Mold prevention is not guaranteed
Mold and mildew growth have become a hot-button issue lately due to health concerns. Mold remediation companies deal with eliminating mold/mildew, but it’s always best to prevent mold before it starts. One potential weapon in the mold-prevention arsenal is mold-resistant drywall, a product marketed aggressively by manufacturers. When installed in homes, it is often touted by real estate professionals as a selling feature.
To grow, mold spores require oxygen, moisture, and an organic food source. In the case of gypsum wallboard, that organic material is found in the paper facing on the drywall panels (the gypsum core is non-organic and not subject to mold). Preventing mold growth on drywall can be approached via two strategies:
Modern mold-resistant drywall that also includes moisture-resistance is about 50 percent more expensive than standard drywall. Big box home improvement centers sell a sheet of 1/2-inch, 4 x 8-foot standard drywall for about $7.50 per sheet, while a comparable sheet of good mold-resistant drywall costs about $11.50. Buying in bulk will notably reduce this price.
Like any form of drywall, the mold-resistant form is generally a very durable, easy-to-care-for wall surface. Painted surfaces should be kept clean and should be repainted periodically to preserve a good moisture barrier. All drywall is a fairly brittle material that can be cracked and damaged, but repairs are fairly easy to make, either by taping and refinishing the damaged area with taping compound or by cutting damaged areas away and installing a drywall patch.
Note that these products all combine mold-resistance with the moisture resistance that was once the virtue of green board drywall.
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The major brands include:
Drywall is a ubiquitous material that is a common wall surface in both basic homes and in luxury construction. It is the standard wall finish material used throughout the construction industry. Drywall can accept surface finishes of paint, wallpaper, or textured skim-coat plaster. It should not be used as a replacement for cement board as a backing material for ceramic tile.
Mold-resistant drywall is notably more expensive and it is not guaranteed to prevent mold. But it does help hinder mold in humid locations.