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The Good, Bad & Ugly About Drywall

It used to be that basements were dumping grounds for old toys, unused furniture, Christmas decorations, and knick-knacks. However, many homeowners now prefer a finished basement to add more value and versatility to their homes. Whether it’s a man cave, home theater, or playroom for the kids, finished basements are one of the most popular home renovations people undertake.

If you’re considering upgrading your basement, you have various materials to choose from, one of the most popular being drywall. But, as we’ll see in this post, drywall has disadvantages to keep in mind when remodeling your basement. And, we’ll give you another option to consider that mitigates the negatives of using drywall while giving your basement a modern, upscale appearance.

What Is Drywall?

Most people are at least familiar with the term drywall, but they might not know what it is. Drywall is a board made from sheets of paper with a gypsum-pressed layer in between. What makes drywall so prevalent in home building and renovation is its versatility and relatively low cost compared to other materials.

The Good

When selecting building materials to craft your finished basement, it’s helpful to know the pros and cons so that you can make a more informed decision. Drywall has many advantages, including:

  • It’s easy and cost-effective to manufacture.

  • It’s widely available, easy to work with, and nearly all contractors know how to install it properly.

  • Because most contractors are adept at working with drywall, most installations are completed quickly.

  • By itself, drywall isn’t durable; however, you can remedy that with drywall plaster, increasing its strength and resistance to bumps and scuffs.

  • The gypsum layer gives drywall a level of fire resistance, which can slow or stop the spread of a fire.

  • Drywall is exceptionally versatile; it’s used to make walls, partitions, and ceilings and can be cut into virtually any size.

The Bad

  • One of the most significant disadvantages to using drywall, especially in the basement, is that it’s not water-resistant. If you have a damp basement or experience a water leak or a flood, the drywall will become soaked and need to be replaced before mold grows.

  • Unplastered drywall is less durable and easily damaged, which can be an issue if you have young children.

  • Although most contractors are experienced working with drywall, you still need competence when it comes to finishing, or you could end up with joint problems in the future.

  • Installing or replacing drywall is messy and creates a lot of dust and debris, which means there’s significantly more cleaning up compared to other materials.

How sure are you that the backside of your basement drywall does not look like this? (Laboratory sample after 2 weeks in dry, humid and dark environment.)

The Ugly

We touched on this above, but one of the worst aspects about using drywall, especially in the basement, is how easily it absorbs water. Moisture is one of the primary ingredients for mold growth, and it thrives in cellulose-based products like drywall. The wood particles in drywall provide a food source for mold to thrive. Because many basements have dampness issues, mold is a common problem.

And mold isn’t just unsightly; it can cause serious health problems, significantly reduce the value of your home, and it isn’t easy to get rid of completely. Once mold spores attach themselves to the drywall under the right conditions, they multiply rapidly, and it doesn’t take long for the issue to get out of hand.

You might think, “We don’t have mold in our house.” But statistics show that nearly 70% of homes contain mold. Many homes contain mold within the walls, so you may have an issue and not know it.

If you live in an area at high risk for flooding or have experienced a flooded basement before, mold can start growing on saturated drywall within 72 hours, which means you must remove the affected areas as quickly as possible after flooding. Imagine doing this every few years after a major storm hits the area, and you get water in the basement, and you can see how much of a pain in the butt dealing with drywall can be.

But, what if there was a system that allowed you to have the benefits of drywall without the concern about water damage caused by major flooding?

Well, there is.

EnduraFlood™ Flood Proof Basement Wall System Augments Drywall & Offers Superior Protection

The EnduraFlood wall paneling system replaces drywall up to several feet above floor level, which is typically the area that’s affected by flooding and must be replaced.

While there are other basement finishing systems available, The EnduraFlood Flood Proof Basement System is superior because it’s designed to remain dry during basement flooding, and it’s easy to install and remove, making cleaning up after a flood much quicker and without the usual mess that you get removing and replacing drywall.

And the best part is that patent-pending EnduraFlood panels are designed after traditional wainscoting, giving your basement a unique, stylish look that will complement virtually any decor.

EnduraFlood water-proof wall panel system

A basement flood can take everything out of you. Losing valuable items, the trauma of the destruction, and the cost of the cleaning up is a nightmare, especially if it happens repeatedly. And while there’s nothing yet that can stop Mother Nature’s wrath, the EnduraFlood Flood-Proof Basement System makes dealing with the aftermath so much easier.


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