What To Look Out For When Purchasing Drywall

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What To Look Out For When Purchasing Drywall

19 November 2014
 Categories: , Blog


If you are a general contractor, then it is likely that you purchase bulk building materials so you can reduce your overall costs. If these materials include drywall, then you need to make sure that you purchase high quality materials. Otherwise, you may end up with defective building supplies. Defective drywall can quickly erode and the materials can cause health issues inside homes and office buildings. When you buy your drywall, there are a number of things you should look for to make sure that it is not defective.

Foul Odors

Some types of defective drywall may release foul odors, and you should smell the drywall that you purchase to make sure that a smell is not present. Defective drywall generally smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. This is the case due to the hydrogen sulfide and the carbon disulfide released by the drywall itself. This smell is often caused by fly ash that is placed within the drywall. This material oxidizes over time and releases gases. This usually happens when the drywall is exposed to moisture.  

Drywall that has been imported from China may contain the ash material, so make sure to ask where the drywall was manufactured. If the drywall smells, then find another supplier. Otherwise, the sulfur gases will cause health problems and it will corrode copper and other metals in the home.

Ripping Paper

Drywall is made up of two layers of paper with a solid layer of gypsum in between. The paper can rip and tear over time, and it can pull away if you accidentally snag it on a tool or object. The material will also pucker, ripple, and pull away from the gypsum if it becomes wet. If you see small tears or rips on the surface of the drywall when you inspect it, then it is likely that the building material was stored in a wet or humid area.

Drywall can be repaired when the surface rips, but the structural integrity of the material will be compromised if the entire sheet has been exposed to water. Do not purchase drywall that has a wavy or torn surface. Purchase smooth materials instead. Run your hand over the top of the drywall to make sure that the texture is consistent with dry storage.

Also, look for discolored patches across the surface of the material, because this may indicate that water has allowed mold and mildew to start forming on the drywall.

Lightweight Drywall

Drywall generally weighs about 30 or 40 pounds per sheet depending on the size and thickness of the material. Drywall may not weigh this much if you purchase a special lightweight variety. If you purchase standard drywall and it feels lighter than it should, then the drywall may be made out of substandard materials. The majority of the drywall weight comes from the gypsum that sits in between the paper. If the drywall is light, then the gypsum may not be as dense as it should. The air mixed into the drywall will cause substantial weaknesses.

Lightweight drywall also may mean that ash and other materials have been added during the manufacturing process.  

If you work as a general contractor, then you probably use a great deal of building materials each and every week. You likely buy in bulk to make sure that you have enough supplies to work with. You need to be careful when you purchase your drywall, like that at Mustang Builders Inc, though, or you may end up with dangerous and poor quality materials.