Does DensArmor drywall replace green board? Should I worry about formaldehyde?


Does DensArmor drywall replace green board? Should I worry about formaldehyde?

Asked by Eric Fixler, Oakland, CA

I am reading about a product called DensArmor drywall, which does not have paper on the back and is listed as a deterrent to mold. It is produced by Georgia-Pacific. Is this product replacing green board? Is green board used in California? Is there formaldehyde in drywall, and is that not recommended for those with chemical sensitivity or allergies?

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Carl Seville's picture

DensArmor is a brand of drywall that uses fiberglass instead of the typical paper facing. The fact that there is no paper eliminates the possibility of mold forming on the drywall surface.

Mold requires three conditions to grow:

  • moisture,
  • proper temperature, and a
  • food source.

On standard drywall, the paper provides the food source. Mold may not appear on DensArmor, but if conditions exist that would allow mold to grow, it can still form on the adjacent wood, paint or carpet, as well as paper, clothing and many other household materials and products.

  • It is critical to maintain your house at the proper humidity level, typically below 50 percent, to keep mold from growing.
  • Green, or moisture-resistant, drywall resists a limited amount of moisture, and is not suitable for use in constantly damp locations.
  • According to the manufacturers, moisture-resistant drywall is suitable for areas that are exposed only to incidental moisture; it is not designed for tub or shower areas.

Some building departments do not allow the use of this product in any location.

Drywall is not typically manufactured using formaldehyde, although some sensitive and allergic people may be affected by the finishing materials or dust created during the installation process.

It is important to keep a job site clean during construction to avoid introducing contaminants into the occupied areas or any duct systems.

  • Ducts should be completely covered or filtered during installation and finishing.
  • At the end of the finishing process, the work area should be completely cleaned prior to painting and final occupancy.

For more information:

Read Mary Cordaro's Q&A "Is there such a thing as green drywall? If so, what alternatives to conventional drywall do you recommend?"