Drywall Creates a Vicious Cycle

July 13th, 2011

By Jacques Bouchard When it comes to home building practices, old habits die hard.  Despite the fact that better and more effective building practices are being designed for the home, there’s still builders that will keep beating that dead horse and install the same broken-down systems they’ve built their whole life.  This is especially true if the same old ways provide a cheap solution for them.  Why would a builder stop doing what’s making them money?  They’re not the ones who live with the job, right? Here’s the bottom line:  the basement is different than the rest of the home.  There are fewer windows, the ceiling is often lower, and above all, there’s moisture and humidity.  If you install drywall in the basement, it’s probably not going to work out, and even if it does, it’s still a poor building material for the job.  The following are four good reasons to take drywall out of the formula in your basement finishing plan.

Standing Firm

If you’re looking to install shelves, cabinets, or any other objects that weigh more than 10 pounds, drywall is not the building material for the job.   Before installing anything on the walls, you’ll first have to locate a wall stud, which is often a difficult and imperfect task.  You’ll be limited to the areas where the studs can be found, and you’ll be at the mercy of sometimes unevenly spaced studs. If you’re remodeling the basement, however, you’re going to want to mount things there.  If you try to install speakers, a plasma TV, sports memorabilia, large pictures, or other heavy objects, however, drywall just won’t cut it.  Additionally, with the same readiness that it crumbles under too much weight, family members or a well-placed doorknob can drive a large, unsightly hole into it. In contrast, hardboard wall panels such as Total Basement Finishing’s Wall Panels  include dense foam insulation available that can have objects mounted anywhere you want with no need to locate a stud.  These free-standing wall partitions are perfect for the home and can be installed to divide off a room beautifully with no ugly exposed material on one side.

Drywall Dust

Having to deal with clouds of drywall dust is quite possibly the most painful part of a basement remodeling.  Installing drywall is a dirty job!  When these heavy panels are cut to fit your basement, a dense and extremely find dust is generated that will cover everything in the area.  This dust is invasive, and it can easily clog and damage ordinary vacuum motors as the filters are used up and the motors overheat.  Professional drywall vacuums cost about $650, a price that makes them impractical to homeowners and small contractors.  If you’re installing drywall yourself, it’s important to be careful- gypsum in drywall can be irritating to eyes, lungs, and sinuses. Use masks, goggles and gloves, and clean up all drywall dust as soon as the installation is done.

Service and Renovation Woes

Drywall ceilings can be a nightmare when the time comes to service the area or renovate a basement.  When pipes, ducts, and wiring need to be serviced or replaced, the small access ports that are installed in drywall ceilings offer narrow and often inadequate access.  In some situations, areas of the ceiling will even need to be removed or replaced for the sake of the job.  Installing a drywall ceiling is often a work-intensive and expensive process, and it’s not recommended for non-professionals.  If a renovation of the first floor of the house is needed, you may need to spend hours and hours running wires and pipes under the floor (or learning where existing ones lead) as you remodel. As a final thought, broken, moldy, and damaged drywall creates an enormous amount of waste.  Drywall is filling up landfills by the tons all over the country.  Drywall is continuously being removed and replaced due to damage from plumbing leaks and foundation water, It’s constantly being replaced and reinstalled as water from a leaking basement and plumbing leaks lead to mold, rot, and water damaged drywall.

Black Mold Blues

No drywall product- including mold and moisture-resistant drywall – stands by their claim with a long-standing warranty.  This is because drywall is constructed with a gypsum core and layers of heavy, processed paper.  Gypsum easily absorbs water and stays wet for a long time (while the water damage ruins the gypsum core), keeping the paper facing saturated long enough for mold to grow.  Drywall mold has a wide range of unattractive symptoms.  If you have drywall, keep an eye out for peeling and cracking paint, bulging behind the paint, musty smells, and discolored walls.  Additionally, drywall can support the growth of toxic black molds, which can cause a significant health problem for homeowners and their families.  However, even when toxic molds are not present, mold spores can agitate asthma and allergies as well as a wide variety of other health issues.  At times, it’s even necessary to hire a trained professional to remove and replace the entire installation.  And if this involves hazardous conditions, the job won’t be cheap!

A Better Basement Finishing Solution

Homeowners who install drywall in their home find themselves in a vicious cycle:  they install drywall, watch it grow mold and rot, pay to tear it down, and replace it.  Unless something changes, this same cycle will repeat, and the homeowner will find themselves in an identical situation right away.  Who wants to pay for that? Total Basement Finishing’s line of remodeling products are warranted to be moisture and mold-resistant and are made specifically for the basement environment.  Total Basement Finishing’s basement wall panels, flooring and basement ceiling tiles are the best products on the market for your basement finishing project!  EverLast basement wall panels install easily and without the mess of drywall, and each panel can hold 300 pounds per square foot without a problem!  Total Basement Finishing’s mold-resistant, anti-sag drop ceilings offer a durable and easily-repairable alternative to drywall, and they’re much more convenient for servicing utilities and wiring.  All their dealers and basement contractors offer free written basement remodeling estimates, and they’d love to help you!

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