Drywall, A Common And Very Important Building Material
We have all probably used drywall at one time or another in our lives and we know what it takes to finish the stuff even if we have never touched. We know that it goes on all inside walls and that it won’t hold heavier hangings like shelves and large pictures and so we need to find the studs beneath. We may have also had experience repairing a hole that was intentionally or unintentionally placed in a wall. Plaster work is definitely something that takes practice but thankfully it is sandable and therefore our mistakes are not permanent. But we probably don’t know why it is used, and I am here to change that. Drywall the most commonly used interior wall covering throughout the world for several reasons.
First and probably foremost is that it is cheap. It is simply gypsum which is a ubiquitous and easily obtained substance sandwiched between two sheets of heavy paper which gives the drywall stability. The material is easy to work with and therefore very useful across a wide range of applications. It also provides a nice finished surface that is very paintable and also repairable. Another reason why drywall is used is that it provides a barrier to the movement of fire through a house or building.
Its endothermic properties allow it to at least slow a fires progression and are given to it by the water that is contained within it. This water must be heated and evaporated before the fire is able to raise the temperature of drywall to its kindling point and also affect the temperature of the next room over. One must keep in mind that it is only a barrier and that in order to prevent the fire from moving quickly from one room to the next you have to block off all other routes. Therefore any vents must be properly insulated, any other holes must be sealed tight by either plaster or some other fire retardant. Drywall comes in 4 x 8 foot sheets and is quickly hung by drywall hangers. This is the process of attaching the drywall to the bare stud of all inside wall surfaces as well as the ceilings. Holes are cut for all receptacles and windows and doors. The mudders then come and tape all of the seams and mud them. This is then sanded down and provides the smooth surface that we are all used to in a new or newly renovated home.
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