Here are 5 reasons why you should NEVER USE DRYWALL in a finished basement:
1. Drywall is made mostly of paper and gypsum, and provides no structural support or insulation. Because of this, there is no built in insulation properties and requires the use of an insulationB material, and another type of support. The most common types of support and insulation are – 2×4 wood studs and fiberglass insulation.
2. All three of these materials (studs, drywall and insulation) are organic, and breeding grounds for mold in a high moisture environment. Mold needs water and a place to grow. Add moisture to a cool damp basement and your drywall is an easy place for mold to live and grow.
3. These three materials are what you will most commonly find throughout the entire country in residential building. That in of itself is not an issue. However many contractors will incorporate this buildout in basements -B THIS IS A MISTAKE.
4. Drywall is fine for building when kept DRY (hence the name DRYwall). A basement is a high moisture environment not meant for drywall, with outside air and moisture entering theB basement through the pores of the foundation and heating and ventilation ducts.
5. Leaky plumbing, rainwater buildup, seepage, and cracks in the foundation are a few other hazards for the basement, and sources for mold to begin growing on your drywall.
Just because drywall is used in construction does not mean it belongs in the basement.
In the old days, houses were built of plaster and lath construction, and expensive and labor intensive process. The U.S. Gypsum Company (USG) invented drywall in 1916. It was originally
called “Sackett Board,” after the Sackett plaster company, a USG subsidiary. The material was first sold in the form of small, fireproof tiles, but within a few years, it was sold in multi-layer gypsum and paper sheets. In less then a decade, it took on the form we know, consisting of a single layer of compressed gypsum sandwiched between two sheets of heavy paper.
While it only took a few years for this board to evolve into the material we know today, it took 25 years for builders to begin using drywall in any substantial quantity.
U.S. Gypsum eventually changed the brand name of the material to “Sheetrock” in an attempt to improve drywall’s reputation, but builders and homeowners still paid no attention.
It wasn’t until the United States became involved inB World War IIB that builders came around to the benefits of using drywall. As the country’s labor force became focused on war manufacturing and many soldiers were sent overseas to fight, quick and inexpensive building materials were needed to offset the labor shortage and war costs. Because the labor shortage was too intense for plastering to remain a viable building option, people began to use drywall instead. Houses and factories could be constructed in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the labor previously required. Cheap and efficient products were seen as patriotic because they allowed citizens to spend more time and money supporting the warB effort.
By the time the war ended in 1945, drywall had become the dominant building material in the United States. During the post-war building boom, contractors knew they could construct homes and workplaces in one-tenth the time if they abandoned plaster for drywall, leading to higher profits. Over time, the use of plaster gradually faded as people all over the world turned to drywall. With net sales of over $5 billion in 2007, the U.S. Gypsum Company is still one of the world’s top producers and innovators of drywall and related products.
TodayB drywall is one of the most common building products used in North America, mainly for one reason -B it is CHEAP!
So what materials do you put in your basement?
There are many “healthy basement” materials on the market.B This includes mold resistant products such as vinyl flooring planks, chemical-free insulation made with renewable resources and eco-friendly wall systems. Learn about our wall systems and innovative basement finishing & design methods on our PRODUCTS page.