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We have a basement bathroom that has water damage from the bathroom above. The damage is old, so it has completely dried, however it has bubbled the paint so the damage is obvious.

Mold is not a concern. We have drop-ceiling tiles so we can see behind the wall to tell that there is no mold.

My thoughts are that I can repair it by scraping the old paint bubble off and using drywall compound to smooth it out before repainting it good-as-new.

My concern is that the drywall is 'ruined' by the water damage. So, is this kind of repair feasible, or will I end up having to replace it anyway?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The risk would be that the compound wouldn't bond to the scraped-away area, or that the remaining drywall would crumble over time. It would be much better to cut out the area and patch it, and it wouldn't be that much more work.

If you do decide to try it though, you might want to use some fiberglass mesh tape to reinforce the patch.

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It's at the top of the wall, so replacement won't be too much harder than repair. –  Peach Nov 7 '10 at 15:22

you didn't describe the extent of the damage to the existing drywall, so a little hard to make a judgement call as to weather a repair would be good in your situation. As a rule, water damaged rock should be replaced or at least remove the damaged section and patch in a new piece and finish in. If the damage is fairly large or widespead, consider replacing it with moisture resistant or the new no-mold sheetrock. If you do decide to replace the drywall, be sure to install a vapor barrier against the studs before installing new rock. Use nylon seam tape and a setting type mud rather than standard premix. A last coat of premix could be used for a smoother finish, but be sure to prime it with a good drywall sealer before painting. Good luck

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The damage is V-shaped at the top of the wall. About 15cm wide at the top, tapering down about 40cm. Not a large section, but certainly noticeable. It sounds like replacing the damaged section is the 'best' option. –  Peach Nov 7 '10 at 15:16

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