A Homeowner’s 101 Guide to Fixing a Hole in the Wall: Dupage County, IL

We’d like to believe that our homes are bulletproof on the outside and the inside, but unfortunately, the laws of nature tell us otherwise. While your home’s exterior is always exposed to the elements, you’ll be surprised to know that the interior isn’t entirely protected from exterior forces. A good example would be the health of your drywall. Cracks could signify home settlement or shifting soil, whereas wet patches could mean damaged house siding. But when it comes to a hole in the wall, your Dupage County handyman can tell the difference between an accident, a structural issue, or termites.

At Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale, we have fixed multiple holes in walls throughout Dupage County. The truth is that no home is bulletproof despite being resilient and sturdy. However, the good news is that wear and tear can be managed and prevented easily, and minor accidents can be fixed right away. Whether you had a little mishap while moving furniture or the door knob went through the wall due to an absent wall-mounted door stopper, we have put together a little 101 guide to help you fix that ugly hole in the wall with confidence.

From a small to medium-sized hole, you don’t need any experience with this drywall repair guide except for the necessary tools and materials. That said, we recommend professional inspection should you be unsure about the nature or severity of the damage. Continue reading to learn more about this helpful guide.

What is Drywall, and What Type Do I Have?

Did you know most residential properties have at least 6,000 feet of drywall? Though, it’s good for homeowners to know what kind of drywall they have in their homes as they vary in type and thickness. Back in the day, people built homes with plaster materials, which are naturally stronger and provide better soundproofing qualities. It’s highly labor intensive, not to mention more expensive. So when drywall hit the market in the 1940s as a cost-effective alternative, it revolutionized how we built and organized our interior living spaces.  

Drywall is also referred to as gypsum board, as it’s composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate—a fine yet durable mineral. It’s easy to install and safe because it has non-combustible qualities. 

Some common types include:

  • Standard
  • Green board (mold-resistant, mostly found in kitchens)
  • Blue board (moisture-resistant, ideal for bathrooms)
  • Cement backer boards (installed behind shower tiles)

Available thicknesses include:

  • ¼ inch
  • ⅜ inch
  • ½ inch
  • ⅝ inch

When it comes to choosing your preferred thickness, a 1/2-inch drywall is the average, whereas 5/8-inch is the thickest and most expensive. 

The best way to see what “type” and “thickness” you have is to check behind your outlets. Another way is to tap it to see how hollow or solid sounding it is. Knowing these details will be useful in determining the type of repair tools and materials you will need.

What Are The Most Common Causes of Holes in the Wall

In Dupage County, our local experts have experienced a wide range of drywall problems where the underlying issues need to be located. 

  • Nail pops due to settling foundation, stress, or poor construction
  • Furniture bumps and scuffs
  • Air bubbles due to inadequate paint jobs or moisture issues
  • Termites, bug infestation

Your 101 Guide to Fixing a Hole in the Wall

This guide is created for you based on nail pops and accidents. We highly recommend hiring an experienced professional for a detailed inspection if you suspect a more serious issue. This way, any serious problems can be addressed accordingly and corrected in a timely manner. If you are ever unsure, you can count on your local Dupage County handyman at Mr. Handyman to provide you with a detailed diagnosis and effective repair solutions.

This guide will include how to fix a small to medium sized hole, as well as nail pops and large-size holes.

First Things First: Gather Your Tools and Materials!

When you prepare for drywall repair, make sure to take all the necessary precautions, such as appropriate clothing, safety glasses, gloves and dust masks. 

Write down a list of things you need to perform the job, as it will help you stay organized and prepared for every step of the way.

Tools You Need:

  • Four- to six-inch putty knife
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Sanding block and sandpaper
  • Utility knife
  • Mortar box
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Screws, screwdriver
  • Drywall saw

Materials You Need:

  • Joint compound
  • Drywall tape
  • Mesh tape (fiberglass)
  • Drywall replacement panel (scrap pieces, depending on the size of the hole that needs to be repaired)
  • Wood strips (plywood)

Popped Nail Repair Guide

  1. When you have a popped nail, the easiest way is to tap it back in and hope this problem will not reoccur. However, the most secure way of fixing this is to use a pair of pliers, grasp the head of the nail and pull it out. If it is a drywall screw, use a drill to remove it.
  2. If it is a drywall screw that you removed, it’s important to replace it; otherwise, this could affect your wall’s structural integrity. The next step includes drilling in a 1 1/4-inch screw about two inches above the affected area. Ensure the screw’s not too tight but deep enough not to trigger cracks.
  3. Now that the essential step is done, it may look worse than before, but this is where the fun part begins! Use a putty knife to apply joint compound to the affected areas and spread it as evenly as you can. Depending on the severity of the damage, you can also apply some mesh tape beforehand and apply a thin layer of joint compound over it.
  4. Allow the first coat of compound to dry overnight before you apply the second coat. Depending on your preference and the level of damage, you can apply up to three coats.
  5. Lastly, scrape off the ridges using a sanding sponge.

Fix A Small- to Medium-Sized Hole In the Wall

Dupage County has many beautiful properties, and knowing how to fix small drywall holes at home can work wonders! That’s as long as the hole is only four to five inches wide. In that case, fiberglass mesh tape comes in most handy. Please follow the below instructions:

  1. Do you have your tools ready? The first step is to use sandpaper to smoothen out the surface around the hole before you begin patching and repairing. Wipe off the dust using a clean microfiber cloth.
  2. Your square mesh tape has a paper backing. Peel it off and apply it to the hole.
  3. Next, spread the first coat of compound with a six-inch putty knife.
  4. Allow it to dry overnight, and sand the ridges the following day.
  5. Apply a second coat and determine if you need a third one.

How To Fix A Six-Inch Hole in the Wall

If your wall has a six-inch hole, you will need to use a different process, as simple mesh tape won’t cut it. That’s where substitute drywall panels come in. It’s time to roll up your sleeves for the messy part!

  1. Use the framing square and pencil to draw on the panel a square that is two inches larger than the hole size (i.e., if the hole is six inches wide, cut a square that’s eight inches).
  2. Grab the utility knife and cut a light seven-inch square on the back of that panel. It should be cut deep enough for you to snap off the edges at a later step.
  3. Place the square panel against the hole and draw a square around it. (This does not include the paper borders.)
  4. Take the pencil drawing and cut out the square using your drywall saw.
  5. Sand off the edges evenly and wipe off the dust with a clean microfiber cloth.
  6. On the square panel, apply a joint compound to the paper border’s back and fit the panel into the hole in the wall.
  7. Once it’s secure, use your putty knife to press the paper backing, which is soaked with compound. Carefully even it out.
  8. Next, apply a proper layer of compound on top of it.
  9. Give it at least 24 hours to dry, sand off the ridges and apply a second layer.

Fixing A Hole Larger Than Six Inches

If you have drywall damage that involves a hole larger than six inches, the previous instructions will come in handy to a certain point—namely up to the step of cutting a square panel (note that rectangular shapes are also possible).

Now, to ensure your drywall is supported properly, you must install at least two pieces of wood strips, each a few inches longer than the hole.  

Please follow these instructions: 

  1. Install two screws per strip on both sides, ensuring the screws go through the wall into the strips.
  2. Secure the drywall patch into the hole and install additional screws into the strips.
  3. Apply mesh tape to the seams for extra security.
  4. Once this patchwork is done, you can apply the first coat of joint compound and adhere to the same instructions as above.

Voilá—Fixing a Hole in the Wall With Ease! Contact Our Dupage County Handyman Team for More Tips and Tricks!

Accomplishing DIY projects can be gratifying, but not everybody has the time for any type of home repair and maintenance. And the longer you delay it, the higher the risk of premature wear and tear. At Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale, our expert technicians bring many years of experience in property maintenance, repair, and improvements. Should you have drywall issues and need urgent and seamless repairs, we have the tools and knowledge to ensure smooth walls in no time!

Got a hole in your wall? Our Dupage County professionals are only one call away to fix all kinds of drywall damage and more.