Does Drywall Burn? The Facts You Need To Know
Drywall is a simple to install and restore material, which is why it’s so popular for walls and ceilings.
Drywall, on the other hand, offers fire resistance, soundproofing, and insulation in addition to its other properties. Drywall, on the other hand, does burn. Is it fireproof to the absolute maximum?
Unless the flame temperature reaches 176°F, drywall is fire resistant and will not burn. Because it’s composed of gypsum and water, it isn’t flammable. The most fire-resistant drywall is Type X drywall, which is 5/8-inch thick and includes unique compound including fiberglass to boost its fire resistance.
Following are the drywall fire ratings for various types:
|Type of Drywall||Fire rating|
|Type X ⅝-inch||1 hour|
I’ve talked about how to safely dispose of unused drywall panels even when you can’t burn the Sheetrock waste, and I’ve explained the differences between standard and fire-rated drywall.
Does drywall catch fire and burn?
It can be fire-rated for 30, 60, or 120 minutes and is fire resistant.
Because of its high flame resistance, drywall is often employed for fireproofing building walls. You need to understand how drywall is made in order to comprehend why it is such a efficient fire barrier.
Drywall is made up of gypsum, a soft, inflammable mineral sandwiched between two sheets of paper. The melting points of plaster minerals like gypsum are exceptionally high, making them difficult to burn.
Gypsum is also typically blended with water and machine-pressed between two layers of paper to produce drywall sheets while producing Sheetrock. When it evaporates during fires, this water content boosts the fire-resistance properties of drywall even more. It lowers temperatures in the immediate vicinity.
The fire codes for various drywall types vary. As a result, depending on the thickness of the panels, some may be rated between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Drywall panels are more fireproof in part because of their thickness, however it is not the only factor.
How hot does drywall have to be to burn?
During a fire outbreak, the paper on the drywall panels will quickly catch fire, while the gypsum part of the panels will begin to catch fire when temperatures reach 176°F. The gypsum will break down and deteriorate when heated at such a high temperature.
The typical fire-resistant drywall sheets can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The fire-rated kind, on the other hand, has the best fireproof drywall.
What is fire-rated drywall?
Fire-rated drywall is a 5/8-inch thick drywall with glass fibers added to it, similar to standard drywall, but it is fire-rated to last at least an hour in a fire. Fire-rated drywall, often known as type X drywall, is superior at fire retardance, soundproofing, and insulation.
Pro tip: Fire-resistant drywall has a solid center that is fiber-reinforced to contain flames. In the ½, ⅝, and ¾ thicknesses, you can find drywall. In garages, utility, and furnace rooms, it is necessary to install Type X (fire-resistant drywall).
Drywalls are excellent fire barriers when they’re dry, but they only last about 30 minutes in a fire. After that, the walls start to sag and lose their structure, opening up holes through which fire may pass and damage the wall substrate.
Fire-rated drywall, on the other hand, is made of fireproof materials like fiberglass and has a higher fire rating. These chemicals help fire-rated Sheetrock last longer and prevent fires from spreading by extending its durability.
Fire-rated drywall is totally worth the expense, especially in locations that are prone to fire outbreaks such as garages and kitchens. It is more expensive than regular drywall, but it is much safer.
Additionally, most building codes typically require the use of fire-rated drywall in specific parts of the structure depending on where you reside. Type X drywall, type C drywall, and type X Shaftliner are the three most common types of fire-rated drywall. Here is a quick overview of each:
Type X Drywall
Drywall must be at least 5/8 inches thick and have a one-hour fire rating in order to be classified as type X for fire performance. The fiberglass component of Type X drywall adds extra fireproofing properties to the gypsum foundation.
Type C Drywall
The ½-inch and 5/8-inch thicknesses of this fire-rated sheetrock are commonly offered. It is even more fire-resistant than type-X drywall because to the addition of additional fire-protective chemicals in its gypsum base, as well as fiberglass.
Vermiculite, one of these substances, expands as temperatures rise during a fire and essentially replaces the moisture lost as a consequence of calcination. As a consequence, during fire outbreaks, there is less shrinkage. During fires, Type C fire-rated drywall has a greater chance of surviving structural damage.
Type X Shaftliner
The thickness (1-inch thick) of this type of drywall contributes significantly to its fire rating. It should be noted that fire-rated drywall provides significant fireproofing benefits, yet it may not be a wise idea to use it all over the place since it is substantially more costly.
Pro tip: In the most fire-prone locations, such as utility rooms, kitchens, furnace rooms, garages, and garage ceilings, I recommend you only use fire-rated drywall instead of regular drywall.
Does drywall act as a fire barrier?
Drywall has superior fire-resistance qualities, but it isn’t 100% fire-resistant. Its primary objective is to allow people sufficient time to leave the building by slowing down the spread of fire to other parts.
The fire rating of drywall determines how long it will be effective as a fire barrier during fires. Fire-rated sheetrock, for example, will burn for an hour or more before it stops a fire from spreading. Regular drywall will keep a fire at bay for at least 30 minutes.
Can you burn drywall pieces?
You’ll most likely have drywall panel pieces remaining on site at the conclusion of your drywall installation project. Maybe you’re thinking about if it’s safe to set fire to them. The short answer is, ‘no’.
Don’t dispose of drywall pieces by burning them. Flaky particles that are dispersed into the air as the drywall dries up can cause respiratory problems if inhaled, so avoid trying to burn the parts of sheetrock.
Temperatures of more than 176°F are difficult to achieve unless you have an industrial furnace. As a result, it’s a good idea to look for alternate methods to get rid of your old drywall sheets. Removing the paper backings, crushing the gypsum into dust form, and spreading it around your garden are some of the ways you can repurpose drywall components. Your garden soil will work better thanks to the gypsum.
Additionally, to improve your compost’s tilth, you can add gypsum powder. If your soil pH is too acidic, gypsum powder may be utilized to lower it in the same manner as limestone.
To lower the alkalinity of your soil pH, however, you’ll need a lot of gypsum powder-as compared to limestone.
Finally, if any home repair is required, you may save your panels for another day. For example, minor wear-and-tear problems along the line, such as little shredded drywall patches due to water damage, may necessitate your attention. You may utilize the remainder of the drywall panels that you’d saved up instead of having to spend money on new ones.
Since it is made up of gypsum and water, 5/8-inch drywall is non-flammable and the most fireresistant. At 451°F, the gypsum will be damaged when it catches fire between two paperboard plates that sandwich it.