Repairing drywall and cleaning mold after pipes burst from cold - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Repairing drywall and cleaning mold after pipes burst from cold weather

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Homeowners in our area are dealing with the impact of the extreme cold including burst pipes. The Home Depot's Scott Krueger and Joe Autry are showing the steps to repair drywall and the best way to deal with mold.


Small holes are defined as those that are less than about 2 inches in diameter. There's no need to make a wallboard patch for these little holes because a repair patch works just great and provides a quick and professional looking repair.

Patching a small hole should take you from one to two hours.

What You'll Need :

Putty knife

Wallboard knife

Joint compound

Sandpaper or sanding sponge

Repair patch

Steps 1 - 3

Step One: Inspect the damaged area to see if there are any cracks around the edge of the hole. If there aren't, just fill the hole with joint compound and let it dry. Then sand it until it is smooth.

Step Two: If the edges are cracked, you will need to use a repair patch, which has a metal mesh center for strength, to repair the hole. Just cut or shape the patch to fit the specific repair area.

Step Three: Cover the patch with joint compound or wallboard compound and let the patched area dry. Smooth the repaired area using a damp sponge to eliminate the dust normally caused by dry sanding. Apply additional coats of compound if necessary, and then smooth the entire area using a wide blade wallboard knife.

For more information on fixing holes in your drywall, CLICK HERE


All the moisture from burst pipes puts many homes in danger of mold. When mold appears indoors, it can present a health hazard. You should remove mold quickly, but harsh chemicals can damage some surfaces and be dangerous to breathe.

Safe Chemical Products for Mold Removal

Several products are on the market for killing mold and mildew without harsh chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved Safe Shield and Oxy-Mold. Safe Shield includes an organic component that provides a sealant against re-growth of mold.

Household Products

Borax, bleach, vinegar and ammonia all have the capacity to kill mold on concrete surfaces. Since they are organic chemicals, they will not be as damaging to plants and people if accidental exposure occurs. However, this is only true if you adequately dilute these household products. Bleach and ammonia, if not diluted adequately with water, can cause respiratory irritations. Use a scrub brush to apply the product to the mold in small batches. Rinse the area with clean water. Indoors, vacuum the wastewater away. Outdoors, spray the waste away with clean water from a hose.

Steam Cleaning

You can kill mold and remove it from concrete by using a steam cleaner. You can rent steam cleaners normally used for steaming wrinkles out of draperies. Load water in the steam cleaner and let the machine warm up. Then blast the mold with spurts of hot steam. Rinse the area with clean water. Be careful to wear protective clothing and shoes and avoid direct contact with the steam. Steam can produce serious burns on bare skin.

Scrubbing and Scouring

You can also kill mold with elbow grease. Use a stiff pig-bristle or metal scrub brush to remove the mold by hand. You can also use an abrasive-like sand or household scouring powder to help remove mold with a scrub brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water, from either a hose or a spray bottle and sponge.

Special Precautions

The wastewater produced after rinsing the surface will contain mold spores. Wear protective rubber gloves and a mouth and nose mask to prevent inhaling these spores. Keep the area wet to prevent the spores from becoming airborne inside the house. If you are de-molding a large area indoors, seal off any ventilation ducts and doorways to other rooms. Wash your work clothes immediately after finishing the job to kill any spores on your clothing.

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