Basic Repairs for Moms

Can You Fix Moldy Drywall?: An FAQ

If you've had a leak in your home, some of your home's drywall may be ruined. Below is what you need to know in order to get the drywall repair your home needs. 

Q: How can you identify mold on drywall?

A: Mold on drywall is often black, white or gray in color. It may or may not have a damp, musty odor. Drywall affected by mold may feel soft and rotten.

Q: How does drywall become moldy in the first place?

A: Drywall becomes moldy when it's exposed to moisture and mold spores. Usually moldy drywall is the result of a leak either from a pipe, a window or the roof. Sometimes drywall becomes moldy in rooms of the home where the air is not adequately ventilated and moisture exposure is common, like in a bathroom. 

Q: Can you bleach out mold stains from drywall?

A: No. Drywall is very porous and mold can live on both sides of the drywall. Once drywall has been exposed to mold, the only way to fix the problem is to cut out the moldy part of the drywall and replace it. 

Q: How can you replace drywall?

A: The drywall is cut out with a drywall saw so that none of the drywall has any mold left on it. Then a new piece of drywall is cut to fit in the hole. The new drywall is fastened to the wall studs with drywall screws, and then the seams are covered with a layer of drywall putty. Finally, the drywall tape is applied over the putty and the paper is smoothed. When the putty is dry, it's sanded and the wall is then ready for painting. 

Q: Can this be done as a DIY project?

A: This can be done as a DIY project, provided that the mold itself is not toxic. If the mold is toxic, it should be removed by a professional mold remediation company. To find out whether or not you can personally remove the mold from your house, speak with a mold remediation contractor. If he or she says that you can safely conduct the drywall repair yourself, then you should feel free to do so if you know what to do. If you're not comfortable removing the moldy drywall on your own, contact an experienced drywall repair contractor. 

Q: Once the drywall has been repaired, will you be able to tell where the damage used to be?

A: You may be able to see some seams in the drywall if you look at the wall from the right angle, in the right light. Overall, the wall should look solid and secure, as if the mold was never cut out in the first place. 

About Me

Basic Repairs for Moms

Hi, my name is Annie Sullivan. I'm a stay-at-home mom with four kids between the ages of 1 and 7. Two of them are twins: they're 3. Let me tell you--you learn a lot as a mom that you would never expect! Not only am I chef, chauffeur, teacher, and caretaker, but I also have become an amateur repair man, plumber, and construction worker. I do more heavy lifting and repair work than I ever imagined. Do you know how many Barbies can fit down a toilet drain? It's quite surprising. Do you know how to get them out? I do. I've learned a lot of this just through trial and error--and the internet. I also had my husband teach me some tricks, since I usually can't wait until he gets home to solve the problem. Hopefully you other moms out there can learn something from this site!