If your home is old or was constructed using less-than-stellar materials and workmanship, you might see cracks, holes, or water damage in your drywall. Some drywall repairs are easy to make on your own, if you have the right tools and materials and a bit of home improvement experience. But in other cases, the problem may be severe or extensive enough to warrant calling in an expert. When making a decision about DIY vs. professional repairs, take into account the scope of the project, your experience level, and what you’re willing to spend to get the job done right.
DIY Drywall Repair
Small cracks and nail holes are relatively easy to fix, if the problem is localized and not a symptom of a larger construction issue. Using drywall compound, drywall tape, and a drywall knife, you can patch over damaged areas. In general, it’s best to apply the drywall compound in several layers, letting each layer dry and sanding it smooth before applying the next layer. Note that you may need to fill in cracks and apply drywall tape before patching them over. If you don’t have these tools and materials on hand, but you’re confident you can handle the wall repair yourself, you can visit a local home improvement store for advice on what to use and how to proceed.
Professional Drywall Repair
A large, creeping crack or a bulging area of drywall can indicate a deeper issue within your walls. Perhaps the drywall has shifted due to moisture or poor installation. Perhaps the drywall was not securely screwed in when it was first installed. There could be dozens of reasons for a major drywall problem, and patching it over will only postpone necessary repairs-and can make them more extensive when the time comes. If you have a crack steadily progressing down a wall, a discolored area of ceiling, an uneven bulge where there was not one before, or an actual hole in the drywall, it’s time to call in a drywall repair specialist to assess the situation. These pros are experienced in diagnosing and solving ceiling and wall issues. They can come up with a plan of action that involves not only aesthetic repairs, but also structural repairs, as needed.
If you choose to complete wall and ceiling repair on your own, you must be aware of health considerations related to working with drywall components. Drywall sanding dust can be a respiratory irritant, so it’s important to always wear a mask during and after sanding. Drywall particles can linger in the air and on floors and furniture after the job is done, so be sure to let everything settle and to vacuum thoroughly. Additionally, note that large pieces of drywall are very heavy; keep children and animals out of rooms where drywall is being replaced or installed, in case a piece of drywall falls over. Take all necessary safety precautions to protect the health of yourself, your family, and your pets.