Loose Drywall Tape Repair
Nothing makes a room look worse than peeling drywall tape. It’s easy to go blind to imperfections we see everyday, and loose drywall tape repair might not be high on your list of home-improvement priorities. But, untreated, this problem will only get worse. The repair itself shouldn’t take more than a few hours, and most of that is drying time.
What Loose Drywall Tape It Looks Like
Loose drywall tape is obvious. It shows up on and in corners and along joins in the drywall. In minor cases, the loose tape can look like a bubble; in more serious cases, you’ll see loose edges.
Aside from looking ugly, the main problem with leaving peeling tape is that it can lead to more serious wall damage. Kids or pets have a way of noticing these imperfections and making them worse! They also provide an opening for moisture, grease, dirt, and even pests to get in and damage your drywall. Peeling drywall tape repairs are a fairly quick and easy project, and you’ll be happy you did it!
Peeling or bubbling drywall tape can have many causes. Poor application technique is probably the most common. Doing the repairs correctly is vital. You don’t want to keep fixing the same area!
Other reasons for loose drywall tape include:
- Excess humidity
- Normal settling (most common in new construction)
- Destructive activity by children or pets
Unfortunately, the problem can recur if the underlying problem is not corrected. Use a dehumidifier in damp rooms, such as the bathroom or basement, and make sure rooms are properly ventilated. Repair leaks in the roof and around windows and doors.
If settling is the problem, repair nail pops correctly before beginning drywall tape repair. This will prevent the wallboard from shifting and keep your tape intact.
How To Fix Loose Drywall Tape
What You’ll Need
- Razor knife
- Drywall tape (either paper type or fiberglass mesh type)
- Vacuum with hose attachment
- Multipurpose drywall compound
- 5″ putty knife
- Sanding sponge, sandpaper, or another abrasive
- Texture and related tools
- Primer, paint, and related tools
How To Do It
- Remove the damaged tape. Use the razor knife to cut through the tape; the section you take out should extend approximately one foot from each side of the damage.
- Sand the area smooth, stopping just short of the drywall surface. Do not sand away the drywall paper!
- Vacuum away any dust and debris.
- Apply a new piece of tape slightly shorter than the piece you removed.
On flat surfaces you can use use self-adhesive, fiberglass mesh drywall tape or paper tape.
- To use paper tape; First, use the putty knife to apply a thin, even layer of drywall compound to the seam. The compound should extend about 2″ beyond the joint on either side. Smooth out any gaps or air pockets.
- Place a length of paper drywall tape on top of the seam. Using the putty knife, press it into the compound. Be especially careful to smooth away bubbles and wrinkles; these types of flaws can cause the tape to lift again.
- Using fiberglass drywall tape is very easy; simply position the tape over the seam, press down to fully adhere the tape to the surface. Now spread an even layer of drywall mud.
For corners use paper drywall tape.
- Choose a length of tape needed. Now crease the tape in the middle to form the angle needed for the corner. Fortunately all paper tapes are pre-creased just for this purpose.
- Fill the corner with drywall mud, both sides about 2 inches wide.
- Position the tape into the corner, smoothing carefully to avoid wrinkles. This will remove the excess mud from behind the tape. Make sure that the tape is in firm contact with the surface.
- Smooth a layer of drywall compound over the tape. It should be thick enough to cover the tape completely, but not much thicker. Allow it to dry.
- Using a sanding sponge, sandpaper, or another abrasive, sand the drywall compound smooth. You want to remove high spots, knife marks, and other imperfections. Stop if the paper begins to show through.
- Apply another thin coat of compound and allow to dry.
- Sand again. Blend the edges of the repair into the surrounding wall. To achieve a really smooth surface, you’ll want to use progressively finer paper.
- Retexture the wall, if necessary.
- Prime the repair and allow to dry.
- Paint the repair. You’ll probably need two coats.
That’s all there is to it! Loose drywall tape repair really isn’t that bad. Doing it yourself instead of calling in a professional will save you money and dramatically improve the appearance of your home.