Step-By-Step Guide To Fixing Holes In Your Mobile Home Walls

by | Aug 16, 2019 | Blog, Repair




Mobile home walls are becoming more and more durable as manufacturers are stepping up their game. Thanks to the HUD, all the new houses need to comply with very specific safety and quality standards. But nothing is impervious. 

Drywall is one of the most commonly used materials by companies for their mobile home walls. Unfortunately, it’s quite susceptible to damage. On the bright side, you can repair it easily too.

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Holes are one of the most prevalent problems. They not only look unattractive, but the damage can spread and become worse. So you want to address it as soon as possible.

Different types of damage need different solutions. So, we are going to look at how you can fix cracks, small holes, dents, and larger holes. We will give step-by-step instructions for each.




Do I need to hire a professional? 

The first question you typically ask yourself is whether you need to hire a pro or not. To decide, you need to figure out the following:

  • How much will it cost?
  • Do you need special skills or knowledge?
  • How much effort will it take?
  • Do you have enough time to complete the fix?

The size of the hole significantly influences this. If you are willing to do it yourself, it isn’t worth it to hire a contractor, especially for small gaps like nail holes. You can easily and quickly fix them on your own.

On the other hand, it is much more challenging to patch up more extensive damage. As you’ll see, if the hole is wide enough, it might even be necessary to remove and replace pieces of drywall. 

It is even possible that you need to install an entire panel. To do this, you should have some knowledge about installing drywall.

Overall, this not only requires more skill, but it is more expensive too. It will cost you around $40 to $60 per square foot to hire an expert. 

On the other hand, you only need to pay around $10 or $20 for a single drywall panel and approximately $5 for a small piece. So you could save some money if you do it yourself.

In the end, it is possible to complete all of these fixes on your own.

Joint compound vs. putty

Before we jump into the different methods, we want to take a look at the materials you use first. For most of these guides, you need to use a type of filler. The two main options are putty and compound (drywall mud).

Manufactures make joint compound from a mixture of gypsum dust and water. Fabricators can make putty from a variety of materials like silicone, platinum catalysts, hydrogen polysiloxanes, and combinations of plasticizers.

Joint compound is meant to seal and create a smooth surface over the seams of the walls. So you need to use drywall mud if you have to work on or near the seams.

On the other hand, putty is usually explicitly meant to fill gaps. But you can use both of them to fill holes in a mobile home wall.

Bucket of putty for sheetrock

The biggest downside of the joint compound is that it takes a long time to dry and can shrink quite a bit in the process. However, it can be easier to even out.

Putty dries quicker and shrinks less. On the other hand, it can be trickier to work with because the material is thicker and harder. And you can’t use it to seal seams.

The best solution might be to work with a combination of the two. Primarily, it comes down to your preference.

Patching a crack

Your drywall is most likely to crack along the seams. It’s where two pieces of the wall are attached. These cracks are usually caused by some kind of stress, like temperature fluctuations or too much pressure on the joints.

Supplies:

To fix a crack in your mobile home wall, you should get:

  • Joint compound
  • Drywall tape
  • Putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint matching your walls
  • Putty knife or spatula
  • Damp cloth
  • Paintbrush

1 – Assess the damage

To start, you want to inspect the crack. You need to do this to figure out how to fix it. There is a different process for smaller and larger cracks.

2 – Tape the crack

If the crack is extensive, you will first need to tape the gap. You should also do this if you think the crevice has the potential to widen in the future. Apply the tape to cover it.

This isn’t necessary for thin and hairline gaps. You will only need to fill them.

3 – Fill the crack

If you had to use tape, you should use joint compound. Smooth the mud over the gap until you have filled the gap. You want the surface to be relatively even. 

Pro tip: Joint compound is more manageable and dries more quickly if you apply it several thin coats instead of one thick one.

In the case of thin cracks, you only need to use putty. Break off a small piece and put it in the gap until you’ve filled it completely.




4 – Sand it down

Again you have to leave the filler to dry. The joint compound usually takes around 24 hours. But this can change depending on the temperature and the humidity. The hotter and more humid the air is, the longer it will take.

Spackling putty will feel dry to the touch in about 2 hours. But it needs more or less 4 hours to dry enough to sand. 

Use fine-grit sandpaper until the surface is completely smooth.

5 – Paint over the surface

A day after initially applying the joint compound or putty, you can paint it. Remember to use the primer first and let it dry. Then paint over it. And voila, you are all done!

Filling a small hole

Every homeowner is faced with the choice of whether to bore nails into their walls or not.

hammer and nails

The most common reason for the damage done to your walls is nail holes. Eventually, you will probably need to repair these as you change out decorations or personal effects on your walls.

Supplies:

For this guide, you need:

  • Scraper
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Putty knife or spatula
  • Primer
  • Paint matching your walls
  • Putty or joint compound
  • Paintbrush

Gather everything you need before you start making the repairs.

1 – Deal with loose edges

Whenever you bore into drywall, you will find some loose edges that stick up. If you haven’t, you should remove them now. Take the scraper and scrape the edges off. Or if you can, neatly push them into the gap. This will help to fill it.

2 – Fill the hole

Next, you need to get your putty. Break a piece and press some into the hole. You probably need to repeat this several times to make sure it is filled. The putty is quite efficient for this.

Otherwise, you can also use joint compound. 

3 – Sand it down

Follow manufacturer instructions about how long the putty takes to dry. Once it is set, you need to sand down the surface. Use fine-grit sandpaper to get it smooth.

Look at the section on fixing cracks in your drywall for the appropriate waiting time.

4 – Paint over the surface

Now all that’s left to do is finish. Wipe down the wall with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. First, apply a primer to the surface. When it is dry, you can then paint over the primer. Thankfully, your wall should look good as new.

Fixing a large hole

Unfortunately, the amount of work needed scales up as the size of the gap does. You need to follow an entirely different method for larger holes. If it is wide enough, you will need to replace a piece of the drywall.

Supplies:

Before you start, gather the following:

  • Drywall saw
  • Utility knife
  • Joint compound
  • Putty knife or spatula
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint matching your walls
  • Primer
  • Backer board
  • Piece of drywall
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Panel adhesive
  • Nails
  • Optional: Prybar

1 – Prepare the area

Before anything else, you have to prep for the next steps. You need to measure out a rectangle around the hole and then draw it out. If the gap is too big, you might need to remove an entire panel.

2 – Remove the damaged section

Once you’ve done this, you need to cut out the drawn section with the saw and utility knife.

Otherwise, if you plan to remove the battens over the seam where the sections are joined, use a pry bar to loosen it. And then make sure that you’ve removed all the nails that are left.




3 – Install the new drywall

If you are only going to replace a small piece, you need to install some backer board. It should be several inches longer than the hole. You can secure it with screws. Then cut out a new drywall patch that is the right size to fit into the gap and install it by screwing it in place.

Otherwise, to install a whole new panel, you should apply adhesive to the studs. Secure the new section in place with nails at the seams and the wall studs. After this, you have to install the batten strips.

Does the section that you removed extend to the floor or the ceiling?

If it does, you probably need to replace the trim as well.

4 – Seal the joints

Note that you repeat this step later on. That’s why you should only apply a thin coat of joint compound over all the seams.

5 – Sand it down

Remember to leave the mud to dry for at least 24 hours. When it’s ready, you can use sandpaper to smooth down the surface.

6 – Repeat

As we’ve said, you will need to coat the seam several times. So repeat steps 4 and 5. Each coat that you apply has to be thin. You need to do this to make sure that the surface will be completely smooth and even in the end. 

Repeat this until you have uniformly covered it like the other panels.

7 – Paint

After all this, you can apply primer over the new sections. And then paint it over. You’ll never know the hole was there in the first place.

Mending a dent

Sometimes the holes don’t break through completely. Instead, you can end up with a dent in your wall. This can be just as unattractive. Besides this, just like holes, the damage can spread and become worse.

Supplies

To fix a dent you will need:

  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Putty knife or spatula
  • Joint compound
  • Paintbrush
  • Primer
  • Paint matching the walls

1 – Sand the surface

Take the sandpaper and level down any rough edges around the sides of the dent.

The surface of the drywall is usually too smooth to apply the mud on. So you want to sand down the inside of the gap as well.

2 – Apply the compound

For the next step, you need to use the drywall mud. If the dent is too deep, you should instead apply it in a few coats. Otherwise, it can take very long to dry. Try to create a relatively even surface.

3 – Sand it down

Now you should leave it to dry. Afterward, sand it with sandpaper until it is completely smooth.

4 – Paint

Once again, you only need to paint over the damage. Apply primer first and let it dry. Then you can paint it.

Your own handyman

Seeing a hole in your mobile house’s wall can create a pit in your stomach. It is enough to wipe the smile of any homeowner’s face. However, you no longer have to let it stress you out. As you can see, you should be perfectly able to do it yourself without too much work.

We’ve covered a variety of different repairs so far. For more guides, read how to repair or replace damaged tiles in your mobile home and a step-by-step guide to refinishing your mobile home hardwood floors.



 

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