Leakage of roof water
Test your drywall for significant water damage before you replace it. (AdobeStock ©cunaplus)

Water damage can come from many different sources in your home, like the bathroom or kitchen sink. But what about drywall water damage from a burst hose in your washing machine?

Wet drywall doesn’t have to be replaced immediately — especially if the drywall has only been exposed to water once or twice. There’s a way to test the drywall to find out if it needs replacing.

Take a screwdriver and determine the softness of the wet drywall’s seams. If the screwdriver goes in easily, then you need to replace the drywall — don’t risk mold forming inside the cavity!

Otherwise, drying the wet surface very quickly can prevent a major moisture problem. If any of the tape is loose, it needs to be removed and replaced with joint compound and more tape.

If any seams start to show up, spray them with a stain-blocking spray made for ceilings and repaint the ceiling if needed.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn more about these topics:

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Simple Solutions

Floor Gap Closer — Gaps often open up at the ends of laminate plank flooring. To close the gaps, try this: Cut a 12-inch-long 2×4 and press a piece of double-stick carpet tape to one side of the 2×4. Stick the 2×4 down to the floor plank and close to the gap.

Then, place one foot on top of the 2×4 and tap the end of it with a hammer until the plank slides forward and closes the gap. Carefully pry the 2×4 from the floor. If that creates a gap at the other end of the plank, repeat the process. 

Whole-House Humidifier Tip — Furnace-mounted humidifiers can become clogged with lime and hard-water deposits, which prevent moisture from being emitted into the air.

So, before turning on the heat this fall or winter, remove the humidifier’s filter and soak it in white vinegar mixed with a little lemon juice for about 30 minutes.

If any limescale remains, try using a commercial lime remover, such as Lime-A-Way or CLR (Calcium-Lime-Rust).

Now, in severe cases, you won’t be able to clean the filter, and you’ll need to replace it.

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Question of the Week

Q: Do you have any safety tips or advice for being safe with a space heater?

A: Just about every heater has a tip-over switch on it that will automatically turn off the heater if it’s tampered with. And make sure that the heater is UL-approved and avoid plugging the heater into an extension cord.

Moreover, make sure there’s at least three feet clearance around the heater and always place it on the floor!

Finally, you really aren’t supposed to use the heater while you’re sleeping — the risk of fire is too great.

Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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