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Drywall  /  February 28, 2022

Edmonton Home Repair: Is Water Damage On Drywall Dangerous?

water damage in drywall

Leaks in the roof or plumbing can expose drywall to moisture, resulting in water damage. This is usually evident from discolouration or distortion. Drywall is porous and soaks up water, so exposure to moisture can cause it to swell and bulge. You may think that drywall damage, while annoying, is something you can live with. However, it could be potentially dangerous and requires replacement by drywall services in Edmonton.

1. Mould Growth

Mould is a type of fungal growth. It can cause health problems or exacerbate existing ones, such as allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems. Mould reproduces by producing spores, which need water to start growing. When the drywall is exposed to water, mould spores may start growing in it. In addition to water, mould needs food of some sort to grow. Mould feeds on organic material. The main component of drywall is gypsum, which is inorganic. However, drywall contains particles of wood on which mould can feed.

Because drywall is porous, it contains many small holes and crevices in which mould can proliferate. Once the mould has made its way into the gypsum, it is impossible to clean and disinfect thoroughly enough to remove the spores. For this reason, the only option is to replace the damaged panels, which can be accomplished by hiring professional drywall services in Edmonton.

2. Structural Weakening

Drywall is made by grinding up gypsum into smaller particles and mixing it with water and other emulsifiers. The resulting gypsum slurry is then spread over the top of the paperboard and covered with another. Therefore, each sheet of drywall consists of three layers, kind of like a gypsum sandwich.

Water is known as the universal solvent. Gypsum isn’t a very hard material in the first place. When the drywall is exposed to moisture, it doesn’t just swell and bulge. Over time, it starts to break down and come apart. This can cause the drywall to fall down from the ceiling beams and wall studs to which it is attached, posing a risk of injury if the panels fall on you. Even if the drywall doesn’t collapse completely, it may not be able to support the weight of shelves or picture frames hung from it or tile installed on top of it.

3. Electrical Fire Risk

The electrical wiring in your home is typically installed in the wall voids and then covered up by drywall so that it is no longer visible. Any moisture that gets to the drywall may also get into the wiring behind it.

Water and electricity do not mix. Being highly conductive, water makes electricity behave in unpredictable ways. When the wiring has been exposed to water, it increases the risk of an electrical fire. The estimated percentage of house fires caused by electricity ranges from 6% to 13%, making it a significant cause.

Just because you have drywall water damage doesn’t necessarily mean that electrical wires have also been exposed to moisture. It may be that there are no wires behind the damaged area of drywall. However, to be safe, you should take precautions when investigating the possibility of exposure, such as turning off the main circuit breaker before probing behind the wall. It may be better to leave all such investigations to professionals who have the training and experience to deal with such problems safely.

Find Drywall Services in Edmonton and More From Handyman Connection

While it is possible to replace drywall on your own, it is difficult to match the new panels to the surrounding ones. Handyman Connection has technicians trained in drywall services as well as related home repairs, such as the repair of wiring that has been exposed to water. Find out more about all the services we perform in Edmonton.

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