Constructing a room or building a home with the use of drywall is a great way to create solid, long-lasting walls. However, if you choose to use drywall, you may be wondering how long drywall will last in your home. Typically, drywall will last anywhere from 40 to more than 70 years, depending on environmental conditions as well as the care provided to the home and/or structure over time.
What is the Standard Lifespan of Drywall?
Overall, drywall typically lasts between 40 and 70 years, although it may only last between 20 and 30 years if it is exposed to water buildup as well as mold or mildew.
What Type of Drywall Should You Use if You Live in a Location With Higher Humidity?
If you live in a location where the humidity is higher than average, it is important to remember to use green or purple drywall as opposed to standard drywall. Green or purple drywall is designed with structures that are to be constructed in a location with plenty of humidity as well as those that are more prone to potential fires and/or accidents.
Factors Like to Influence the Lifespan of Drywall
Not all drywall is created or maintained equally, which is why it is important to know what factors are most likely to influence the lifespan of any drywall you install, regardless of the type of project you are working on. While most drywall is intended to withstand usage for decades, there are some factors that may significantly reduce the overall lifespan of the drywall you install.
If drywall is exposed to moisture over time, its lifespan will be greatly diminished. Drywall is designed to be used in dry and protected spaces, not spaces that are waterlogged or in environments with high humidity.
Drywall has many paper elements that are excellent sources for absorption, which can mean bad news for drywall over time that has been exposed to moisture, even if it is only exposed to a small amount of water or any form of moisture at a time. Just a small bit of moisture over time can impact the lifespan of the drywall you have installed in and throughout your home.
In addition to the moisture exposure, drywall will not last as long as it can if it is also exposed to various types of mold and mold growth. Mold typically comes as a subset of water or humidity and can be a result of untreated water buildup or even slow moisture buildup over time, which is not always noticeable.
Another factor that can significantly impact the lifespan of drywall includes termites. Because termites are attracted to wood sources as well as paper sources, they can be immediately attracted to drywall.
Drywall has a major appeal to termites, which can lead to serious damage to your drywall in a short period of time. If you believe you may have termites behind your walls and in your drywall, you can look for signs of evidence, such as small specks of termite waste, as well as tiny holes throughout various areas of the walls.
In a more serious and extensive termite infestation, you will also begin to see various structures that hang from the drywall ceilings that indicate termites are currently living in the drywall.
Lack of Maintenance
Over time, a lack of maintenance along with wear and tear can also contribute to the reduction of your drywall’s overall lifespan. Knocking holes and scuffs in walls or even having the drywall experience moisture buildup, floods, or water accidents can also reduce the lifespan of drywall, regardless of the type of drywall you have installed and when.
If you have pets in the home, it is also important to keep an eye on them to prevent them from urinating anywhere on your drywall, as this can lead to moisture accumulation and additional damage to the walls.
Can You Increase the Lifespan of Drywall?
Yes, it is possible to increase the lifespan of the drywall you have in your home or throughout any structure with a few preventative steps and maintenance tips.
Always Repair Damaged Drywall ASAP
If you stumble upon an issue with the drywall in your home or any property, it is imperative to address the damage immediately. Addressing any potential damage or water issues that have accumulated in or around your drywall ASAP can significantly reduce long-term damage and/or potentially irreversible damage.
Even allowing holes and simple damage in drywall to remain in place can weaken the overall drywall structure. Broken drywall and drywall that is in a weakened state may be more prone to additional issues, including moisture accumulation, which can lead to further damage and mold growth.
Use Mold-resistant Drywall
Whenever you are working on a new project that involves drywall, seek out mold-resistant drywall. Mold-resistant drywall is ideal for those who live in areas with high humidity as well as in areas that are prone to water damage and/or flooding incidents. Mold-resistant drywall can significantly reduce the potential damage that can be caused to drywall after a flood or even after a simple spill.
Inspect Your Drywall Regularly
Another way to ensure your drywall is in good condition is to inspect it regularly. Check the drywall throughout your home for potential dents, scuffs, marks, holes, and even signs of water or termite damage year-round to prevent and avoid long-term damage to any structure or room on your property.
You should also check for potential discoloration and/or moisture accumulation to pinpoint problem areas in your home that request additional attention. Taking the time to inspect your drywall regularly can help you to fix any issues that occur in a timely manner. Addressing the issues you discover in your drywall immediately can help to protect the rest of the drywall structure without causing additional damage to it.
Whether you are building a brand new home or adding space to your existing property, understanding the ins and outs of drywall can help you to streamline the process. When you are comfortable and familiar with how drywall works and how long it is likely to last, you can plan all of your projects properly and with an accurate lifespan timeline in mind.