Bowed Drywall: Step By Step Guide to Fix it

If you’re like most homeowners, you experience problems with your drywall from time to time. Maybe it leaks, or maybe the walls curve inward. Whatever the problem, there’s probably a solution. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to fix bowed drywall, and give you tips on how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Why your drywall is bowing or warping varies depending on the reasons. Excess moisture is the most prevalent cause of this. Flooding might be severe, while humidity might be moderate. Poor installation techniques or the wall’s bowed appearance behind the drywall are other possible causes.

How to fix Bowed Drywall?

Drywall is tough and hard, but it can lose its strength when it gets wet. This may cause it to bow or warp as a result. The drywall won’t be supported adequately if it isn’t put in place properly, and it’ll begin to bow or alter form. 

The drywall should be taped and hung properly when being installed, which is crucial.

You have a substantial foundation issue if the wall behind the drywall is leaning or bowed. 

To get in touch with the foundation repair pros, please reach out to the experts. The soil outside of the wall puts enormous pressure on the surface, causing a bowing wall. The bowed wall might tumble if it isn’t fixed.

How to Straight Bowed Drywall?

If the stud is already in place and you don’t want to remove it and replace it with a new one, there are several ways to approach the problem.

  • Bend Sheet 

It is simple enough to bend drywall sheets slightly to follow the bowed stud’s curve, and this allows them to have some flexibility.

The completed wall will bow somewhat, however, the curvature of the completed wall may not be particularly apparent if the bow is modest. Additionally, if the flaw in the wall is in a utility area like a garage or basement, it may not be that important.

Bowed studs may gradually flatten out and the curvature may vanish, particularly if the slope was minor.

  • Shim Curve

Blocking out or shimming the faces of studs that are recessed behind the plane of other studs is another solution for a bowed or bent stud. While it’s sometimes tough to say precisely where the concave patches are or how much they need to be shimmed, it’s a difficult job.

You may, however, install wood shims in low places to serve as anchoring surfaces for screws or nails if you use a long straightedge and some patience. This is commonly accomplished by placing two wedge-shaped shims side by side in opposing directions, negating the angles on the shims, and producing a flat block.

Finish nails should be used to fasten the shims to the stud, and screws should be driven into these locations to secure the drywall. You may also use 1/16-inch cardboard drywall shims to layer. To progressively fill in the shallow to deeper portions of the curve, cutting or tearing the piece into smaller sections.

  • Straighten Sheet

You can straighten a bowed stud by following the following procedure if you don’t want to confirm the drywall to the stud or shim it out:

  • Cut Stud

Cut roughly 2 inches into the stud at the midpoint of the bow with a handsaw or circular saw. On the concave aspect of the bowed region, make the cut. Cutting too little wood rather than too much is always a good idea. You may always return to add more wood as needed.

  • Straighten Stud

Straighten the stud by pressing on it with force. When you straightened the stud, the triangular kerf section opened up, so insert a single shim there. Using a razor knife or wallboard saw, cut off any excess shim.

  • Sister Stud With Brace

A 2-foot two-by-four brace is placed across the cut region, connecting to the stud with a 2-foot two-by-four brace. To keep the stud straight and strengthen it, this sister serves as a splint.

Things to Consider

Only non-load-bearing walls are allowed to use this technique of attaching a short sister. Since the building code prohibits these studs to be cut, they cannot be used for studs in load-bearing walls.

You may, however, run a full-length sister alongside the faulty stud after you cut and straighten it in load-bearing walls. Both the floor plate (sole plate) and the top plate, as well as the entire length of the faulty stud, are anchored to the full-length sister.

This essentially makes a new stud that carries the full weight replace the old one. With this in mind, some carpenters may add full-length reinforcements to both sides of the bowed stud.

How to Ensure the Underlying Problems? If any?

You must make sure that your basement or crawl space is waterproofed and dry if the cause is high moisture content.

Your home or business may be kept cool, dry, and secure with dehumidifiers, encapsulation, drains, and other methods. Warped drywall, wood rot, rusting supports, and other water-related damages are less likely to occur in a dry building.

The foundation may be failing if the drywall is covering a bowed or leaning wall in the basement. The soil can exert enormous pressure on the foundation wall if it is oversaturated. You’re just putting a bandaid on a broken leg if you replace the drywall. You must have your property inspected and the reason for the bowed wall determined by a dependable foundation repair company.

How to Repair Bowed Drywall? Steps to follow

  • You’ll need to replace a damaged section of drywall with a fresh one. Locate the studs in the bowed area using a stud finder and mark them with a pencil. If the damaged part’s seams are difficult to see, this will help you locate them visually.
  • Remove the damaged drywall using a pry bar. It should pop the drywall off of the nails or screws holding a stud if you pry where it is located. Keep removing the whole section until you’ve cleaned it all up.
  • Remove any nails or screws from the studs with a hammer or screwdriver.
  • After that, the new drywall piece is cut to fit in the space. Using the measurements of the desired area, make cut lines on the back of the drywall with a pencil. Score the pencil lines on top with a utility knife. Breaking the drywall along the cut lines will allow you to snap it. With the utility knife, you’ll need to cut through the remaining paper.
  • To secure the new piece of drywall, we recommend using a power screwdriver and drywall screws. Place the new section in the available space. You’ll drive screws into the studs every 12 inches along the vertical, using drywall as a guide. Make sure the drywall paper is just slightly dimpled by the screw heads.
  • Taping the seams of the drywall with joint tape will be your next step. You won’t have to mud the drywall before applying the self-adhesive tape, which saves you time, money, and effort.
  • After that, you apply a joint compound to the tape and screws. Apply the joint compound with a putty knife or a drywall knife. The joint compound should be hardened and sanded down after four to six hours, leaving the drywall panel smooth to the touch and eye.

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