Prevent Wallboard Callbacks

It’s not called drywall for nothing.
June 30, 2002

It’s not called drywall for nothing.

The Gypsum Association, a Washington, D.C.-based group of drywall makers and installers, recently came out with tips for properly shipping, storing and installing wallboard to minimize callbacks. Not surprisingly, moisture can be a builder’s worst enemy in this regard.

Robert Wessel, the association’s assistant executive director, says the final appearance of finished joints and the performance of joint treatment materials depend on a number of factors, especially drywall delivery and storage conditions.

“I have seen stuff delivered to a job site sitting in 3 inches of mud with the tarps blown off in the middle of a rainstorm, and then a guy comes in the next day and hangs it on the wall,” says Wessel. “Wallboard can get wet. The key is to properly dry it out if it ever gets wet, and when it gets wet in a stack it is tough to do that.”

Basic tips include:

  • Store gypsum flat on risers that are at least 4 inches wide, with a uniform height, and spread no more than 24 inches apart. Failure to do so can cause sagging between supports, particularly in high-humidity situations.
  • Allow storage temperatures for the wallboard and the joint compound (mud) materials to be at 50 degrees or above for 48 hours. This ensures a proper bond be-tween surfaces and adhesives.
  • When humidity is excessive, extra ventilation is required. High-humidity situations require extra drying time between coats of compound to avoid later shrinkage and even cracking joints.
  • During hot, dry weather, drafts should be avoided so the compound does not dry too rapidly.

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