Water is one of the most common and destructive threats to the home. Even seemingly minor leaks in the roof, foundation, or plumbing can lead to a steady accumulation of water.
Water can cause extensive damage to your home quickly and easily. It can accelerate the effects of decay, resulting in dangerous mold and mildew. It can also damage walls and ceilings, which can lead to a variety of hidden issues.
This guide will discuss the different types of wall damage from water and how to repair them. From steam-cleaning to minor repairs and wall reconstruction, we’ll explore the best ways to restore your walls.
What causes wall damage from water?
One of the most common types of wall damage from water is from standing water. Standing water is water that has been sitting on the ground or on surfaces for a long period of time. This can come from the ground or foundation.
In many cases, mildew and mold will grow on the surface of the water, which can cause extensive damage – both on the walls and ceilings. This can happen when the wall hasn’t been finished properly or there is a problem with the foundation.
Another cause of wall damage from water is roof or plumbing leaks. Roof and plumbing leaks are extremely harmful as they can grow fast.
These types of wall damage from the water will often be visible on your walls.
In each of these situations, you will have to address the root of the problem (eg roof leak, plumbing leak or foundation issue) before you fix the wall.
We have discussed how to detect water in walls or ceilings HERE.
Plumbers have special tools to detect leaks behind a wall
– A water detector can be used as well. This device has two electrodes connected to a battery. One electrode can detect water while the other is connected to the ground. With these two sensors, plumbers can locate leaks and patch them quickly. Using your hands can also be a great tool. Feel on walls and floors to see if they feel moist. This can indicate that the leak is close by.
– A heat camera can work as well as water cools down certain areas. Not every plumber is specialized in this though so you might have to ask if they have experience with finding leaks when you call one. This is part art and part science as there are a lot of things going on in a house and isolating the signal of a leaking pipe can be a challenge.
– This is often done by using a listening tool. This can be compared to a stethoscope that is placed in several spots in your home. If your floor is made out of concrete, it can be quite difficult to use this tool.
– If there is a leak in the drain, plumbers can use a camera. This is not very precise but can give an indication of what is going on. A water pressure test can provide a more accurate picture but this is harder to do. Some plumbers add a colored liquid to the water to detect where it goes. Smoke can be used as well.
You can also use your hands to feel wet spots.
How to fix the water leak
If there is a water supply leak, you will have to remove the faulty part of the pipe and add a new part.
You have to turn the water supply off. There are easy ways to do this as some connectors allow you to slide pieces of pipe together and be done with it. If there is no shut-off valve, you can use a machine to freeze the pipe.
Drains can also be repaired quite easily. Just cut a piece of PVC and add a new one with glue. In other instances, you can tighten the connector between the drains.
Fixing a roof leak can be harder as you have to make it watertight. This can involve removing pieces of the roof and adding new parts.
To fix water that runs from the foundation, sometimes chemical products are used. These push the water away. A professional has to check what is going on and find the best solution though as a lot of things can be at fault. It is also possible that you have to add a longer downspout or remove some trees or plants.
How to prevent wall damage from water
One of the best preventative measures you can take is to close all leaks and avoid excess water inside your walls. This will reduce the amount of damage caused by water.
This includes a regular inspection of the roof and plumbing system. Often you can hear water drip or feel that the well is wet. You can also get a sensor that measures the humidity (or moisture) in the air. If you notice that the humidity is increasing, it can indicate that there is a water leak.
Another common issue is that the shower is leaking. You have to check the grouts and silicone often to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.
The garden is another frequent problem. People install trees nearby the house or don’t have proper downspouts. Water has nowhere to go but in your wall.
During winter you should keep the temperature in the rooms where the water supply pipes are warm enough. A lot of people have water damage after a pipe froze. This expands the water in the pipes and tears the water pipes open. Once this happened, water will pour out of it. This is a common problem. Insulating your pipes can help as well.
We have to keep in mind that water leaks can be really small and build up over time so it can be hard to detect them at first. Once you notice that there is a leak, you should take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
How to repair wall damage from water
You can rent dehumidifiers to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Opening up windows can also help to reduce the amount of water in the air. You also can use enzymes to clean up the area around the leak if there is mold.
When it comes to repairing wall damage from water, one of the best options is to rebuild your walls. This means opening the wall and removing any material that is wet. If you don’t do this, you can get mold and mildew in this room. This can be dangerous and lead to a lot of damage.
You might have to remove a part of the drywall and insulation. Even some wooden parts might have to be replaced as they can absorb moisture. Often the damage can only be seen when you open up the wall. Be careful as electrical and internet cables can run through the wall.
Be sure to turn off the electricity before cutting in a wall. There also might be plumbing drains and pipes running in the wall. In some instances, you will have a map of where they are. If you don’t, you should be careful as you can create new leaks if you damage a pipe.
Make sure to take a lot of pictures of the whole repair. This can come in handy if you want to get compensation for what happened. The drywall has to be taped properly to get a smooth finish.
Brick walls are better at dealing with moisture and it might be possible to salvage them.
One of the most important aspects of rebuilding walls is to ensure your walls are sound structurally. If your walls are damaged structurally, then they can also be damaged structurally from water damage.
Walls are one of the most important parts of any house. They help to contain your home and keep you safe. Unfortunately, walls are also one of the most vulnerable parts of your house. They can be damaged by a variety of circumstances, including water damage. Fortunately, these types of damage can be repaired.
Water damage on walls is a common problem that causes a lot of damage. However, the good news is that it can be repaired. You might have to remove a lot of materials but in most instances, it can be fixed in a few days.
Plumbers can often help you with fixing the water leak but you will need another contractor to repair the wall. If there is damage to the electrical system, you will need to contact an electrician as well.