If you’re planning a big remodel with a revamped layout, you’ll most likely have to remove some drywall. In most demolitions, that process begins with swinging sledgehammers. That won’t fly if you plan to reuse it, and, in reality, it’s incredibly difficult to remove the drywall with enough precision to keep it intact for a second use.
If you can avoid moving walls, the first and most important step in determining if your drywall is good to go for another round is checking it carefully for water or mold damage. Any discoloration should be obvious, but stains are not the only signs. In fact, some mold may be so light in color that you don’t notice it. This is where your touch and smell come into play. A section of drywall that’s damaged with moisture will likely have a soft texture, and you may notice parts of it are peeling or bubbling. An area with mold growth will feel almost like slippery grease, and it’ll streak if swiped over. Mold also carries a distinct musty odor.
Any sections of the drywall that show cracks, bumps, or tears may need to be taken out, too. This type of damage is like an open door for water to seep through, set up camp, and begin sprouting mold. Successful repairs are possible if the damaged area is relatively small and shallow. Anything beyond that should be subject to replacement.