How to Protect Your Interior Drywall From Damage
Drywall is a common choice for interior walls because it is lightweight, easy to handle and install, and inexpensive. However, this building material has a major disadvantage: susceptibility to damage.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize or prevent damage to drywall.
Drywall isn’t the most durable building material out there. It isn’t resistant to impact, so problems with holes, joints cracking, and damaged corners are common. It isn’t water-resistant, making it unsuitable for areas with high moisture or humidity levels.
Nevertheless, drywall remains one of the most common choices for interior wall finishes because of its cost effectiveness, uniformly smooth surface, and ease of installation, to name a few benefits. If you are considering this material or already have it in your home and want to protect it from damage, below are a few pointers you can keep in mind.
Add Waterproofing Primer
Moisture and water are enemies of drywall mainly because the material is extremely porous. A variety of problems can arise if the drywall is exposed to those elements. It will absorb the moisture and start cracking, swelling, and buckling. Mold and mildew can also grow. Some of these moisture-related damages are either costly to fix or irreversible.
A waterproofing primer will be very helpful in preventing any moisture damage on drywall, especially in humid homes. Ideally, drywall moisture content should remain around 12%. If the humidity inside your home goes above this, the drywall will likely absorb more moisture, which causes problems.
Do Not Put Big Furniture Near or Against a Drywall
One of the most common forms of drywall interior damage is scuff or scratch marks from furniture. Although minor, scuff and scratch marks can stick out like a sore thumb and compromise the appearance of your interior environment.
Your furniture can only damage your interior drywall if you position it too close. If you want to avoid this type of drywall damage, be careful when moving your furniture around, and don’t place it close to or against the wall.
Protect the Wall While Installing Hanging Features
Hanging artwork, photographs, and other kinds of décor is a common way of elevating your interior’s appearance. But installation often requires poking a hole in the wall, which causes damage, albeit small. Nevertheless, this does not mean you should avoid this décor to protect your drywall.
You can still hang pictures or any other décor on your interior drywall without causing damage by determining the exact nail placement. You can use tools like a tape measure, level, painter’s tape, and pencil to get precise measurements and ensure the frame is level. This preparation will allow you to get the nail placement right the first time.
Also, consider the object's weight. The likelihood of drywall damage is higher when the item is heavier because it means the item needs larger fasteners. The fasteners can also gradually sag, creating larger cracks in the drywall over time.
Use Door Stoppers
Doors have sharp corners and hardware that hit the drywall in the same place over and over, causing damage over time. The constant opening and closing of the door can leave dents and scratches behind. If you don’t do anything to protect your drywall, you may find yourself one day having to pay for wall repair.
Although tiny, door stoppers can effectively protect your drywall corners. As the name suggests, door stoppers stop the door from hitting the adjacent wall. This product comes in many types, but the magnetic type may be the best for avoiding drywall damage. You install it on the edge of the wall or floor, and then the strong magnetic force will keep the door away.
Regularly Inspect Your Plumbing for Leaks
Most plumbing pipes are installed within your walls. When these pipes burst or leak, your drywall is at risk of costly water damage. That’s why it is crucial not to skip plumbing maintenance; let a professional plumber assess your system at least once a year.
You can also do a visual inspection once in a while. Look for dripping water, stains on your walls or ceilings, discoloration and fading in a specific area, peeling or bubbling wallpaper, bulging or sagging walls, and a musty odor. If you see any of these signs or think something is amiss, call your trusted plumbing repair contractor right away and have your plumbing system checked.
Address Issues Immediately
Being proactive with repair is one of the keys to keeping the drywall in its best condition for many years. The majority of expensive drywall issues start small. So if you see any issues, like nails popping out of place or little cracks in the wall, don’t wait for the problem to worsen. Instead, call your local drywall experts immediately.
You may also handle the repair yourself, but only if it’s minor, such as tiny scratches. If the damage is more extensive, it’s best to let professionals handle the repair. Although DIY guides are available on the internet, nothing beats a professional’s skills honed by years of experience.
Get Repairs Done Properly
Another reason to hire a professional for your drywall repair is to ensure the repair is done correctly. Sometimes, minor damage requires an elaborate solution. For example, you cannot simply pound nails back into place with a hammer, because this can damage the drywall further. Additionally, you’ll need to find out the underlying cause of a nail popping out to prevent the same issue in the future.
Protect Your Drywall From Termites
There are also living things you should protect your drywall from: termites. Termites can consume your drywall from the inside out, feeding on paper in the drywall. More often than not, the damage isn’t easy to spot. Your drywall becomes hollow, and depending on the type of termite in your wall, they may create pin-sized holes.
You can protect your drywall from termite infestation by sealing the material with borate-based treatment and performing regular inspections. If your property has attracted termites in some way, early detection is the key to minimizing damage, since termites cannot eat drywall as fast as other types of wood.
Don’t Paint Over Damaged Drywall
Painting drywall is a way of protecting it from dirt and grease. As a bonus, painting it will allow you to change its color and appearance according to your preference. But ensure that the drywall does not have any damage, even a tiny hole, when you paint over it.
You may ask why you can’t paint over damaged drywall. Well, it’s because doing so is like putting a band-aid on an open wound. It does not fix the issue nor properly hide it. The problem is still there and will probably only worsen over time. Of course, after you’ve repaired your drywall, it is best to paint over the repair to streamline the surface.
Drywall Damage? Call the Experts!
Many things can damage drywall, but minor damage isn’t the end of the world. There are professionals like the team at Anderson Painting who are just one call away to help restore the functionality and appearance of your interior drywall.
Whether you need some carpentry work or an interior painting job, Anderson Painting has got you covered. Our team has been painting interiors and exteriors of commercial and residential properties in the Greater Triangle area for many years. We are also skilled in carpentry, applying floor coatings, and many other things.
If your drywall needs repair or painting, feel free to contact Anderson Painting for a quote or more information.