Q&A / 

Replacing Flooded Drywall How High to Cut

Quick Column Summary:

  • Flooded, drywall damaged
  • How high up do you replace
  • Make it easy on the drywall finisher
  • Add extra electrical outlets now

Ms. Lisa Reynolds, who works for the Federal Department of the Interior in Colorado, had her offices flood with water. 

Heck, I'll let her tell you the rest:

"Our office suffered a burst pipe and about 2" of water flooded our basement. The basement contains offices and our lunch room with wallboard lined with base board.

We are looking to replace the drywall but don't know if there is a specification about the height of wallboard that needs to be replaced. I tried to look in the Gypsum Association specs but can't find a specific number. Thanks."

Here's my answer to Lisa:

Lisa, if you were able to remove the water quickly, my guess is the drywall is pretty firm except for where it got wet.

From the perspective of a drywall finisher, I'd say it's really tough to finish a butt seam down low to the floor.

I would remove 24.5 inches of drywall from the bottom up from the finished floor level. You want that extra half inch of removal so when you put in the new replacement drywall, you're not fighting the uneven floor.

Doing this allows you to cut regular drywall in half - 24-inches - lengthwise and have minimal waste.

Your drywall finisher will love you for doing this.

Now is the time to ADD extra electrical outlets in much needed places and to add any other cables in the walls that now need to be in specific locations.


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