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8 Frequently Asked Questions About Drywall Repair

Some homeowners feel they can handle small repairs to their drywall – such as filling in nail holes after you move a picture or tiny nicks in the surface – with spackle and a little touch-up paint. For more serious damage, such as a large hole that punches through the drywall, the damaged section needs to be cut out and replaced with a new piece of drywall. And that’s where things get tricky. It may seem simple, but getting it done correctly, so that it’s not even noticeable that a repair was made, can lead to a lot of questions. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about drywall repair.

1. Exactly what is drywall repair?

Anytime physical damage occurs to a wall in your home – from something small and minor to a major event, like a large hole, mold, or water damage – some kind of repair will be necessary. For small damage that doesn’t go all the way through, you may be able to fill the hole with spackle, smooth it out easily, and cover it with matching paint. Larger issues involving drywall repair include large holes that go all the way through, cracks, and water damage.

2. What causes drywall damage?

Some of the most common types of drywall damage include large holes or gouges that sometimes happen while moving furniture with sharp corners, water damage from leaks around windows or even a washing machine overflowing, pests that have gotten into the house and can cause damage or stains, and mold, which often follows any leaks that allow water into the walls.

3. How difficult is it to handle a drywall repair project on my own?

As with any home repair project, it all depends on your skill level and experience, whether you have the right tools, and how much time you’re willing to spend on the project. While handling it as a DIY project might save you a little money, assuming you don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of tools, it can be time consuming and you might not be happy with the way the finished repair looks.

4. How long should a simple drywall repair project take?

That depends on several factors, especially how big the repair is and the complexity involved. For example, a clean hole in the middle of a wall won’t take as much time as a repair in an area that is right next to a window frame or the floor. If you have some drywall experience and the right tools, a small repair should only take a few hours, while a more extensive repair can drag on for several days.

5. How much does it cost to hire a professional drywall contractor?

The cost of having a drywall repair project done by a professional will depend on several factors that include the size and type of damage, the complexity of the repair, and how accessible the area is for the contractor. To get an idea of the cost, it’s best to have a professional come to your home and assess the damage, then provide an estimate.

6. Can I paint over a drywall repair?

Yes. However, it’s important to wait until the repair is completely dry and sanded to a smooth finish before painting. Also, it can often be difficult to match the existing paint perfectly, especially if the existing paint is a few years old. In a case like that, you might consider painting the entire wall.

7. Can I wallpaper over a drywall repair?

Yes. As with painting over the repair, you have to wait until the repair has dried completely and been sanded before putting up wallpaper. If you put the wallpaper on before the drywall repair is dry and smooth, you’re more likely to end up with bumps or wrinkles in the wallpaper.

8. Is there anything I can do to prevent future drywall damage?

The best way to reduce the chance of drywall damage in your home is to be very careful when moving large items around. Cover any corners with a blanket and take your time moving around corners and through narrow hallways. If you do see something small, fix it quickly before it has a chance to turn into more serious damage. This includes fixing leaks, ceiling cracks, and addressing pest infestations.

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