How to Replace Drywall After a Water Leak to Remove Leftover Mold

A water leak can cause mold to grow quickly, and even once the plumber or roofer fixes the leak – the mold is often left behind. Many people ignore this until their allergies flare up from the excessive mold growth in their walls. 

Don’t ignore mold in your home, get the drywall repaired as fast as possible. An experienced drywall contractor should be called if you have no experience removing or installing new drywall. Why? Because, they can match the new drywall to your existing walls so you will never know it happened. 

Cut and Remove a Section of Drywall

Don’t start by removing a large panel, as you don’t know if the mold has even spread that far. Keep the job as simple as possible to avoid making a large mess or over-spending on material you really don’t need. 

By cutting out a 12×12 square in the drywall, you can get a flashlight and see how far the mold has spread. 

Remove more drywall as needed, and make sure you uncover all of the mold. If the problem is more severe than you thought, you may end up removing more than you intended. 

Inspect for Damage to the Wood Framing

Most existing homes are built with wood-framed interior walls, and water damage can wreak havoc on them. Make sure the wood is still tough and not infested with mold. In many cases, an experienced contractor will cut out the bad wood and replace it to ensure the mold is 100% removed from your house. 

Cleaning to Get Rid of Mold in Your Walls

Now here’s the tricky part. Mold is not easy to get rid of. Most people think bleach works. Bleach kills mold, but it doesn’t remove mold. So open up the windows, and spray down all the moldy areas with bleach. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes. 

Now, grab some rags and Dawn dish soap. Yes, Dawn dish soap works great for removing mold. Removing it is key, especially if you’re suffering from an allergic reaction. 

Remove all of the mold you possibly can before moving on to the next step.

Grab Kilz Mold & Mildew Primer Paint at Your Local Hardware Store

Every handyman and contractor will know what Kilz is – as it’s super effective when it comes to preventing mold. It’s the perfect primer for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and any other room with a water line. 

There is a spray can version of Kilz, and we recommend using that to get into tight spaces within your walls. Make sure to wear a respirator or a mask and keep windows open for proper ventilation when painting. 

Once the damaged area has been completely covered with Kilz, move on to the next step.

Replacing the Wood and Drywall

Securely re-attach the wood studs and drywall. Cut out the piece you need and screw it down. 

Grab a tub of plaster or mix your own mud to start taping the newly hung drywall. Then apply some coats of plaster over the tape – making sure to wait 15 minutes between coats so it dries evenly. There are 20 minute, 45 minute and 90 minute bags of drywall mud you can buy for a faster job. They must be mixed with water thoroughly. 

After it’s dried, grab your sander and smooth out the surface.

Texture and Painting

Matching the wall texture is crucial if you want the job to look like a pro did it – meaning no one can tell you patched the wall. Common drywall textures include skip trowel, orange peel, and knockdown. Knockdown and orange peel can be replicated easily using a can from Lowes or Home Depot. 

They sell stuff that shoots plaster on the walls, and then you take your drywall knife and gently wipe it down. Do your research, and don’t attempt this if you’ve never seen how walls are textured. 

Once the texture is matched and the wall is dry you can begin painting. Congratulations, if you made it this far then you’ve successfully removed the mold from your home and replaced the drywall so everything looks new again. 

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this kind of work, just hire a professional drywall contractor who can get the job done quickly. Living with mold should not be an option.