When to use mold-resistant drywall
Mold poses a serious threat to modern households, both in terms of our finances and our health. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to mitigate those risks and to prevent mold from becoming a major issue in your home.
Among those steps is the use of mold-resistant drywall. Here’s some background on how mold and drywall interact and how you can go about keeping the fungus from developing in your home.
How mold grows
Mold thrives in damp areas where moisture is prevalent. It starts small and begins to grow alongside the organic material of traditional paper-faced drywall. Because standard drywall has a paper face, when it gets wet it stays wet for a long time.
The threat of mold will vary depending on the amount of moisture in and around your home, but almost any home with areas prone to moisture can benefit from mold-resistant drywall in key areas.
Oxygen in your home + paper-faced drywall covering walls and ceiling + moisture = mold
How mold-resistant drywall works
Mold-resistant drywall works by displaying fewer of the conditions that can contribute to the sustained growth of mold in the home. Mainly, it doesn’t use the traditional paper facing.
Mold-resistant drywall typically comes in two forms – either with a gypsum core and fiberglass facing or with gypsum material consistent throughout the drywall (also known as homogeneous).
In this type of mold-resistant drywall, fiberglass replaces the traditional paper facing and reduces the likelihood of sustained moisture and mold buildup.
Homogeneous drywall features a gypsum material all the way through with no layers. Because there is no exterior face on the drywall, there’s no paper or like material that can attract water and remain wet.
In addition to mold-resistant drywall, there are also fire-resistant, impact-resistant, and sound-resistant variations to help your structure achieve added capability in different areas.
When to use mold-resistant drywall
Space prone to moisture such as bathrooms and laundry rooms are also typically most prone to mold – which can be disastrous and costly to the structure of your home. Walls and ceilings in these spaces that are often damp due to humidity or splashing are suitable for mold-resistant drywall. It is sometimes also used in kitchen backsplashes to protect against mold from wetness.
Mold-resistant drywall is a little more expensive than standard drywall, but the amount of money it can save you from having to repair mold damage is more than worth the cost – not to mention the health risks of mold buildup. This isn’t to say mold-resistant drywall is 100% mold-proof, but it does decrease the likelihood of the fungus becoming an issue in your home.
Greenboard is a mostly bygone alternative to mold-resistant drywall that is less expensive and less effective. It used to be commonly used in high-moisture, high-humidity areas like bathrooms and then coated with heavy-duty paint. It should be noted that neither moisture-resistant drywall nor greenboard are adequate replacements for cement board.
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