard you want to install. (say 1/2 inch narrower) Use drywall screws to fasten the strips of spruce plywood to the bottom plates of your walls. You want to use spruce construction grade plywood because it won't be sanded down to 7/16 inch thick to make it smooth. It will be a full 1/2 inch thick, just like drywall or Dens-Shield.

4. Now, cut your Dens-Shield into strips that are the width of the gap between the top of the spruce plywood and the bottom of the drywall. Install the Dens-Shield strips with drywall screws. I'd recommend using 3" drywall screws to fasten short pieces of 2X2 to your studs at the ends of the strips of Dens-Shield to give yourself plenty of room for the drywall screws. It's a pain trying to get two rows of screws into the same 1 1/2 inch wide stud cuz half the time that stud is twisted and/or bowed.

5. Tape your joints with fiberglass mesh tape. It's as strong as paper tape, and I can guarantee you won't have problems with air bubbles trapped under it.

6. Thin your joint compound by mixing water into it so that it's easy to spread smooth, and use a "CURVED TROWEL" to apply joint compound over your Dens-Shield/Drywall joint. A curved trowel looks like an ordinary trowel until you sight along it's edge and notice that it's intentionally bent so that it has a 1/8 inch arch in it. Since you hold the trowel at a comfortable angle to the wall when spreading joint compound with it, the curved trowel allows you to easily spread a perfectly symmetric "mound" of joint compound over that joint that's only about 1/16 to 3/32 inch inch thick in the middle. That's more than enough to bury joint tape under, but it's not enough to leave a visible "bump" in the wall, even if you have wall mounted light fixtures. You can buy curved trowels at most home centers and every drywall wholesaler.

And, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, when you're either spreading joint compound on a surface or sanding dry joint compound off a surface, ALWAYS work with a bright light shining at a sharp angle onto that surface to exagerate the roughness. That will give you a much better idea of where you need to add joint compound and where you need to sand it off in order to make a smoother surface. Once it looks "not too bad" under such critical lighting, it'll look perfect under normal lighting.

7. Prime and paint and put your baseboards on. Because the bottom 10 or 11 inches of your walls are plywood and Dens-Shield, you can now handle a 10 or 11 inch flood without sustaining any damage to the wall.

Also, because of the fact that you now have plywood behind the baseboard instead of drywall, you can use shorter (pronounced "smaller diameter") finishing nails to install your baseboards. And, always predrill before hammering any nail into a hardwood baseboard. Otherwise you're likely to bend the nail and split the hardwood and make a general mess of the job.

If you can't find a finishing nail/drill size combination that holds the baseboard on securely without splitting the wood, go to any places listed under "Machine Shop Equipment & Supplies" or "Fasteners" in your yellow pages and buy a NUMBERED drill bit. Standard fractional drill bit sizes are 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, etc. Numbered drill bits go from a #100 drill bit which is 0.005 inch in diameter to a #1 bit which is 0.2280 inch in diameter. Then, letter size drill bits start with an "A" size bit being 0.2340 inch in diameter and a Z letter size bit being 0.4130 inches in diameter. Numbered drill bits are referred to as "wire gauge" drill bits because the diameters are actually the same as the diameter of wire of the same guage. That is, a #8 drill bit is 0.1990 inch in diameter and a #8 gauge wire is 0.1990 inch in diameter. There are 10 different number size drill bits between 1/16 and 3/32 inch fractional drill bits; #52 at 0.0635 inch in diameter, which is slightly larger than a 1/16 inch drill bit to #42 at 0.0935 inch in diameter, which is slightly smaller in diameter than a 3/32 inch drill bit. You'll find that numbered drill bits aren't really an awful lot more expensive than regular fractional size drill bits because the steel rod that numbered bits are made of is made in standard wire guage sizes for other purposes anyway. They'll run $2 to $3 a bit or so, which is more than fractional bits, but not prohibitively expensive and easily affordable if it's gonna solve a problem.

It's true.
I wouldn't tell you if it wasn't true.
Because I love children.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-28-2009 at 02:19 PM.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2009, 11:11 PM  
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 402
Liked 38 Times on 36 Posts
Likes Given: 10


1. Is it in a basement?
2. What was the water source?
3. How much water?

Nestor, I once heard of someone cutting drywall on a table saw! I haven't laughed that hard until I read your #1, lol.

Big fun, welcome to the forum! Use a jig saw with the blade broke to 1/2" long on the down-stroke with pliers. Or a reciprocating saw, at a steep angle so the blade doesn't cut anything important. Close the doors and windows to that room, turn off the HVAC, use a bow fan with a furnace filter taped in front out a window. OR, use a shop vac with a special drywall filter installed inside while you cut. Otherwise you could easily damage your vac or saw. Be safe, G
GBR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2009, 09:35 AM  
Emperor Penguin
Nestor_Kelebay's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,844
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts



When I was doing this work at my sister's house, I was cutting the drywall with my circular saw and my sister was following along behind with the nozzle of my wet/dry vacuum right behind the saw and sucking up most of the dust as the saw created it. I've got two drywall dust cloth filters that I bought from Sears years ago, and I would have been using them in the vaccuum cleaner.

But, the cutting was done with a circular saw and with my sister vacuuming up the dust as it was created, it really wasn't that bad. Sorry to disappoint.

PS for the newbies in here:
Sears used to sell a Dacron cloth filter for their wet/dry shop style vacuum cleaners as an accessory. I bought two of them back in the late 1980's and haven't bought a pleated paper filter since. Sears is no longer selling the cloth filters, but you can still buy a similar product from Shop Vac. Just order Shop Vac Part # 901-15-62:

Basically, it's a Dacron bag that fits over the pleated paper filter.

Shop Vac is a subsidiary of Emerson Electric, and Emerson Electric made wet/dry shop style vaccuum cleaners for Sears until recently, so any filter bag that fits a Shop Vac wet/dry vaccuum cleaner should also fit an older model Sears wet/dry vaccuum cleaner.

PS2: It's stupidity walking on stilts. Every plastic company has a "trade name" for every product it makes, even if it makes both products out of the same material. Dacron is just such a product. It's made from type of polyester plastic called "polyethylene terephthalate", or PET for short, which is the stuff that plastic soft drink bottles are made of. But, if DuPont makes a fiber out of PET, they call it "Dacron" fiber. If Dupont makes a thin plastic film out of PET, they call it "Mylar" film. With every chemical company calling each plastic product it makes by a different trade name, you get a bewildering number of different names, and people conclude that there's a bewildering number of different plastics. There really aren't, there's just lots of different products made from the same 30 or 40 plastics. The plastic resins that good quality paints are made from is a plastic called polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA for short. But, if the Rohm and Haas company makes a rigid transparent plastic sheet out of this stuff, it's a sheet of "Plexiglas", whereas if DuPont makes it, it's a sheet of "Lucite" and if ICI of Britain makes it, it's a sheet of "Perspex". I think the consumer protection groups should get involved and simplify the system for the benefit of consumers.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-29-2009 at 12:19 PM.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Concrete to replace Termite Damage??? Fireguy5674 Bricks, Masonry and Concrete 13 01-01-2013 11:55 PM
MUST I replace a hot water heater that got water damage from Hurricane Irene? Seidperson Plumbing Forum 2 09-12-2011 07:12 PM
How to Patch Small to Medium Drywall Hole "California Patch" bluntman001 Walls and Ceilings 0 05-09-2011 11:30 PM
Help: Water damage. What to do? leesiulung Walls and Ceilings 6 02-03-2011 08:40 AM
How can I tell if this is water damage? JennyL Flooring 2 09-04-2007 09:20 AM

Newest Threads