Will plasterboard dry out?

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  • Will plasterboard dry out?

    A good six months ago, one of my rental flats was damaged by a water leak from the flat upstairs.

    I was not even aware of this until the whole place was repaired, as it was arranged between my tenant, letting agent, management company, and the building insurers.

    The flat fell vacant about a month ago, and I am busy doing one or two repairs that have nothing to do with the leak.

    I have noticed a patch of black dust on the wall just above the skirting in one of the bedrooms. I wipe this off, but two days later it is back again.

    The airing cupboard on the reverse of this wall seems quite dry.

    I am loath to rip off plasterboard at this stage. Could the place still be drying out from the flood in March?

  • #2
    Originally posted by bandontherun
    possibly. I suggest rigging up a powerful floor standing or desk fan at the spot in question with a window left open a crack, let the fan run constantly for a few days see if it dries it out completely
    Thanks BOTR. That's a good idea. I have a desk fan that will be perfect for this.


    • #3

      You will be pleased to hear that after running the fan for a week, and a week without the fan there is no more black dust, and the wall seems dry. Thanks very much for your suggestion.


      • #4
        It may be dry now but that doesn't mean any residual staining won't come through a freshly emulsion painted surface.

        It's best to seal the surface with an oil-based undercoat before redecorating with emulsion paint. Don't use quick drying acrylic water based undercoat as it won't do a proper job. (The way to tell if is oil-based is to check what you need to clean the brushes - white spirit or similar and it is oil-based)

        It must be oil-based undercoat otherwise any staining will keep on coming back to haunt you!


        • #5
          Thanks Tipper,

          Yes I know. I have not bothered re-decorating as yet, because as I explained to my letting agent, tenants often make it look far worse than a little leak stain.

          The agent found me a tenant yesterday, three days after I instructed him at £100 pcm more than the last one, so I am a happy bunny.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tipper View Post
            It may be dry now but that doesn't mean any residual staining won't come through a freshly emulsion painted surface.

            It's best to seal the surface with an oil-based undercoat before redecorating with emulsion paint. !
            The best stain block I have found so far is Zinsser B.I.N. Not cheap, but it dries quickly and 2 coats stops water stains coming back



            • #7
              This flat has now been let for two months, but unfortunately the mould is back with a vengeance. It is now on the bottom of the wall and on the ceiling above.

              I get the impression that the original leak may still be dripping. I asked the freeholder to investigate a week ago, but he is dragging his feet. Any suggestions?


              • #8
                Can you remove an section of plasterboard say about 9 inches sq (just cut out with Stanley knife) or less to investigate and prove to freeholder that trouble is coming from above?

                Sounds like leak at top is dripping down to lower level and causing damp in 2 places.

                Have a ready piece of 4-6 mm ply (preferably painted in colour of wall) to pin over top of damaged area.

                I can't see how else you can fault find apart from being destructive to the decor.

                Freedom at the point of zero............


                • #9
                  Thanks. That's a good idea.


                  • #10
                    Mmm having thought about this a bit more a Stanley knife might not be up to the job right away - try one of those little plaster board saws or chain drill a few holes in a line to get you started.

                    Freedom at the point of zero............


                    • #11
                      Thanks Interlaken.

                      Today I went and rang the buzzer of the flat above mine, and luckily the tenant let me in. I explained the problem, and she told me there was no leak in her flat. I asked if I could check, and sure enough the drain cock of the hot water tank was dripping.

                      She told me who her letting agent was, and I emailed them. I now have the lessee's details and a promise to fix the problem asap.

                      Hopefully the plasterboard will now at last dry out. Thanks to all who replied.


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