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There are few things in your home that you won’t need to replace at some point. Drywall is no exception.
The expected lifespan for drywall is 30 to 70 years. However, some factors can influence the lifespan, such as water damage, fires, accidents that cause holes in the walls, and insect damage.
Fortunately, you can replace drywall in sections, so you’ll never need to do your entire house in one go.
How Can You Tell If Drywall Is Bad?
Drywall usually becomes damaged due to one of three reasons: moisture problems, termite damage, and wear and tear.
The most obvious sign your drywall is bad is that it’s formed mold or mildew due to moisture trapped in the wall. Other signs of moisture damage include drywall that is soft in spots or has yellow or brown water stains on it.
If you notice water-damaged drywall, you need to locate the source of the damage and make repairs.
Another sign your drywall is bad is that there are pinholes all over it. These tiny holes point to termite damage.
If you notice these holes, you should immediately inspect for termites and replace the damaged sections of the wall.
Lastly, and most obvious, is normal wear and tear. Some signs of normal wear and tear are holes in the wall or the outer layer of the drywall being ripped or worn down.
Fixing normal wear usually requires replacing small sections, patching with joint compound, and then sanding the drywall mud so that it blends in with the existing drywall.
When Should You Replace Drywall?
You should replace drywall whenever you notice the damage. If you fail to replace damaged sections, they can continue to weaken with time.
It’s also essential to address any issues like termites or water causing the damage to prevent it from recurring.
Does Drywall Expire?
There is no expiration date on drywall. Drywall installation should last from 30-70 years, but outside factors can influence this period, making it shorter or longer.
Is It Worth It To Replace Drywall?
If your drywall has any type of damage, it is worth it to replace it. For instance, failure to replace water-damaged sheetrock could not only pose a risk to your health, but if the moisture spreads, it can damage even more sections of the wall.
If you’re a homeowner, you don’t need to replace a whole room or whole house worth or drywall at once. Instead, when you see damage to a section of the gypsum board, you need to make repairs or replacements.
How Can You Extend The Life Of Drywall?
If you’re looking to extend the life of your drywall, there are a few steps you can take.
Use mold-resistant drywall in bathrooms and kitchens. You can find mold-resistant drywall at all home improvement stores.
It’s usually green in color and has a more substantial barrier on it that resists absorbing water. Because this drywall doesn’t absorb water, it’s the perfect solution for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
If you put regular drywall in a room that has a lot of moisture in it, it will eventually grow mold spores, and you’ll have to replace it.
Replace damaged drywall. Anytime you notice damaged drywall, you need to address the underlying cause and fix or replace the damage.
If you don’t repair the weakened drywall, the damage can spread slowly.
Be careful with wallpapers and wall treatments. Another way to extend the life of your drywall is to tread lightly with paste on wallpapers.
Pasted or glued on wallpaper tend to rip the outer layer of the drywall when removed.
A safer bet is a temporary peel-and-stick wallpaper that comes off the wall without damage.
Here’s some good news: if you’re worried about having to replace the drywall in your house anytime soon, you don’t need to be. Sheetrock doesn’t have an expiration date and typically lasts 30-70 years.
The most important thing you can do to extend the life of your drywall is to make repairs as soon as you notice the damage. This is especially important in the case of water or termite damage so that you can address the underlying issues.