After your house sustains heavy water damage, some of your dry wall will probably need to be replaced. Not all dry wall is porous, but if it's been sitting in high water for a few hours, that won't matter. Dry wall doesn't require much expertise or heavy lifting to remove, but there are a number of factors to consider before you take it on as a personal project, even if you only need to replace small sections.
Turn Off Electricity
Your house's circuits run behind your dry wall, and when you need to remove the dry wall, there's always a risk you'll hit some wires; unless you wired the house, it's hard to know where everything is. You can, however, narrow things down. Look for any electrical socket on the wall where you're removing the dry wall, then shut off that circuit from your main circuit board. This way, even if you do accidentally hit a wire, you won't run any risk of injury.
Cut Out Sections
Dry wall will come out in whatever sections you cut, so take care to cut out pieces you can easily remove from your house. If you're cutting out dry wall that touches the ceiling, use a box cutter and slide it along the corner where the wall meets the ceiling. This is the only place you'll need to use the cutter, and this is to avoid damaging the ceiling if you want to keep it intact. Otherwise, it's on to the dry wall saw.
Puncture your dry wall with the saw, then slide the saw back and forth to cut out the piece of dry wall. When you hit a stud, increase the angle of the blade so you can cut across it, then move the blade back once you've passed it. If you hit a metal corner, you can stop there. Once the four (or more) sides are cut, use the back end of a hammer to pry out the section. Avoid using your fingers here as the section can still snap back. While you're here, if necessary, take out any damaged insulation.
Let It Dry
Since you've just dealt with some serious water damage, take this time to air out the wall area where your dry wall used to be. Use a setup of fans and a dehumidifier to get that area nice and dry. After making sure it's clean, also make sure you don't have mold growing.
Replace Dry Wall Sections
Before you put your dry wall back, make sure that any insulation you've removed has been replaced. This doesn't typically need to be secured as the dry wall will hold it in place.
Replace your dry wall with fresh sections. Don't put in all the screws to start; you just want the pieces in place before you proceed. When putting the screws in, don't over-tighten them, but make sure the screw head is below the dry wall to prevent any tools from catching when you go over it later.
Once you have your final screws in, apply topping and join compound with a flat trowel as necessary to remove any gaps and smooth out bumps, and you'll be ready to apply your finishing touches using primer and paint.
For further assistance, contact water damage restoration professionals.