Drywall can be prone to damage from various causes such as moisture, impact, or age-related wear and tear. So when it comes to repairing drywall issues, homeowners are often faced with the decision of whether to repair or replace it entirely.

However, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question. Determining if it’s better to repair or replace drywall will really depend on the extent of the damage. Our goal with this article is to help homeowners better identify damages to their drywall so that you can answer this question for yourself, and take the appropriate steps from there!

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding and be better equipped to make informed decisions about your home repairs related to drywalls.

When to Repair Drywall

When it comes to drywall damages, not all issues require a complete replacement. In some instances, simple repairs are enough to restore the wall’s condition.

Small Holes and Dents

Small holes and dents in drywall may seem like minor problems, but they can be unsightly and diminish the overall appearance of a room. Fortunately, repairing small holes and dents is relatively easy with the right materials and steps. To fix small holes or dents in your drywall, you will need spackle, a putty knife, sandpaper, and painting material (paint, primer, brushes, etc)

The first step is to clean the area around the hole or dent with soap and water using a clean cloth. After cleaning, sand down any rough edges around the damaged area gently.

Using your putty knife, fill the hole or dent with spackle then smooth it out evenly over the damaged part until level with the rest of the wall surface. Once it completely dried (usually overnight), use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any bumps on top of spackle until even then brush off dust caused by sanding before priming then painting over it.


Cracks in drywall are another common problem caused by settling foundations or fluctuating temperatures in your home. If left unattended for too long cracks can spread throughout walls making them more challenging to fix later on – It’s best not to ignore this kind of damage!

To fix cracks in your drywall you will need most of the same tools we just mentioned above, plus  mesh tape. To repair the cracks, clean the area around it with soap and water using a clean cloth.

Cut a piece of mesh tape long enough to cover the crack then apply joint compound over the crack about twice as wide as the tape, then lay the mesh tape over it. Spread some more joint compound on top of it and level it off with a putty knife or spatula until smooth.

Let dry overnight, sand lightly if needed then prime and paint over it. This repair process will take longer than small holes but will still be much quicker than replacing an entire section of drywall.

When to Replace Drywall

While small cracks and holes can be repaired with relative ease, there are certain types of damage that require the replacement of the entire panel. Two common types of damage that require full replacement are water damage and large holes/structural damage.

Water Damage

Water damage is a serious issue for drywall, as it can cause significant structural problems if not addressed promptly. Signs of water damage include discoloration, peeling paint or wallpaper, warping, and mold growth. If you notice any of these symptoms on your drywall, it’s important to assess the extent of the damage and take immediate action to prevent further issues.

One telltale sign of water-damaged drywall is staining or discoloration. This can occur anywhere from the ceiling to the floor and may indicate a leaky roof or plumbing problem in the wall cavity. Another common symptom is peeling paint or wallpaper, which occurs when moisture penetrates the drywall surface and causes it to bubble or flake off.

Additionally, warping or buckling may result if there has been prolonged exposure to moisture. Mold growth on walls can be a sign that there is excessive moisture present behind your drywall.

Once water has penetrated your drywall surface, it can lead to long-term structural problems if not handled quickly and efficiently. The presence of moisture inside your walls creates an ideal environment for mold growth and rotting wood studs – both issues that require extensive repair work beyond just replacing the drywall itself.

Large Holes and Structural Damage

In some cases – such as a severe impact or moisture damage – the drywall may have suffered significant structural damage or has large holes that cannot be repaired. It’s important to identify whether the entire panel needs to be replaced instead of attempting a repair that may not hold up over time.

To replace large holes and structural damage in drywall, you’ll need a few key materials, including a utility knife or drywall saw to cut away damaged material, drywall screws and/or nails to attach new panels, mesh tape and joint compound to seal seams between panels, etc.

The process of replacing large holes and structural damage involves cutting away any damaged material, attaching new panels with screws or nails, then sealing seams with mesh tape and joint compound. The process can be somewhat labor-intensive, but it’s essential for restoring the integrity of your drywall structure. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional contractor who can quickly assess the situation and provide an estimate for replacement work.


Knowing when to repair, and when to replace drywall will look different for every homeowner that reads this article. You’ll have thoroughly assess what the damage looks like, and go from there. 

While minor damage like small holes and cracks present prime opportunities for repair, issues like water damage, mold, or larger holes will usually require full on replacement. 

Repairing or replacing drywall requires skill and expertise. While doing it yourself may seem like a cost-effective solution, hiring a professional is often the best option due to their experience and knowledge in handling different types of damages, especially when it comes to water damage. If you notice your drywall is displayin signs of water damage, there is often a more sinister underlying cause that will need to be addressed prior to installing new drywall sheets. 

Not only will experienced contractors provide quality workmanship, but they will also complete the project within a shorter timeframe. Remember that when it comes to drywall repairs or replacements, a well-executed job will save you both time and money in the long term. If you need help assessing drywall damage, give our professional drywall contractors in Edmonton a call today!