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Gypsum Board in Cold Weather


Home addition newly drywalled
Steven Puetzer/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Finishing Gypsum Board in Cold Weather

Cold weather and winter conditions can affect in several ways the performance and behavior of your gypsum board partition and walls. Follow these recommendations (referring to gypsum board installed on interior walls, partitions and ceilings) to get the product finished in a correct way and will reduce job installation problems.

Recommended Tips

  • Use the proper thickness and type of gypsum board per job specifications to avoid sagging specially on ceilings.
  • Use setting type joint compound in cold weather can minimize finishing problems.
  • Caution when using ventilation systems; some ventilation systems will generate high humid conditions, affecting the material being placed.
  • If a temporary heat source is being used, try not to exceed 95 degrees.
  • Ready-mixed joint compounds and textures shall be protected against freezing in storage.
  • Do not apply joint compound to cold or damp surfaces.
  • Interior temperatures should be no colder than 50 degrees for at least two days before tapping and finishing. This will allow having a completely dried gypsum board.
  • If different techniques or additional texturing are required, do not apply them until the previous coating has dried completely.
  • For mechanical installation of gypsum board, room temperature should be no colder than 40 degrees.
  • If you are mixing materials that are going to be applied to the gypsum board, you must have a steady temperature, not colder than 50 degrees for two days, from the start of the mix until the product has been applied and has dried.
  • Before decorating the gypsum board it is recommended to apply a latex primer to the surface. Provide enough time to dry.
  • If a vapor retarder is required, then you must use foil backed gypsum or glass fiber insulation batts.
  • If a polyethylene vapor retarder film is installed on ceilings behind the gypsum board, it is important to install the blanket ceiling insulation BEFORE the gypsum board. If loose fill insulation is used, install the insulation IMMEDIATELY after the gypsum board.
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