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What Is Water-Damaged Drywall? How Can You Repair It?

What Is Water-Damaged Drywall? How Can You Repair It?

Drywall is used for walls and ceilings and is a great way to build internal walls as well as design features. Its resilience and versatility make it the perfect building material, which is why it has largely displaced lath and plaster walls.

Drywall is made of gypsum and heavy paper. This makes it highly versatile and easy to install. It is lightweight yet strong and can be sound- and temperature-insulated. As a bonus, it is less expensive to install compared to other construction methods.

In addition, drywall can be cut to the exact dimensions your home requires: this inherent adaptability makes it suitable for design features such as arches and encasings. You can build shelves, countertops, wall features, room dividers, ceilings, storage spaces, displays, and even furniture from drywall.

Another advantage of drywall is that you can hang, place, or decorate whatever you want on it.

The only downside to drywall is its susceptibility to water damage, as gypsum and paper absorb water readily. A few drops of water will not crumble or damage your drywall but a major water leak or flood can cause serious damage.

If this has happened to you, you need to call Valley Restoration and Construction to inspect the damage, stop and repair the leak, and replace your drywall with new sheets. Also, mold starts building up when water lingers in building materials. Even if you replace the drywall yourself, you need mold specialists to stop the spread of mold and moisture.  

How Do I Know If My Drywall Is Water-Damaged?

Stains On Your Drywall

The first thing to notice is coffee-colored stains or discolored paint. It can be a small area at the bottom or top of the drywall or it can be a larger stain. If the stain grows with time, the water problem is getting worse. 

You should consult with Valley Restoration and Construction right away to mitigate the problem and protect your home and health.

Sagging and Crumbling Drywall

One of the most common places to find asbestos in residential dwellings is in the drywall texture and joint compound. This could be especially concerning in instances where the drywall is sagging or flaking, thus causing any potential asbestos material to become friable.

If your drywall is crumbling or displaying signs of disintegration, water has entered the integral part of the drywall and damaged the gypsum. This can be particularly dangerous with drywall ceilings, because pieces of the ceiling can collapse on you and your family.

Drywall walls can get warped with water. This happens when water decays the internal structure of the drywall and weighs it down, so that the wall starts sagging and warping. As it gets saturated with water, it starts bulging, hence the picture of a warped wall.

Flaking Paint

If drywall paint is peeling, flaking, and shedding, you may have water damage inside the drywall slowly eating away at your wall’s integrity.

If its integrity is compromised in such a way, drywall can’t recover its original shape. Unfortunately, you will need to replace it.

Mitigate the Water Leak and Fix the Problem

If you have signs that your drywall may be water-damaged, you should call Valley Restoration and Construction in Montrose, Colorado to inspect the problem and restore it. Depending on the exact causes and extent of the damage, we will fix the water leak, check for mold, and replace the drywall.

Fix the Water Leak First

Water damage may come from a leaky roof, a broken pipe, a toilet problem, a leaking washer or other plumbing issue.

Remember that water travels far: if you see water damage on your drywall, the problem may not be located directly behind it. Water could easily have traveled there from farther away.

In addition, water damage can have unexpected consequences. To fully mitigate the water damage, our specialists will first locate the source of the problem and repair it.

Replace the Drywall

Once the water leak has been taken care of, you need to tackle the drywall. Small damage may be fixed easily, but drywall that is sagging, crumbling, and warping is beyond repair. You need to remove the damaged drywall and replace it with new. Luckily, drywall is easy to replace and budget-friendly.

Be Cautious about Mold

It only takes 24 to 48 hours of moisture for mold to set in. Even if you have taken care of the water issue, mold colonies may already be building inside your wall. Mold can severely impact your health, so you need to act right away.

Once you remove the drywall sheets, you need to dehumidify and dry out the affected area. If there are signs of mold colonies, our Valley Restoration and Construction mold specialists will decontaminate the area, remove mold spores with the right tools and chemicals, and dry it out to remove any residual moisture.

We have dehumidifiers and professional fans to remove humidity from any affected areas. We also have HEPA filters to decontaminate the air from mold spores and special sprayers to sanitize all affected areas.

If Drywall Damage Was Caused by Sewage Backup

If the water damage on your drywall was caused by sewage backup, you shouldn’t attempt to clean or remove any drywall sheets on your own. Call Valley Restoration and Construction and we will take care of the issue.

Sewage water is filled with harmful bacteria that require special equipment, chemicals, and know-how to exterminate. Your everyday home detergents cannot properly sanitize or disinfect such bacteria-loaded black water. In addition, you may need to clean, sanitize, disinfect, sterilize, and deodorize the house depending on your exact circumstances.

Small Water Spills on Drywall

A glass of water spilled on drywall doesn’t require you to remove the whole drywall sheet. Wipe out the water with a cloth and make sure there is no residual moisture lingering on the drywall.

If you have a bigger spill and wish to be extra cautious to avoid the development of mold, place a fan toward the affected area and run it for a few hours to remove any excess humidity.

Valley Restoration and Construction for Your Drywall Emergencies

Contact Valley Restoration and Construction online or call us at 970-964-4437 if you see any signs that your drywall surfaces are suffering from water damage.

Our crew will be with you to inspect the problem, fix the water leak, mitigate the water damage,  and replace your drywall. We are available 24/7 and serve Montrose, Colorado, and all the surrounding areas.

Asbestos Mitigation

Asbestos Mitigation

The words “asbestos removal” will rightly make most homeowners worry. We have all heard how dangerous asbestos can be, as it can cause cancer and lung disease many years after exposure.

Even so, asbestos does not always need to be replaced or sealed. A proper specialist in asbestos removal like Valley Restoration and Construction will assess your home and find whether it contains any asbestos fibers. Only disturbed and crumbling asbestos needs to be removed or repaired.

To understand whether your family’s health is in danger, you should turn to asbestos removal professionals. They have the right tools, equipment, and know-how to take samples and check for asbestos risk.

Where Is Asbestos Hiding in Your Home?

Asbestos is no longer used in construction and home building—but was widely used until the 1980s and can still be in construction materials manufactured outside of the United States.  Therefore, even though it is uncommon to find it in materials in homes beyond the 1980s, it is still possible.  Unless the architect certifies that all the materials used to build a home are asbestos-free, which is quite rare, you shouldn’t assume that a material is asbestos-free based solely on the home’s age.

As a mineral, asbestos was commonly used for insulation thanks to its strength, durability, and fire-resistant properties. That is why you can often find it around boilers and furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves. You can also find asbestos on roofs and ceilings, sidings, and flooring, including vinyl tiles and adhesives.

How Can I Know If There Is Asbestos in My Home?

It is impossible to assess whether any building material in your home contains asbestos, as it is not always visible to the naked eye and may hide underneath a wall or panel. A specialist will need to carefully take samples from suspected areas and have them tested for asbestos.

We strongly advise against taking samples on your own. When asbestos is disturbed, it releases airborne fibers. These fibers are breathed in and slowly make their way into the lungs. Undisturbed asbestos is less of a threat than a poorly taken sample that exposes asbestos fibers to the air.

Asbestos removal professionals wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles and have specialized equipment to take samples. They will make the smallest incision possible to remove a sample, place it into a container, and seal it. They will then clean the area thoroughly.

When Is Asbestos a Problem?

Undisturbed asbestos is not a problem. The fibers remain tightly crammed inside the material and can’t become airborne.

You may, however, accidentally disturb asbestos when you dig, scrape, tear, cut, drill, grate, or saw a material that contains asbestos. Once the asbestos fibers are displaced, they become airborne and spread throughout the house.

If you have a big remodeling project coming up, you should contact Valley Restoration and Construction to assess whether there is asbestos in the area in question. Once we take samples and know whether there is any asbestos, we proceed with asbestos removal if necessary.

How Do I Deal with an Asbestos Problem?

Valley Restoration and Construction specialists will either repair or remove the asbestos in your home.

Repairing Asbestos-Contaminated Areas

Depending on the extent of the asbestos problem, we may choose to repair the area. We can encapsulate or coat the contaminated area with a sealant that will keep all the broken asbestos fibers together and stop them from becoming airborne. This can be effective depending on the situation. However, the material is still there and may still present a problem in the future.

Don’t forget that the goal is to ensure that your home remains safe for you and your family, both now and in the future.

Asbestos Removal

The State of Colorado has stringent regulations regarding asbestos that include residential homes. Any home that requires the removal of 32 square feet or more of suspect material, regardless of the age of the home, requires asbestos testing or the material should be treated as asbestos in lieu of testing. Suspect materials include sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, adhesives, drywall joint compound, and drywall surfacing (texture). Surfacing, in particular, can become extremely friable during renovation activities.

Therefore, if you plan on doing a major remodeling project, we may need to remove asbestos from your home. The best way to handle asbestos is to completely remove it (abatement) with a state-licensed contractor.

Valley Restoration and Construction will remove asbestos if it has crumbled and repairing it is not an option. If asbestos is beyond encapsulation, we will clear away the contaminated construction components and replace them with asbestos-free ones to ensure that your home is safe for you and your family.

In this case, our expert crew will come and dispose of all the affected materials.

Disposing of Asbestos

The State of Colorado, under certain circumstances, does allow a homeowner to opt out of state regulations regarding asbestos. Even so, federal regulations must still be adhered to, which include the proper disposal of the asbestos material in a landfill certified to accept asbestos waste. Unfortunately, these are few and far between.

We will dispose of all asbestos material in licensed landfills and follow strict procedures during the removal, sealing, and transportation stages.

Trust Valley Restoration and Construction for Any Asbestos Problems

Valley Restoration and Construction is a state-licensed contractor with a team of asbestos removal specialists. We will come to your home or building and assess the potential danger. If asbestos fibers have been released, we will encapsulate or remove the affected areas depending on the circumstances.

Call us at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction online for any questions or concerns you may have regarding asbestos in your home!

How Can I Detect Asbestos in My Home?

How Can I Detect Asbestos in My Home?

How Can I Detect Asbestos in My Home?

Asbestos used to be an insulating material until the early 1980s, when it was discovered that asbestos may become friable and release airborne fibers that can be detrimental to a homeowner’s health.

Because of those fibers’ carcinogenic properties, asbestos is no longer used in home construction. Homes that were built before the early 1980s, however, could still have asbestos in them.

If you own an older home and want to improve it, you may start tearing down walls, drilling holes, and removing construction materials. Unfortunately, by doing so, you may be releasing dangerous asbestos fibers into the air. Likewise, when you repair a wall or fix something that’s broken, you need to ensure you are not hammering, drilling, or screwing through an asbestos layer.

Many homeowners wonder how they can detect whether their home has asbestos and whether they can do anything about it. Valley Restoration and Construction has the answer.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction for its durability, low cost, and fire-resistant qualities. It was used extensively in homes throughout the US for decades and you could find asbestos in insulation, roofing, tile glue, drywall, window caulking, glazing, pipe insulation, boilers, HVAC systems, siding, and even fireplaces.

Since the 1970s, however, it gradually became apparent that asbestos could cause lung disease and lung cancer. More than half a million Americans have died from asbestos-related diseases so far. As a result, asbestos has been banned from construction, particularly in homes.

Given its decades-long popularity, however, there is still a large stock of homes that were built 40 or 60 years ago and that still contain asbestos.

How Dangerous Is Asbestos?

If asbestos is left untouched and has not gone through any sort of damage, it poses no risk to your health. That’s because the airborne fibers cannot be released until asbestos becomes friable, so solid asbestos is safe.

Problems can occur after natural disasters such as earthquakes or flooding that disturb the asbestos in the walls. Another common problem is homeowners who start home improvement work to fix broken parts of their homes without suspecting they might have asbestos behind their drywalls. In this case, they may disturb the asbestos already encased in the home and make it release its fibers as it is broken through.

Attic renovation, pipe insulation, drilling, scraping, or new flooring installation are typical activities that can lead to major asbestos breakdown and asbestos-related problems.

How Do I Know If My Home Contains Asbestos?

It can be difficult to be sure about the presence of asbestos in your home.

Generally speaking, if your home was built before the early 1980s, there is a chance that asbestos has been used somewhere in your home construction:

  • Vinyl tiles often contained asbestos. If your home has vinyl tiles, perhaps you should check if there is any asbestos hiding in there.
  • Plumbers used asbestos for pipe insulation and for ceiling tiles. This is another common area where asbestos can be found.
  • Asbestos was used in roofing sheets as well. Tears and abrasions around these parts could be a sign that asbestos is deteriorating and crumbling, thus releasing fibers.
  • Asbestos was also used in drywall texture and joint compound used for drywall surfacing. Also known as drywall mud, this is a gypsum-based paste used to finish drywall joints and corners in new drywall installations. As surfacing can become extremely friable during renovation activities, this is a serious potential risk for you.

If you can, draw a blueprint of all the home areas where asbestos may be present. Don’t scrape, drill, hammer, or do any home renovation around these areas without talking to an asbestos professional first.

What Should I Do About Asbestos in My Home?

If you suspect your home may have asbestos, you should reach out to professionals like Valley Restoration and Construction to take samples and send them to a certified lab for testing.

It is best if you don’t take the sample yourself. Our crews wear special protective gear to protect themselves from coming into contact with asbestos. Also, they know how to remove a sample without releasing fibers into your home.

Can I Take Care of the Asbestos Problem Myself?

The State of Colorado has stringent regulations regarding asbestos that include residential homes. Any home that requires the removal of 32 square feet or more of a suspect material, regardless of the age of the home, requires asbestos testing or the material should be treated as asbestos in lieu of testing.

The best way to handle asbestos is abatement, whereby a state-licensed contractor completely removes it for you.

Covering up or encapsulating is another way of handling it and can be effective depending on the situation. The aim is to seal the asbestos problem and stop it from leaking its fibers. However, the material is still there and may well present a problem in the future.

The State of Colorado, under certain circumstances, does allow a homeowner to opt out of state regulations regarding asbestos. Federal regulations, however, must still be adhered to. These include the proper disposal of the asbestos material in a landfill certified to accept asbestos waste—you can’t simply dust off the broken asbestos and throw it in the bin. Unfortunately, certified landfills are few and far between.

From the above, it becomes clear that most people don’t have the specialist knowledge, licenses, or gear to take care of an asbestos problem in their homes. Even the simplest way of dealing with asbestos—by encapsulating the area where asbestos has been disturbed—requires specific materials that bind the fibers together and stop them from flowing freely. Most homeowners are unlikely to have such high-end materials in their possession.

If we determine that you have friable asbestos in your home, the specialists from Valley Restoration and Construction will proceed with fixing the problem. We will remove the asbestos pieces that were disturbed and dispose of them in a licensed landfill, according to strict regulations.

Talk to Valley Restoration and Construction About Your Asbestos Problem

Call us at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction online and our technicians will come to assess the problem and offer affordable and effective solutions to any asbestos problems. We have the know-how, equipment, gear, and materials to encapsulate and seal the asbestos and ensure you and your family live in a healthy home environment.