The mud that we think about in a Michigan winter usually is the crud that we wash off our tires and boots, but there’s another type of mud that needs special consideration this time of year: drywall compound.
Titan Interiors takes particular care now as it installs drywall, metal stud framing, and other interior materials to take into account the drastic changes in temperature and humidity that occur when building materials are brought from a cold storage environment into a heated facility and how our “mud” – drywall compound -- is applied.
Unseen to the naked eye, all building materials expand or contract with the changes in temperature and humidity. The door in your house that sticks during a hot summer when the humidity and temperature are high may swing freely now as the relative humidity falls with the cold winter air. Normally these changes are imperceptible, but they can cause real problems over a 50-foot length of drywall installation in a building.
While they may seem to be stable building materials, regular paper-faced gypsum drywall panels have one of the highest coefficients of linear expansion of common building materials -- the scientific way to saying the panels expand and contract more than spruce pine fir and steel studs. Every 20-degree difference in temperature may account for more than 1/10th of an inch dimensional change over a 50-foot wall.
That may not sound like a lot, but incorrect installation of the panels and poor finishing can cause some unsightly issues that would not hold up to the high-quality standards of Titan Interiors. If the panels are fastened too close together, you can get ridging where the panel edges are pushed outward to form a continuous ridge along the length of the joint. If installers don’t pay close attention to how the “mud’ is drying, the result may be starved joints, where the drywall compound shrinks too much and indicates where the joints are. Cracks also can form along the edges of the tape due if there is a poor bond due to cold wet application conditions.
Our installers carefully take into account expansion of drywall, the differences in drying times due to temperature, humidity and airflow, the time that materials have adjusted to the interior temperatures and other factors when they work on a job. Doing it right the first time is the credo of Titan Interiors -- a way of business that has served our company and our customers throughout West Michigan well during the past 6 years.