Roof leak - drywall repair question

wtrochmaMarch 18, 2009

I had a leak in my roof that has caused a significant amount of water to come down through an outside wall and soak my carpet. Roof is fixed, and the carpet was pulled up and dried out. My question is this:

Should I remove the section of drywall and insulation and replace, or should I just let it dry out on it's own. The drywall is solid (although a bit soft in one or two small places), and there are a couple of nail pops. The insullation is blown-in cellulose (packed very tightly).

My main worry is the cellulose holding onto the water, and mold growing in the wall. I've had a couple of different opinions, but all from non-professionals.

Can someone with experience weigh in? Obviously, I'd like to leave it - the repair job will be time consuming, costly, and messy. On the other hand, I'd really don't want a wall full of mold. Please help. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

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You actually answered your own question.

Mold will happen if you don't replace the drywall/insulation. That is a fact. How much and how dangerous is unanswerable.

Just one of the downsides of home ownership.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 4:57PM
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How well vented is the area where the cellulose lies and how much of a leak occured. Saturated drywall would produce more than a nail pop or two although that is a sign of the rock getting fairly wet. Another factor to consider is how warm is it now where you at. The area where the cellulose lies will be warmer than the outside temperature. Good ventilation and that warmth will dry it out nicely if the leak wasn't severe in the first place. Only you can answer that. If you have access to the area, crawl up anf feel around before going crazy with demolition and the mess.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:03PM
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If it were me I would to cut out the damaged section, remove all wet insulation, and let it dry out. And do so as soon as possible to minimize mold. If it is wet inside the wall, it will not dry out for a long time. Reinsulate and replace the drywall. For a site showing all the steps in replacing large damaged areas, see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repairing Damaged Drywall

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 7:14PM
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Guess I have attic on the brain. I didn't see where it's a wall that is concerned. Take Handy and D'wall guy's advise and open it up and get it out of there to dry.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 8:00PM
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He said the leak ran down the outside wall. That's one of the worst places to allow moisture to remain. The temperature difference from inside to outside will cause condensation to cycle in the wall, and therefore take a LONG time to dry out otherwise. I'd check the insulation in the ceiling and rafter spaces too.
I learned a lot about how to deal with mold issues at the site listed in the optional link space below.

BTW- there sure seems like a lot of popoups here lately. I was gone from this site for a while, and upon returning I noticed...

Here is a link that might be useful: mold removal web site

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 4:47PM
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