wet drywall replacement
October 25, 2023

Does Wet Drywall Need to be Replaced? The Truth You Need to Know

Wet drywall can be a common problem in homes and can be caused by various factors such as leaks, floods, or humid weather. When drywall gets wet, it can compromise the structural integrity of the walls, and if not addressed, it can lead to mold growth, which poses health risks to humans. The most common question that arises among homeowners is, does wet drywall need to be replaced? While it might seem like a disaster, the good news is that wet drywall doesn’t always mean you need a complete replacement. But how do you know when to call in the professionals? In this blog, we will look at some of the facts you need to know about wet drywall and when to start worrying, all the relevant information about wet drywall replacement, including how to prevent mold growth on wet drywall, drying out drywall,signs of wet drywall, and the cost of drywall replacement.

Wet Drywall Replacement

Understanding the nature of drywall is crucial to understanding whether or not it needs a replacement. Drywall is made from layers of compressed gypsum plaster that is sandwiched between cardboard or paper. The paper and cardboard start to disintegrate when they come into contact with water, and moisture can penetrate the gypsum plaster layers, causing warping, swelling, and mold growth. When it gets wet, it loses its strength and becomes soft, making it difficult to support weight or load-bearing features. When the wet drywall is in an essential part of the house such as the ceiling or wall, it can weaken the structure leading to sagging or even collapse. Even if the damage seems minor, it can be difficult to accurately assess the extent of the damage from the outside. It is advised to employ the services of a professional to evaluate the extent of the damage.

In most cases, wet drywall needs to be replaced, especially if the damage is extensive. Small amounts of drywalls that have been contaminated with clean water from a sink leak, for example, can be dried if caught early. 

Wet drywalls that have been contaminated with gray or black water from flooding or sewage backups should be replaced immediately as it contain harmful bacteria and other pathogens that require special cleaning techniques. As opposed to a complete replacement, partial replacement may be possible depending on the extent of the damage. However, it is still essential to ensure that it has been adequately checked for mold growth which can lead to further damage, as well as, possible health problems.

Signs of Wet Drywall

It’s important to know the signs of wet drywall to prevent further damage or mold growth. Some of the signs of wet drywall include a musty odor, discoloration, sagging, or buckling. If you notice any of these signs, you should inspect the drywall for water damage and address it as soon as possible.

Drying out Drywall

If you notice wet drywall, the first step is to stop the source of the water. You can use a fan to dry the wet drywall, but that may not be enough if the water damage or mold growth is extensive. In some cases, you may need to use a dehumidifier to dry the air and prevent moisture from remaining in the walls, which can cause mold growth. It’s essential to ensure that the drywall is completely dry to prevent mold growth and further water damage. 

Preventing Mold in Drywall

Mold can grow rapidly on wet drywall, and it can pose serious health risks to humans, including respiratory issues and allergies. The best way to prevent mold growth on wet drywall is by addressing the issue as soon as possible. You should also ensure that the drywall is dried out completely, and there is no moisture left in the walls. If mold grows on wet drywall, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to remove the mold and replace the drywall to prevent further mold growth.

Drywall Installation

Before installing your drywall, it’s important to ensure that the source of moisture is resolved. This is crucial as any repairs made without fixing the underlying problem will only set you up for repeat damage down the line. If you detect moisture and act quickly, you can dry your drywall and prevent further damage. It is important to air out the affected area by opening windows or using fans to circulate the air, dehumidifiers can also be used to hasten the drying process. If the affected area is large, the work may require professional drying services that use specialized equipment to identify and dry the affected areas appropriately.


Q: How can I prevent wet drywall?

A: You can prevent wet drywall by fixing leaks, ensuring proper ventilation, and maintaining your home’s humidity levels.

Q: Can I paint over wet drywall?

A: No, you should not paint over wet drywall. Allow the drywall to dry completely before painting it.

Q: How long does it take for wet drywall to dry?

A: It depends on the extent of the water damage and the humidity levels in your home. In most cases, it can take anywhere from 24-72 hours for wet drywall to dry completely.

Q: Can I save wet drywall?

A: In some cases, you can save wet drywall. However, if the water damage is extensive or if there is mold growth, it’s recommended that you replace the drywall.

Q: How much does drywall replacement cost?

A: Drywall replacement cost varies depending on the extent of the damage and the size of the affected area. On average, the cost can range from $1.50-$3.50 per square foot.

Bottom Line

Wet drywall is a common problem in homes, and it’s important to address it as soon as possible to prevent further damage or mold growth. In most cases, wet drywall replacement is a necessity, especially if the damage is extensive. Ensure the source of moisture is resolved before proceeding with repairs. To prevent wet drywall, you should fix leaks, ensure proper ventilation, and maintain your home’s humidity levels. It may be tempting to DIY wet drywall cleanup, but in most cases, it’s best to call in a professional who is trained to evaluate the extent of the damage accurately. Getting the advice of experts is an important part of dealing with wet drywall as it can prevent long-term damage, mold, and health implications.

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