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Wallpaper is a widely used material in interior decoration. The multitude of style and colours, the ease of installation, as well as the luxurious atmosphere it can create, make the wallpaper an incomparable decorative item that paint cannot replace. But as the wallpaper ages, problems like cracking, discoloration and peeling occur.
Nothing can withstand time unscathed, but worry not, Deco-Man’s come to rescue. We’ve compiled a list of reasons why wallpaper peels and cracks, and devised some preventive measures and remedies so that you can avoid and fix these wallpaper mishaps.
Why problems occur and how to prevent them
No preparation before installation
This shouldn’t strike anyone as a surprise. The condition of the wall before installation, and the colour of other walls in the house, will affect how the new paper looks in the interior as a whole. Foregoing preparation procedures before installation and problems like colour differences, bubbling and curling seams will arise.
To avoid this, install only one roll of the new paper for testing purposes. Leave the paper to cure for 24 hours and observe the results before going ahead to hang the rest of the paper.
Unsuitable wall humidity and pH value
Wallpaper does not adhere well to alkaline surfaces with a humidity higher than 6% and pH value greater than 9. Before installation, make sure the wall surfaces are dry enough and wiped clear of dust. For newly-built concrete walls, give it 20-40 days to dry thoroughly before the makeover.
Uncontrolled curing environment
The environment in which the wallpaper dries will determine how long it can last without peeling. If the humidity of your house is relatively low, keep the wallpaper sealed airtight and open the package only upon installation.
Soak the paper to restore its moisture and let it dry at a slow and even pace. We don’t recommend opening the windows in the curing process because this dries out the interior quickly and causes the paper to shrink and warp. In the drying process, ventilation should be kept at a minimum.
Warping and cracking might occur when the wallpaper is hung on an uneven surface. Fill out the holes and cut out the glue spots before trying to hang the wallpaper. After that, try to apply more glue on the seams where curling might occur. If the wall is in fact plastered unevenly, a quick fix might not be possible. Professional help is required if you are a wallpaper perfectionist.
Wallpaper problems and how to fix them
Dryness can cause wallpaper to crack. When the first crack appears, fix it right on the spot so that the breakage does not spread. Inject glue into the crack with a syringe, blow-dry the area for 10 seconds and press the paper against the surface until it adheres firmly on the wall. Blow-dry the area again until it dries completely.
Cracks and tears
If there is no missing paper around the crack, the repair method above should suffice. If bits of paper are torn away, before considering to repaper the whole wall, try the ‘torn-patch method’.
Find a piece of matching wallpaper, tear out a patch and stick it over the damaged area. Match the patterns of the patch and the original paper to achieve a more seamless look.