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Thread: How Do I Fix This Drywall Hole?

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  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Briandl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default How Do I Fix This Drywall Hole?

    So I have a hole in this drywall. What happened was water was leaking from the vent shown in the photos below, which probably caused some rotting of the wood, although it's hard to say exactly what happened because some type of animal was also living in that same area, you can see a few eggs in the far left corner of the photo.

    So anyway, I'm trying to figure out how to fix it. My best guess is to either run a new piece of wood parallel to the damaged one, and then a couple of pieces of wood perpendicular to the one that has rotted out a bit, those would be to secure the new drywall after I cut out the section with the hole. That's what the blue lines represent in the photo. I don't know if I'd need to run a whole new piece parallel to the rotted one, or just shorter piece nailed to it, or leave it as is. I'd have to check again to see how bad the damage is, but there is some as is obvious in the photo.

    What other options do I have, especially anything easier because the crawl space above the ceiling is fairly small. I guess I could also cut out a square around the hole, put a piece of wood in it going across the hole, screw it in on the sides, and put the new piece in (Shown below).

    Last edited by Briandl; 07-15-2010 at 01:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Ideally, you'd replace any of the drywall that had gotten wet, not just fix the hole. If you cut out to the center of a stud, then you can screw the new piece into the studs and probably not need any blocking.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Software Engineer CollinLeon's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Republic of Texas


    Drywall does not have much structural integrity to start with and if you get it wet, it loses what little it had. As far as I'm concerned, if it gets wet, you replace it... It's not like you want to leave something up there that might be moldy, right? Rip out everything that has gotten wet and then keep ripping until you get to the ceiling joists so that you can secure the edges of the piece that you are going to cut for it.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    It's actually easier to repair a fairly large hole than a small one. As already suggested, cut to the center of a stud on both sides making a rectangular hole. It's easier to cut a matching rectangle that an odd shape. I have had occasions when I sistered a piece of 2x4 on to the stud(s) to give more latitude in nailing the patch. What hasn't been mentioned is to be certain the leak that caused the damage has been repaired before you patch.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member jch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


    Often it's easier if you cut your patching piece of drywall *first*.

    Then hold it on the wall, trace around it with a pencil, then use a hand-held drywall saw to cut along the pencil line. You'll get an exact fit between your patch and your hole.

    Screw some 2x1's around the edge of the hole and screw on the drywall patch. Tape and mud and you're done!
    - John

  6. #6
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Depending on the size of the hole you can use a hotpatch
    or drywall clips
    Last edited by Thatguy; 12-13-2010 at 12:48 PM.

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