How to Fix Common Drywall Damage Before Moving Out
Are you a tenant moving out? Are you looking forward to getting your damage deposit back? Do you have one small problem – there is a hole in your drywall the size of a head from a party you hosted last summer? Unfortunately, the landlord likely does not want your poster of Metallica covering the hole for decoration. The tenants want you to feel like you are at home, but at the end of the day, it is not your property, and you need to return it to its original condition at the end of your agreement.
At Leenan Properties we want to arm our tenants with the knowledge of how to fix common drywall problems, so we have put together this article along with the below video, to hopefully gives you some tips on how to manage and fix minor drywall issues.
Always tell your landlord about any damages to your drywall, even when you intend to fix it yourself. Not only because it is the honorable thing to do, but you could also violate your lease. Furthermore, if you are not a licensed contractor, the landlord might have to redo the job you did anyways because s/he has no idea if the work is up to code. On top of that, your landlord will know something is up when s/he sees the paint colors do not match. It is not a good situation to be discreet. Honesty is the best policy.
Always go to a professional for a large hole, but you got the go-ahead to fix a minor hole yourself. Here is a how-to from Tall Pines Drywall in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to ensure your end-of-tenancy walk-through goes smoothly and you get your money back!
Drywall or putty knife (4”, 6”, or 10” for larger holes).
A mud pan for your joint compound if you are doing a wider repair.
A sanding sponge.
Sanding screen and holder.
Use a small drywall knife and spackle. Clean out the divots to make sure any loose material doesn’t get stuck in the spackle. Once any debris is out, the process is simple: put some spackle on your drywall knife and smear it into and over the hole. You then want to make it as smooth as you can – don’t worry, it is not critical to make it perfectly smooth. You can come back to it later and use your sanding sponge to smooth it out. Some landlords are kind enough to take patching the drywall as a sign of good faith and won’t require you to paint over the walls. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
You can just put a little spackle on your finger and rub it over top the area then wipe it off with a damp sponge. When it dries, it will be ready to paint without any further action needed. Again, talk to the property manager or landlord about the paint color. They should have extra buckets of paint that they used on your walls (and save you the hassle of guessing and buying the wrong one).
For holes about the size of a doorknob, place self-adhesive mesh over the hole. Use your drywall knife to cover the patch with spackle or joint compound. Feather the edges to blend it with the wall. Let the patch dry, then if you need to, apply a second coat of whatever compound you used. When happy, you can then sand it smooth.
Just like with divots, clean up the area surrounding the hole a little bit. You can sand it if you need to. You can use a drywall patch available in any home renovation store and stick it over the top of the hole. Get your drywall knife and get a nice coat of joint compound on it and apply it over the drywall patch. Come back to sand and paint over the area when it is dry.
For jobs bigger than this, we highly recommend to both you and your landlord that you leave it to a professional contractor, especially if you aren’t one yourself. Save yourself the time and stress and hire a professional company to yield the best results possible and then some. Even if you are an avid do-it-yourselfer, professional drywall contractors have perfected this art and know all the tools and materials that will produce the best results.
If you don’t take away anything else from this article, at least take away the realization that the lines of communication between tenant and landlord should always be open. If you can define the expectations and things allowed during your residency, there won’t be any blurred lines when moving out of the residence. Understand what the policies are for repairs and make your landlord aware when they are needed.
You can visit www.tallpinesdrywall.com or contact Jordan Wiebe for essential information.