Repairing sheet-rock

After a heavy rain, water got into my finished basement. I didn't discover the water until it had been sitting for about a week. On one wall, an area of about 5 feet wide and 6 inches high the sheet-rock has just dissolved and needs to be replaced. Can this damaged area just be cut out and replaced with new? I'm assuming that I need to remove the old sheet-rock starting at the center of the wall studs, so I'll have something to nail to. What should I do about the top of this replacement piece as I won't have a nailing surface?
Thanks
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Patch wrote:

Sure, just cut it out. Back to the studs is simplest. For the top, just cut some 1/4" plywood about 4" high and a bit shorter than the spacing between your studs. Stick it halfway up behind the good sheetrock and screw the sheetrock into it every 6" or so. That will give you something to which the replacement piece can be fastened.
Chris
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See if you can eyeball it and figure out how the sheets were installed originally. Then tear out an entire sheet and install an entire sheet. In my experience, that's easier than a bunch of patchwork. And it might make it easier to dry everything out and check for additional damage.

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The Reverend Natural Light wrote:

Yeah, adding two 4' butt seams sounds _so_ much simpler than one foot of butted seam on the ends to me, too. :)
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It will be better when it's finished.
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The Reverend Natural Light wrote:

For some definition of "better"... :)
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Patch wrote:

You're on the right track. Start by chalking a line ~12" up the wall and remove that section. Made the end cuts right along the studs -- don't bother trying to center the cuts over the wall studs and don't be too concerned with accurate cutting at this point.
Once you have a section removed you can determine the extent of the damage, give it a chance to dry out, and kill any mold that's still present.
When you're ready to finish, extend and/or clean up the cut lines all around. Sister 2x2 or 2x4 boards to the existing studs on the sides. You probably don't need to worry about providing backing along the top of the patch, the studs every 16" should suffice. If you do want extra support, screw scraps of 1x4 to the existing wallboard between the studs. (There's no need to attach the backing to the framing.)
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