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
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.
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
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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