Can Drywall Be Used In Unheated Garage? All You Need To Know

The temperature plays a big role when it comes to hanging drywall. But what about places with no heating, such as garages? If so, how? And are there things we need to look out for? 

Drywall can be used in an unheated garage without any problems as long as the garage is not freezing and the temperature is conducive. If the garage’s interior is freezing, the drywall will not dry up quickly. In that case, a heating system is necessary.

Drywalling garages are not always necessary but highly advisable. This is especially the case when your garage has a high moisture level. Drywalling your garage would, in this case, be the best solution. But, most garages are cold. In fact, in winter, they might even freeze. So, how would you drywall an unheated garage?  

Is It Safe To Use Drywalls In An Unheated Garage?

Yes, it is. Using drywalls in an unheated garage is 100% safe, and there are no inherent risks involved with drywall installations. Moreover, they are great materials for protecting garage structures from moisture and other environmental elements. Furthermore, they serve to protect electric wires and cables. If you coat the drywall with very good paint, your unheated garage will look better. 

Drywalls are also made with non-toxic materials, so you are not exposed to harmful chemicals that may cause respiratory problems further down the line.

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Using Drywalls In the Garage?

The ideal temperature will depend on the weather in your location, but the closer it is to 70 degrees, the better. It’s crucial to control the temperature as much as possible to prevent mud from freezing. This means that during the installation, the temperature should never go below freezing point, or your mud will not be able to dry up. This process takes up to 24 hours before sanding or painting. But if you want to know exactly how much a drywall job takes, here is a guide that would give you the answer.

Mud freezing makes the drywall useless because it will not stick, and you’ll be forced to redo the whole thing a few weeks or months later because it started to peel off. This is similar to what would happen if you don’t tape or at least tape the drywall joints incorrectly or decide to caulk Drywall corners.

If you notice that the temperature is far above 70 degrees, you may need to bring it down to hasten the drying process.

It’s also important to note that if your Drywall gets wet because your garage got overflooded, you’d need to ensure that it dries out as fast as possible, or else the whole structural integrity will be compromised.

Do You Need A Heating System For Garage For Using Drywalls?

It depends. If the temperature is conducive, you don’t need a heating system, but if it isn’t and your garage interior is freezing over, you definitely need a heating system, or your drywall will not dry up quickly enough. If you must buy a heating system, the best type is a ductless system. Ductless heating systems have internal heat pumps and a mounted unit that work well for garages.

With this system, you can control the internal temperature in your garage. An HVAC system can also work, but it’ll cause your energy bills to spike since you may have to leave it on for several hours. On the other hand, ductless heaters don’t consume as much energy, making them the better heating equipment for garages.

Do I Need Moisture Resistant Drywall In Garage?

Moisture-resistant drywall is a must if you live in an area with high humidity throughout the year. And if there is one thing we know, moisture can ruin many things, including garage walls. So the best way to protect your garage from cracks and ugly watermarks is to install moisture-resistant drywall. In some cases, you might also want to drywall over existing drywall. But, you should be ok with moisture-resistant drywall, which should last you for a very long time.

Drywall with moisture resistant qualities will prevent moisture from penetrating any wall part and prevent markings or cracks. Its insulation qualities offer long-term value, especially if you don’t want to paint the garage walls.

It’s also crucial to know that if your garage’s wall is concrete, the installation process is a bit different. Luckily you can use glue to hang your drywall, but you might want to use something in between your drywall and concrete wall. If you want to know how it’s done, I strongly recommend reading this guide.

Here are some of the reasons why installing moisture-resistant drywall in your garage is a good idea.

Protection against climate

While standard drywalls are not bad, moisture-resistant drywalls are better because they contain gypsum particle coatings on thick paper. They are great for garages that don’t have a heating system or other climate control equipment. Moisture-resistant drywall will also protect the walls from snow and rain damage.

Protection against deterioration

Moisture-resistant drywall is a good protector against deterioration caused by vaporized moisture. It toughens the wall cavity making it nearly impossible for absorbed humidity to penetrate and cause physical damage.

Prevent Shrinkage and cracks

Many people install moisture-resistant drywall to reduce the possibility of Shrinkage and cracks. While mortars may suffer cracks or Shrinkage as they dry, leaving the wall with an unpleasant look, moisture-resistant drywalls ensure an overall smoothness and evenness because they don’t shrink or crack.

Mold resistance

Drywalls have special anti-microbial properties that most wall coverings don’t have. In a highly vaporized environment, garage walls face a higher risk of mildew and mold that can ruin them. So installing moisture-resistant drywall that is not touching the floor will present this while also ensuring the safety of everyone who uses the garage. Additionally, these drywalls are asbestos free and non-carcinogenic. They are eco-friendly and harmless.

Fire resistance

If you keep valuable items in your garage, you need to protect the garage and all its valuables from fire as much as you would from moisture. The good thing about moisture-resistant drywalls is that they can do both. Some of them contain particles that can lower smoke generation and reduce the spread of flames in the event of a fire outbreak.

Does Drywall Crack In Cold Weather?

The purpose of drywall is to prevent cracks from occurring, especially if you’ve taped them, but if it isn’t installed properly or doesn’t cure before being exposed to moisture, the wall will eventually show signs of cracking. That’s why experts advise giving enough time for the mud to dry up. The leading cause of moisture buildup is the weather.

Drywalls expand and contract all year relative to the climate and the amount of moisture in the air. During cold weather, moisture increases, leading to cracks due to intrusion. If a part of the drywall cracks, vaporized moisture will begin to penetrate the exposed part and spread to other parts of the drywall. This will then lead to the growth and spread of mold.

So it is advisable to ensure that you install your drywall properly and give it sufficient time to dry to insulate your walls from moisture invasion all year round.

What Type Of Drywall Should Be Used In A Garage?

There are different types of drywall, but not all are suitable for garages. To have the best results, here are the best garage drywalls to consider for your next installation. If you wish to calculate the size and thickness of the Drywall you need for your garage, check out this guide.

Fire resistant model

Fire-resistant drywall is a very common but also a good type of drywall for garages. In fact, some local building codes insist on this type of drywall for garages where flammable materials are stored. Fire-resistant drywall may not protect your garage from fire since it’s not fireproof, but it can check fire spread so you can react quickly before the fire becomes a blazing inferno.

Type X model 

Another type of firewall fit for garages is the Type X drywall. This type comes in 4x8ft sheets and is easy to Install. You need a double layer and thick screws to hold the sheets in place for extra toughness and protection. Also, a Type X drywall requires an insert fastener for every 6 inches of mud. This model is both fire and moisture-resistant. No matter the weather, it will protect your walls from structural weakness.

Soundproof model

Soundproof drywall is hybrid drywall. It combines gypsum, wood chips, and polymer materials, all laminated together to form thick and sturdy drywall. Although it’s more expensive, it’s perfect for garages where a lot of mechanical and engineering work is done. Running equipment can disturb the peace of a home, but with soundproof drywall, work can continue in the garage without exposing outsiders to noise hazards.

The insulation benefits are threefold; protection against noise, moisture, and cracks. But note that the garage will become very hot during the dry season when very little air comes in.

Mold resistant model

Mold-resistant drywall is a special type for protecting walls from mold invasion. It’s thicker than Standard drywalls, which may be ideal for homes but not garages. This drywall is designed to prevent moisture buildup and penetration. They’re sold in mostly 4×8 sheets, so the number of sheets you buy will depend on the size of your garage. If you have a history of mold and mildew, you can check their spread by installing this special drywall.

Can You Store Drywalls In An Unheated Garage?

Yes, you can but positioned correctly. Sometimes you may purchase Drywall with no plans to install it immediately, only to find out later that some or all of the sheets have gone bad. To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure the sheets are dry before storing them in your unheated garage.

Moisture is a drywall’s greatest enemy, and in an unheated garage, moisture buildup is not possible; it’s probable, especially at low temperatures. If your garage doesn’t have a heating system or suffers leaks, then storing your drywalls in an unheated garage might not be the best idea, similar to storing outside. Here are two things to remember before deciding whether to store your drywalls.

Firstly, don’t store them inside the garage if it does not have a door or leak from the roof, for example. If you do, you run the risk of exposing them to moisture. And once moisture begins to penetrate the sheets, mildew and mold will follow.

Secondly, don’t store your drywalls in an unheated garage for too long. If you must keep them there at all, let it be for only a short time.

Drywall Storage Tips For Unheated Garage

Let’s say you have nowhere else to store your drywalls but your unheated garage; how do you go about it? Here are helpful tips.

Ensure there is enough space

Don’t store your drywalls in a tight garage, as this is a recipe for disaster. Make sure the ground is dry, flat, and spacious. There should be some distance between the closest object and the drywall sheets. Sufficient spacing prevents moisture from forming between the sheets and other objects.

Stack them properly

Don’t lie your drywalls flat on the ground; instead, stack them up horizontally against the wall as this is the best position if they will remain unused for some weeks.

Don’t store for too long.

As we pointed out, don’t store drywalls in an unheated garage for too long. Ensure your installation timeframe before you procure them so you can use them not long after.


Can I Use Regular Drywall In My Garage?

It’s not advisable. Regular or standard drywalls may be ideal for homes but not for garages or basements. It may work if the garage is heated, but regular drywall will not cut it for an unheated garage with a high probability of moisture invasion. What you need is moisture or mold-resistant drywall.

Why Are My Garage Drywalls Sagging?

If you notice your drywall sagging, this is maybe why:

Animal waste

If rodents inhabit your garage, their waste can mess with your drywall, causing it to sag.

Insufficient ceiling covering

If the installer used too small or too thin drywall for the garage ceiling, this could lead to sagging. The exposed parts may also attract moisture which will spread to other areas causing the drywall to sag. This is especially the case if the drywall is touching the floor.

Few nails and screws

Some drywalls require more nails and screws than others. A good example is a soundproof drywall with thick padding. If the installer uses weak fasteners or an insufficient number, the drywalls will begin to sag under their own weight.

Weather changes

If the garage is unheated all year round, weather changes during the year may cause the drywall to sag. Humidity changes can lead to a weakening of the adhesive that holds the drywall in place. This will not be immediate but gradual; at some point, the drywall will begin to come off the garage wall.

The best cause of action to forestall sagging is to ensure that you use sufficient adhesive and screws to hold the drywall in place, leaving no areas exposed.

Should I Drywall My Garage Ceiling?

Ceiling drywalls are great because they protect the ceiling from moisture coming from the roof. Moreover, they are fire resistant and reduce the spread of flames if there is an outbreak. The fire and moisture resistant benefits of drywalls make them a good covering for garage ceilings.

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