Drywall isn’t indestructible, and dents can result from anything from banging a doorknob to children flinging toys. Small holes and dents can be patched with a little effort and the right tools.
Large cracks, those that occur along a sagging wall, and discoloration are signs of structural problems or moisture issues that should be investigated and addressed by a professional. For professional help, contact Drywall Repair Las Vegas now!
If you have a hole in your wall, patching it before applying paint can give it a more seamless look. For a professional-looking job, square the hole off with a utility knife and then sand 4″–6″ around its perimeter with 100-grit sandpaper to smooth it down. Then, either cover the damaged area with a self-adhering drywall patch or, if studs are visible, nail or screw a new piece of drywall to them. Apply a thin coat of joint compound over the repaired surface and let it dry.
Before you cut into a wall, check for electrical cords or plumbing lines. It’s always best to work with an electrician or plumber for bigger holes. If you discover any wires or pipes, have them rerouted or disconnected before you begin repairing the hole.
You can buy a patch kit for holes about the size of a doorknob with a self-adhering mesh patch that covers the damage. However, if the hole is larger, you’ll need to score the back (brown) side of the drywall pieces at 1 inch from each edge, then peel off the brown paper to expose the white gypsum inside.
For a more professional-looking repair, you’ll need a container of pre-mixed joint compound, also known as mud, and 6-inch or 12-inch metal putty knives. Start by scraping away any jagged edges or loose particles with a utility knife, then apply the first coat of mud to the patch. Smooth it with a putty knife and let it dry, checking the time to cure indicated on the product label.
Apply additional coats as necessary until the patch is completely covered and blended with the surrounding wall, then sand it smooth and feather the edges. If you’re using an aerosol texture spray, be careful not to overspray. Overspray can damage adjacent drywall or furniture.
Most homes settle unevenly as they age, which can cause cracks in the inside corners of rooms. A common solution is to watch for movement over two or three months and fix the corner as soon as it starts to sag, or even a little before then.
Cracks in a wall can be charming irregularities that add character to the room, or they can indicate serious structural issues that need to be addressed. It’s important to understand the difference between these, have the more serious cracks professionally assessed by a building professional to determine their root cause, and then have those problems corrected. Minor cracks, however, are typically caused by the natural settling of a house over time and can be easily patched with a few basic tools and materials found at any home improvement store.
Start by applying a 1/8-in. thick bed of patch drywall compound to the joint. Press a strip of paper tape into the compound, and then apply another coat of compound to smooth out any ridges or uneven areas. Let dry, then lightly sand the surface of the crack with 100-grit sandpaper to blend the edges of the repair.
If the crack is on a seam, carefully widen it with a utility knife, paint scraper, or chisel. This will remove any loose drywall material, and it will also allow the gap filler or compound to fill the crack properly.
When two sheets of drywall meet at an outside corner, they are joined with an L-shaped metal strip called a “corner bead.” This is nailed to the corners of the sheet and then concealed by a second layer of joint compound. Over time, the corner bead can become dented from activities such as running a vacuum cleaner over the wall, a child flinging a toy, or moving furniture.
Once you’ve widened the crack, it’s a simple matter of using aviation snips to cut off the severed section of the corner bead. Use a utility knife to remove any loose drywall. Next, lightly sand the area to smooth it before priming and painting.
While it is possible to fix these smaller cracks on your own, it is generally best to call in a professional for any crack that is wider than a quarter inch. These larger cracks can be a sign of a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and attempting to simply paper over them will likely lead to the problem worsening over time.
Repairing Nail Pops
If you find small circular areas poking out from your walls and ceiling, you have nail pops. These little bumps of drywall can crack the paint around them and are unsightly. The good news is that they’re easy to fix. Here’s how.
Drywall nails and screws work themselves loose over time as the wood framing expands and contracts with changes in humidity and season. That causes the wood fibers to lose their grip on the smooth shank of the nails and screws, causing them to come out of the wall and create a nail pop.
The best way to prevent nail pops is to use the right fastener for the job and install it correctly. That includes using the right type of screw and making sure the head isn’t too big for the hole you’re driving into. You should also avoid hitting drywall with a hammer or screwdriver too hard, which can loosen the fastener or crack the drywall.
Nail pops are a lot more common in homes built decades ago, where nails were used rather than screws. But they can be found in any home and are usually caused by subtle shifts in the foundation or wood framing.
Run your fingers over the surface of your wall to feel for nail pops. If you find one, circle it with a pencil so you can locate it later. If it’s a nail, a few light taps with a hammer should drive it back below the drywall surface. If it’s a screw, you’ll need to use a drill fitted with a #2 Phillips bit to drive it back below the surface.
Once the nail or screw is re-secured, spread some joint compound, spackle, or a mix-to-use setting compound over the heads of the nail or screw. Drag a putty knife over the surface to smooth it out, and let it dry. If you want to, you can sand it smooth with a drywall sanding sponge and then apply a new coat of primer and paint.
You can also secure a nail or screw with two drywall screws, placed an inch above and below the hole. That will replace the nail with the screws and prevent it from re-popping in the future.
Repairing damaged corners
Drywall corners are designed to create a pristine edge in the corner of your wall. However, they can get damaged from heavy impacts, such as hanging a picture or moving furniture. Fortunately, they are easy to repair with a simple joint compound.
First, remove any loose particles in the corner. Then, apply a thin layer of drywall compound, extending it to the adjacent drywall surfaces. Use a putty knife that is three to six inches wide and smooth the compound. Allow the compound to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
When you are finished, sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge to smooth out any ridges and blend in the edges of the patch. Then prime and paint the patched area to match the surrounding wall surface.
Smaller holes in drywall can often be repaired using paper joint tape and a small amount of drywall compound (known in the building trades as mud). Before you apply the mud, carefully carve away any protruding pieces of drywall paper or gypsum. If they are not flattened, the mud will most likely ooze out around the edges of the hole.
As a home settles, its framing can twist, pushing the nails holding the drywall to the wall studs outward. This causes visible bulges in the drywall called nail pops. If you tap these nails back into place, they will work their way out again. To solve this problem permanently, drive a screw about an inch above and below the nail head in each location. This will anchor the drywall to the stud and prevent it from twisting in the future.
Damaged corner drywall can also be fixed by replacing the damaged corner bead. This is a relatively straightforward job, but it can be tricky if you have never replaced one before. Start by cutting out the old corner bead with a utility knife. Then, use tin snips to cut a new piece of paper-faced corner bead to replace the damaged one. Press the bead firmly onto the damaged area and apply a new coat of mud over it.