Can drywall be used outside?
Building drywall is a popular method for building insulation in homes and buildings. However, you should follow specific guidelines before achieving success with your project regarding external use. Drywall is primarily used as insulation for homes and commercial buildings. The panels are made of gypsum plaster, often with reinforcing grids attached to both sides. Additionally, the sheets contain paper on one side covering the entire surface or just sections. The paper can be used as an interior covering or for exterior purposes, but you must use only approved materials if building outside.
According to Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certification Inc. manufacturers, seam tape should not be used when attaching drywall to a substrate outside your home due to exposure to moisture and sunlight over time. Also, metal corner beads — typically hollow tubes that allow joining adjacent panels — should not be used because they are not resistant to corrosion and will eventually fail.
Instead, you should use corner boards made from exterior-grade plywood and screws and seal all seams with durable strips of waterproof tape. You can then paint or finish the panels to match your building’s exterior. This will seal moisture inside, which can cause wall damage over time. Only use approved metal corner beads because these do not corrode from exposure to the elements. In addition, always paint or finish your installation to match your home’s exterior once
Building panels made from drywall should not be treated like traditional building materials when used outside. Exterior use requires specific guidelines before you can succeed with your project.
It’s not all bad news, though!
The good news is that there are specialized drywall products are available for exterior use. For example, certain manufacturers have created panels made with a high-density core and moisture-resistant paper, while others offer an external veneer on one side of the board. This type of panel is entirely resistant to water and comes in two separate pieces that easily snap together using a tongue-and-groove design.
The most popular exterior drywall sheets are made from a high-density thermal core sprayed with a cement coating on the outside. The sheets have three layers: paper on one side, an air space in the middle, and a cement layer on the other side.
This provides insulation for homes with a minimal amount of moisture intrusion. In addition, the sheets are entirely resistant to water and can be used in commercial settings or for houses that have an attached garage. The only downside is that they come in a limited number of sizes — 1/2-inch thick x 4 feet wide x 8 feet long and 5/8-inch thick x 4 feet wide by 8 feet long.
When using drywall for an exterior project, ensure that you follow all manufacturer requirements and guidelines for proper installation. If the product lacks specific instructions, only use it as an interior element or in very mild, dry climates. If you need to, contact the manufacturer, and they will be able to provide you with specific installation guidelines.
First of all, metal corner beads are not recommended for exterior applications because they are not resistant to corrosion and eventually fail over time. Instead, you should use exterior grade plywood along with screws to keep your seams together. Additionally, always ensure that you follow all manufacturer guidelines and requirements when using drywall products outside because certain products may only be meant for interior use or in mild weather conditions.
When installing drywall on exterior walls, a primary concern is its ability to hold paint because of exposure to moist outdoor conditions. As a result, the color does not blend well with the surface causing flaking and discoloration over time.
There are ways around this problem, including using special primers specifically designed for exterior use. In addition, you will find that painting drywall is easier and faster than other materials because it does not require a primer coat. Another option is to treat the drywall with an anti-fungal agent, which means moisture will not build up behind the panels.
Why go through all this trouble, you may now be asking yourself? The quality of your wall insulation can make or break your home’s energy efficiency. Drywall installed on outside walls acts as a thermal buffer between outdoor temperatures and indoor heat sources such as furnaces and heaters.
To increase energy efficiency, you should consider that spending money on better insulation could save you heating costs throughout the winter months. In addition, if properly maintained, exterior drywall can save homeowners money each year. This type of installation is affordable to maintain an efficient home because it requires minimal patching over time.