Updated at: 09-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Average cost to repair water-damaged drywall

The expenses of repairs are listed in the table below.

For materials simply, drywall water damage restoration costs between $0.45 and $0.65. It costs an average of $1.5 to $3.5 per square foot when labor is factored in. In terms of drywall repair, the most expensive component is labor. Because of this, the majority of homeowners opt to conduct the work themselves in order to save money.

The costs of repairing drywall in each individual room are summarized in the table below.

Drywall that has been flooded The price per square foot and the cost of a room

Cost to Repair water damaged ceiling

It costs $342.5 per patch to fix a water-damaged ceiling, with a range of $285 to $400. About $16 is spent on supplies alone, with a price range of $15 to $17. This price may vary depending on the location, the size of the project, the finish option, and the condition of the material.

How to Repair Water Damaged Drywall

Before fixing your water damaged ceiling, make sure you determine the cause by checking any plumbing problems. You do not want the ceiling to be damaged again soon after you fix it. So, fix any leaking pipes and make sure the entire ceiling is safe from water damage before fixing the issue.

Before you begin to repair your water-damaged ceiling, check for any plumbing issues. You don’t want to have to fix the ceiling again shortly after you’ve done so. So, fix any leaking pipes and ensure that the entire ceiling is protected from water damage before attempting to fix the problem.

Cost to Repair water damaged Drywall per Square foot

Project size, location, and finish options all have a role in drywall restoration costs. Repairing water-damaged drywall costs about $2.5 per square foot, ranging from $1.5 to $3.5. Because the project’s components are cheap, the labor cost accounts for roughly three-quarters of the total repair cost.

Contractors often charge a flat fee for the job, while some charge by the hour. In the search for a repair contractor, fixed costs are preferable because they are less expensive. Unless there are serious difficulties, the price remains the same regardless of how long it takes.

Cost of complete Drywall Replacement

To replace drywall, demolition and disposal costs must be factored in as well as labor and materials costs. The cost of replacing drywall ranges from $1.5 to $3.5 per square foot, with the average costing $2.5. Demolition costs of $0.40 to $0.50 per square foot are included in this figure.

Expect to pay between $943 and $1169 to repair drywall on a typical 300-square-foot area. Your location, the difficulty of the project, and the size of the project all affect the cost.

Cost of Pro vs DIY Drywall water damage Repair

The more extensive the damage, the more difficult it is to restore the drywall. When it comes to minor repairs, you can do them yourself. Professionals should be hired for larger repairs, such as drywall replacement, to guarantee that the job is done correctly.

DIY Cost

As long as you have some basic abilities, you can do drywall water damage repair on your own. Small holes can be patched using a repair kit that costs between $10 and $30.

When it comes to larger DIY repairs, you’ll need roughly $50 worth of drywall and other materials. Adding a sander costs $14 a day, a sawhorse costs $38, and a spiral saw costs 70 to 80 dollars to complete the set-up of your workshop. Also required are mud, tape and screws to finish the job. Materials and supplies typically cost between $200 and $500.

A helper or drywall lift will be needed to lift the drywall once you have all the materials you need. The weight of the drywall will put strain on your back, and you run the risk of hurting yourself in the process. For DIY projects, lighter sheets are ideal because they are easier to handle.

Injuries and accidents are common when doing repairs yourself, even if it saves you a ton of money. It’s possible that the project will take longer than expected, and it might not have a professional appearance or feel to it either. In addition, because of the sensitivity, situations involving water damage necessitate the services of professionals. As soon as the first day after a leak, mold colonies can begin to grow on drywall that has been damaged by water.

DIY material expenses

Professional cost

If you’re short on time or doubtful of your DIY abilities, you’re better off hiring a professional to take care of the job.

As long as you pick properly, you won’t be disappointed by the local drywall contractors. To hiring an expert is, however, more expensive than doing it yourself. In reality, labor accounts for around one-fourth of the total project cost, which is why so many people opt to handle their own repairs.

The nationwide average cost for a professional is roughly $240, with a range of $75 to $350 for each area. The price ranges from $60 to $700, depending on the magnitude of the job.

The hourly charges of some contractors range from $50 to $65, whereas the pricing of professionals are predetermined. Regardless of the size of the project, working with set prices is the best option. If the job takes longer than expected, you’ll have to pay more for it. There may also be a lot of time involved, which raises costs.

An experienced professional who has six crew members on board will be finished in less time than one who only has two or three personnel. In other words, hourly rates may be variable, and you may end up paying more for a project that would have cost less at set rates.

While hiring professionals can be pricey, you can rest assured that the project will be done well and on schedule. In addition to that, professionals will be able to do the job with skill and make your home look like it’s brand new.

Signs of water damage in Drywalls

You can tell whether your drywall has been damaged by water by looking at the texture of it. A musty or stale odor, peeling or flaking paint, swollen/sagging walls, and mold on the basement walls are some of the most prevalent symptoms.

Category 3 water damage necessitates the replacement of drywall. This is due to the possibility of sewage or external flooding contaminating your drywall and turning it into a poisonous risk.

20 Tips for Working with Drywall

Use Setting Compound for Big Holes

While patching compound can be used to fix minor screw holes and other dings in the wall, it’s recommended to use a chemically set joint compound for bigger and deeper holes in the drywall. With setting durations ranging from five to 90 minutes, these come in powder form. When water is added, the reaction begins, and the complex hardens after the allotted time. Because the powder comes in a compact 5-pound package and hardens quickly, you can apply another coat right away with the five-minute version. Ensure that you fill the hole flush to the surface with setting-type compounds, which are more difficult to sand than conventional patching materials. Wherever drywall taping supplies are marketed, you’ll find setting-type compounds.

Make a Dent for the Patching Compound

When you remove a nail, drywall anchor or picture hanger, there is usually a little ridge of old paint or drywall sticking out that’s hard to cover with patching material. The solution is to make a dent over the hole, and then fill the dent. Most good-quality putty knives have a rounded hard plastic or brass end on the handle that works perfectly for making the dent. The rounded end of a screwdriver handle or the handle of a utility knife will also work. Press the handle against the hole and twist it slightly while applying pressure to dent the surface, or if you have good aim, use your denting tool like a hammer.

Cover Cracks with Repair Spray

This little ridge of old paint or plaster is difficult to cover with patching material when you remove nails, anchors, or picture hangers. Make a dent over the hole, and then fill the dent. An end on the handle of most high-quality putty knives is designed to make the dent in the material. It’s also possible to use the rounded end of a screwdriver or the handle of a utility knife. To dent the surface, use your denting tool like a hammer by pressing the handle against the hole and twisting it slightly while applying pressure.

This small ridge of old paint or plaster is difficult to cover with patching material when you remove nails, anchors, or picture hooks. Make a dent over the hole, and then fill the dent with a filler material. Some top grade putty knives feature a hard plastic or brass end that is precisely designed for producing a dent. Other suitable handles include a screwdriver or utility knife’s blunted edge. Press the handle against the hole and twist it slightly while exerting pressure to dent the surface, or use your denting tool like a hammer if you have good aim.

Water Damaged Drywall- Repair or Replace? - Damage Buddy

Rent a Drywall Lift for Ceiling Work

Lifts are essential for drywalling the ceiling. To put a ceiling up without straining your back, it’s worth the daily rental charge.

When disassembled into its three components, drywall lifts can be transported in a medium automobile with little problem. It’s a good idea to crank it up and down a few times to make sure it’s working properly after reassembling it. Lift one end of a drywall sheet to the support hook with the finish side down, then secure it in place. Once you’ve done that, you may slide the other end of the sheet onto the second hook, as shown. Abrupt or jerky handling can pop the drywall’s front edge off the hook.

Turn the sheet horizontally and secure it in place. The lift should then be rolled into a roughly-defined location. Lifts are stable and movable, allowing you to precisely position the drywall as you lift it. Then tighten the knob all the way. In order to get the sheet in place, you may need to climb a ladder. Before lowering the lift, make sure to install at least eight screws.

Eliminate as Many Drywall Butt Joints as You Can

It is necessary to create a thin and wide hump of joint compound to conceal ‘butt joints,’ which are the places where two non-tapered ends of drywall meet. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to do this correctly. Avoiding butt joints is a good idea if you’re a beginning drywall finisher.

Avoid butt joints by covering the entire wall or ceiling with sheets of drywall that are long enough. As a result, finishing will be limited to tapered joints. Drywall sheets come in 8-, 12-, and 14-foot lengths, with some niche manufacturers offering 14-foot sheets.

Butt joints are unavoidable on ceilings over 14 feet in length. On the other hand, you can avoid butt joints on a 14-foot-long wall. Instead of horizontally hanging the sheets, try hanging them vertically. You’ll be able to cover multiple tapering joints, but no butt joints, by doing so. Because you have to check that the tapered edges fall in the center of the studs when hanging drywall vertically, it takes longer than when hanging it horizontally. First, measure the width of the first sheet and cut it such that its tapered edge intersects with the center of one of its studs. As a result, the sheet’s edges should sit flush against the studs. Nail 2x2s to any studs that aren’t where they should be. For 9-foot ceilings, you’ll need 10-foot-long sheets of drywall from a drywall supplier.

Mini Drywall Saw

When you need a little drywall saw, all you need is a jigsaw blade and some scrap wood. For cutting around electrical boxes and other hard-to-reach places, it’s a great tool to have.

Solo Drywall Hanging

Hanging that top course of drywall is challenging when you’re alone. Make the job easier by creating a simple bracket between 1 and 2 ft. from each end of the sheet with a couple of 16d nails. Just sink them into the studs 48-1/2 in. down from the ceiling and about 1 in. deep. Hoist the sheet and rest the bottom edge on the nails. Push the sheet up against the ceiling with one hand and tack it into place with the other with a few prestarted drywall nails.

Fill a Row of Holes with One Swipe

The task of putting up the final layer of drywall is difficult when you’re alone. Create a basic bracket between 1 and 2 feet from either end of the sheet with a couple of 16d nails to make the process easier. Using a drill, drill a 1-inch hole into each stud 48-1/2 inches below the ceiling. The bottom border of the sheet should be resting on the nails. One-handedly affix a few pre-started drywall nails to the sheet and push it up against the ceiling to hold it in place

When filling a sequence of holes that are close together, such the holes left by a shelf standard or a row of photos, you can take advantage of this approach. Apply the compound using a 6-in.-wide putty knife as illustrated in the two photographs below.

Skim-Coat Areas with Lots of Dings or Holes

In mudrooms where boots, hockey sticks, and golf club bags leave their marks, don’t try to fill in every ding or hole. A wider tape knife, such as a 6-inch-wide putty knife, is a better option for covering a larger area. To get the best results, utilize “topping” or “all-purpose” joint compound.

Adding a few drops of water to the joint compound can help it spread more easily. Make sure to use your 6-inch knife to distribute it out in the pan, and then pour in a couple cups. Joint compound should be applied in a thin layer. It’s then time to scrape it off, leaving just enough to fill in the crevices and holes of the mold. Even if you need to apply two or three coats, the thin layers dry quickly and are simple to apply. Sand the wall once the last coat of paint has dried..

Smooching Drywall

Cut the panel at the “kiss marks” left on the back instead of measuring and marking a cutout for an electrical box in drywall. Then position the drywall and press it into place. You can do it in a matter of minutes and it’s completely foolproof.

Protect Drywall With a Mud Ring

To keep the drywall safe from damage while drilling with flexible bits or cranking glow rods, use mud rings, commonly referred to as drywall brackets or low-voltage “old-work” brackets. To assemble, all you need to do is tighten two screws. You may screw the wall plate to the mud ring once the wires are connected. Only low-voltage lines, such as coaxial and communication cables, can use mud rings. While fishing the wire, use the mud ring to shield the drywall from damage while you install the conventional gang box. Then, remove the mud ring. Nine additional tips for doing your own electrical wiring are available here.

Prime and Texture Wall Patches to Avoid a Blotchy Finish

A common problem with wall painting is that freshly painted walls often look blotchy. The color is uniform, but the sheen isn’t consistent. This usually occurs over the holes and cracks you patched with a filler or drywall compound. The porous fillers absorb the paint, dulling the surface (a problem called ‘flashing’). When light hits these dull spots, they stick out like a sore thumb. The smooth patch also stands out in contrast to the slightly bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate flashing and texture differences when wall painting. Primer seals the patch so paint won’t sink in and look dull. To match texture, prime with a roller, feathering out the edges. Choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture (a 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth walls; 1/2-in. for textured). Plus: See the game-changing painting tools our editors love.

Seal Exposed Drywall Paper Before Patching

It’s not uncommon for freshly painted walls to appear blotchy. The color is consistent, however the shine isn’t. Filler or drywall compound can cause this to happen over the holes and cracks that you’ve fixed with filler or drywall. Paint becomes dulled as a result of porous fillers (a condition known as “flashing”). They stand out like a sore thumb when the light reflects off of them. Smooth patches contrast with the uneven texture of the wall, making them stand out even more prominently. When painting a wall, all you need is a light coat of primer to keep the paint from flaking and separating from the wall. The patch is sealed with primer, which prevents paint from sinking in and appearing drab. Prime with a roller and feather out the edges to fit the texture. A 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth walls and a half inch nap roller for textured walls should be used. Plus, check out our editors’ favorite painting tools.

Use Stick-On Patches for Midsize Holes

Patching a hole the size of a doorknob can be done in a variety of ways. These stick-on mesh patches are the quickest and easiest method. Several different sizes are readily accessible at paint, hardware and home departments. Clean the wall and sand the surface to give it a little “tooth” before applying the repair. Apply two or three thin coats of joint compound over the patch to seal it in. Using a setting-type compound for the initial layer can help speed up the process.

You Can Spray on Wall Texture

Orange peel texture on walls or ceilings is nice for hiding defects and adding interest, but it can be a real pain if you have to make a big patch. Luckily you can buy spray-on orange peel patch that will allow you to match the texture of the patch without hiring a pro. You can buy the patching material in a few different versions: regular, quick-drying and pro. The pro version gives you the most control over the spray pattern.

How to Repair Water-Damaged Drywall | Direct Energy

There are many benefits to using orange peel texture on walls or ceilings to hide imperfections and create interest, but it can be difficult to remove large patches of it. A spray-on orange peel patch will allow you to match the texture of the patch without paying a professional. Patching material is available in three varieties: regular, quick-drying, and professional. Regular is the most common type. There are more options for spray pattern customization with the pro edition.

Use a Raking Light When Patching Walls

Position a powerful light so that the beam rakes across the wall when you’re painting your walls. This will draw attention to any flaws, making it easier to rectify them. It will also highlight any areas that require further filler or sanding. After painting your walls, if they appear smooth in raking light, you may be confident that they will look great.

How to Wash Drywall

Washing dishes, floors, bathroom surfaces and many other parts of your home seem like common maintenance tasks. But these aren’t the only places that get dirty in your house. It’s not uncommon to have to do some wall washing every now and again. Since the walls in many homes are made of drywall, it may be a bit confusing to know exactly how to handle this task. Even if paint or wallpaper covers the exposed drywall, it can still be damaged and must be washed with care to avoid unnecessary repairs.

Washing Drywall

  1. It’s easy to think of cleaning your dishes, floors, and washroom surfaces as routine upkeep. There are many more spots in your home that are likely to become soiled. It’s not uncommon to have to do some wall washing every now and again. It can be a little tricky to figure out how to do this because many homes have drywalled walls. Even if paint or wallpaper covers the exposed drywall, it can still be damaged and must be washed with care to avoid unnecessary repairs.
  2. Dishwashing, mopping, and cleaning the bathroom and other surfaces in your home may seem like routine upkeep, but these chores actually require a lot of time and effort. Many other spots in your home are likely to become soiled, too. Cleaning the walls on occasion is a must. It may be a little difficult to figure out exactly how to go about this because many homes have drywalled walls. Even if paint or wallpaper covers the exposed drywall, it can still be damaged and must be washed carefully to avoid needless repairs.
  3. You’ll need to prepare a cleaning solution to get rid of drywall dirt and stains. To clean drywall that hasn’t been painted or that you plan on painting right away, mix one cup of white vinegar with one gallon of water. Ammonia may be used to clean grease from kitchen walls or other surfaces. Remove the grease by adding 1 cup of ammonia to 1 quart of water.
  4. Soak and thoroughly wring out the cellulose sponge in the appropriate solution. To avoid water seeping through the drywall, the sponge should only be slightly damp.
  5. Using a damp cellulose sponge, wipe the walls from top to bottom. You can begin at the top of the wall and work your way down. Using this method, you will be able to wipe up any water from the sponge as you proceed along the wall. Damage to the drywall could occur if water is left on the wall. Allow the walls to dry out naturally. Only enough water should be used to keep it moist for a few minutes.

Should I Repair or Replace water-damaged drywall?

Wet drywall can either be repaired or replaced depending on the severity of the water damage. A small amount of water damage from leaking pipes, for example, can be repaired by patching up the drywall. It is possible that drywall will lose its structural integrity if the damage is substantial. In this case, it is necessary to replace the drywall. You’ll have to replace the drywall in a category 3 water damage situation, such as a burst sewer line or flood.

Can wet drywall be saved?

Yes, provided the damage is limited, it is possible to salvage wet drywall. If they are exposed to water for a lengthy period of time, drywall sheets will become moist. As soon as you see water damage to the drywall, get to work drying it out as quickly as possible before further damage occurs. It is impossible to salvage drywall that has been submerged in water since it will lose its shape and become flimsy.

What is waterproof drywall?

This type of drywall is more resistant to water. For waterproofing, it has a thicker coat of paper covered in wax, just like ordinary drywall. For bathrooms and kitchens, this drywall is ideal, but it should not be utilized as a tile backer. Purple and green drywall are just two examples of this type of color scheme.


Water damaged drywall can be painted over, but only after it has dried fully. Afterwards, seal the affected area by applying a thin coating of an alcohol or oil-based primer to the affected area. Once the primer has dried, it’s time to repaint the drywall.

If you don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, hire a professional painter who has experience with your type of project. A primer seals the drywall, preventing the stain from penetrating.

Wet drywall sags, bulges, and, in extreme cases, collapses because of the loss of structural integrity it suffers. Water-damaged drywall can’t be repaired or restored, and must be replaced. You can, however, save the drywall if the water damage is small and you dry and repaint it quickly.

It’s now possible for painters to fix drywall, too. It is imperative that the drywall be painted and finished after it has been repaired. In order to save money, most homeowners opt to do the drywall repair and painting themselves rather than hire professionals. Painting and drywall repair can be done by the same person, which is a huge convenience.

How much it will cost to repair a bathroom’s drywall will vary according to the extent of the damage. Small holes can be fixed for $75 to $150, while larger holes, cracks, and water damage can cost up to $380. You should expect to pay between $50 and $65 per hour for a handyman, plus a call-out fee of $50 to $125.

Mold growth can be halted by repairing water damage to drywall as soon as possible. It will be necessary to remove and replace the drywall if the damage is substantial. Even if you’re doing the renovation yourself or hiring a professional, make sure it’s done precisely to preserve the integrity of your home.