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KKTM 02-11-2009 07:57 AM

Drywall crumbling behind wall. Please Help.
I am in the process of purchasing a foreclosure. The bathroom has a missing window--it is boarded up. I decided to use a box cutter and cut a square chunk out of the drywall just below the window to check for moisture. The drywall was crumbling, basically grains of gray sand-like material, you can simply rub/decompose in your hands. Besides, obviously replacing all the drywall in the bathroom, can anyone tell me what could have caused this and is this common? I cut another square out of another room and it was in great shape.

RippySkippy 02-11-2009 08:48 AM

If it's what I'm thinking it's been wet at some time and now dried. Unless there's other damage in the wall like damp sheathing, or other rotten wood, most likely it will be fine. You didn't say...the window isn't in a shower area is it?

ratherbefishin' 02-11-2009 08:56 AM

Yep, that's what happens to drywall when it dries out after being soaking wet. When you replace it, go with at least a good mold and moisture resistant board (not the old green board). Paperless products like GP DensArmor are best, or a cement backer board if you plan to tile. But before you do anything else, gut the walls, replace the window, and make sure it's dry and any mold and mildew problems are corrected.

drtbk4ever 02-11-2009 10:21 AM

Would you guys be worried that the wood framing under that window could be severly damaged?

RippySkippy 02-11-2009 10:30 AM

Not until the drywall was removed and I could see what what happening....

Ron6519 02-11-2009 12:02 PM

The wood definitely got wet a few times. How long it was wet will determine it's structural integrity. Along with everything else under the floor. Is there a floor under this area? If there is, check out the ceiling below or the basement joists and sill plate.

KKTM 02-11-2009 01:56 PM

Thank you for your help. The home has been vacant for more than 1 year. I will investigate the wood and surrounding areas further. The window is above a tub, but there is no shower above or tile around the area.

RippySkippy 02-12-2009 08:31 AM

I'll almost bet the damage isn't too deep...but make sure you really look around when you have the drywall off. One to pay attention to is the sub floor, as Ron said if there was moisture there, depending on the had to go some place. If the sub floor was the old particle board, then a hit of water will make that stuff turn to JUNK. If you get in and need anything...snap a few photos and I'm sure someone will have an idea of what to do.

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