Plasterboard walls, also called sheetrock or drywall, are made of gypsum material covered by two layers of paper. It is a lightweight and inexpensive material commonly used to partition interior walls in homes and commercial spaces. Gypsum is a relatively soft material, and is therefore easily damaged when subjected to even the smallest force. This article discusses some practices that could actually ruin your plasterboard wall completely.
1. Not having door stoppers
One of the most common repair tasks relates to holes in plasterboard walls caused by doorknob impact. This is something that can be easily prevented by having door stoppers on the floor to ensure that the knob never touches the wall. A small hole in drywall can be simple to patch up. However, depending on the force of opening, impact can result in cracks that will extend much further than the actual site of impact. These are even more difficult to fix since the entire surface must be removed and replaced. If you have textured walls, matching the previously-applied texture adds even more work.
2. Exposing plasterboard to water
Plasterboard may be used on all surfaces in the house except in areas where it will be exposed to water, i.e. kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas etc. Many homeowners unknowingly install plasterboard even in their bathrooms, thinking that installing tiles over the plasterboard offers adequate protection. As stated, plasterboard is covered on both sides by a paper surface. Once this gets wet, it attracts mould which eats away at the paper surface. As water gets further into the structure, the gypsum core becomes softer and can start crumbling to the point where applying simple pressure with your hand causes the wall to fall apart.
If you want to use plasterboard for wet areas, invest in a newer form of drywall which has fiberglass covering in place of paper. Fiberglass is resistance to moulding and will therefore protect the internal gypsum core and keep your walls steady. In kitchens, you can install glass splashbacks against the sink and work surfaces to protect the plasterboard.
3. Not prepping drywall before installing wallpaper
Plasterboard walls must be primed with at least two coats of drywall primer before installing wallpaper to make it easier to remove it when you want to. Since wallpaper is commonly removed using steam/water and plasterboard is water-averse, the primer seals/protects the drywall from the wallpaper.
On new drywall, ensure that there aren't any holes, and allow adequate time for joints to cure before covering with wallpaper. On older drywalls, repair any holes, cracks or pits, remove old wallpaper carefully and scrap and sand the surface to remove all remnants of old wallpaper. Add a few coats of primer before installing new wallpaper. When removing wallpaper from drywall, begin with a small hidden portion of wall in case the wallpaper was incorrectly installed.