Drywall has become a common and easy alternative to conventional walls made of plaster and lath. Many seams or gaps appear during its construction that need to be covered, for obtaining a smooth surface. Drywall tape is a material that is used to cover these gaps, and helps in imparting a smooth surface to the wall. Even though it makes the walls look smooth, there are some instances when problems may arise with it. Two problems are frequently observed with this tape. One is peeling out from the drywall, and second is bubble formation in the tape. Both these problems can arise at any time and are surely a threat to a room's aesthetic appeal. Fixing these problems is a simple task and does not require professional help. It can be done with a few supplies that can be easily grabbed from the market if they are not readily available at home.
Steps to Fix
- First step is to get rid of loose portion of the tape. Use a razor blade or a utility knife to cut the peeled out tape from the wall. If the tape is strongly adhered to the wall at some points, slide the utility knife underneath the tape and gently cut it off. Take extreme care not to damage paper backing of that area because it would unnecessarily increase repairing work.
- Use a putty knife to scrap off drywall mud that is left behind after the removal of tape.
- Smoothen the surface to be repaired using a sanding pad. Take precautions to avoid any damage to drywall paper. Once done, dust off mud powder by using a dry cloth or vacuum.
- The pack of drywall mud has labeled instructions for preparing it for use. Read through the instructions and prepare the mix accordingly. Every manufacturer has specific instructions on how to prepare the mud. So make sure to follow the mentioned instructions carefully.
- Spread a small quantity of mud on the area to be repaired, using a putty knife. Spread it uniformly all over the area to obtain a flat appearance. Use more mud if, the previous application was not enough to cover the entire area.
- Cut the required length of drywall tape and place it on the partially repaired area. With the help of knife, carefully embed the tape on first layer of mud applied. Make sure the tape does not fold at any place and remains straight. Also, carry out the task in a sophisticated manner to avoid formation of bubbles under the drywall tape which can later cause problems.
- Now, apply a second coat of mud over the tape so as to hide the repair work from being visible. Smoothen the mud uniformly to obtain a perfect wall finish and leave it overnight.
- Use sanding pad to even out the wall on the next day.
- Apply texture to the repaired area if the walls are textured.
- Apply a coat of primer before painting the drywall with your choice of color.
Steps to Fix
- Use a knife to cut open the bubble at its center. Remove the cut tape along the edges of the bubble.
Now carefully scrape loose mud that is present at the site of bubble. This can be done by the help of a drywall blade.
- Prepare the joint compound or mud as per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Apply a uniform layer of this compound using a putty knife at the site of repair. Uneven distribution of joint compound may again lead to the development of bubbles in the future. So, apply the layer evenly.
- Cut out the required size of drywall tape and place it over the area where joint compound or mud is applied.
- Flatten the area to the level of the wall, by removing excess mud from underneath the tape. Ensure the tape is straight and not folded at any side.
- Now apply another coat of joint compound over the tape, even it out, and leave it to dry for one night.
- Next morning, after the coat has dried out completely, use a sanding pad to smoothen the repaired surface. Apply another coat of compound, if need be, followed by sanding.
- Once this is done, paint your drywall with an initial coat of primer to get a perfect finish.
Problems associated with drywall tape can occur due to varied reasons. Peeling of tape is often a result of improper tape application and high humidity. Whereas, bubbles appear due to insufficient drywall mud underneath the tape and voids between drywall sheets. Repairing a drywall is easy if restricted to a small area. But if a large portion needs repair, it is better to call for professional help so that restoration work can be done efficiently.