What is Densglass Sheathing?
There have been many individuals that have asked various questions regarding the use of densglass sheathing by Georgia Pacific, and it’s applications in the residential housing marketplace.
Although this type of sheathing is commonly used in the commercial construction industry it is not as commonly used in individual residential construction, due to its relatively higher cost, in relation to normal sheetrock. The common home owner is not as well versed in the benefits of this type of sheathing on their homes. Understanding the positive aspects of its use and in my opinion the well spent additional dollars, associated with the use of densglass sheathing in the residential home is worth additional study and information.
Densglass sheathing consists of a fiberglass surface and makeup that repels water, moisture, mold and deterioration, that is common if standard gypsum sheathing is used. For example I am presently using densglass sheathing on the tub side on all units being framed in a large residential structure. The reason I am using densglass is that this material can be exposed to the weather without deterioration. When you are constructing larger residential complexes, the most efficient method of construction is to have the tub or shower units delivered and set into place, prior to the construction of the roof. This particular project is a 4 story residential structure, and the tubs will be set as the structure is built. Obviously the roof will not be on the structure until the entire ( 4 ) stories are built. That will mean that the tubs and or showers will be installed as the building is framed. The building code, in this instance, requires that there is a full width of sheathing between the tub and or shower and the resultant exterior wall framing. This means that this sheathing needs to be installed prior to the roof, and will be subjected to water and moisture. In this project, the sheathing will probably be exposed to ice, snow and freezing temperatures.
This is a perfect application for densglass. The densglass is used in place of normal gypsum sheathing and is installed against the exterior framing prior to the tub / shower installation. This densglass sheathing will withstand the elements, and will not promote any deterioration or mold, mildew buildup.
The additional expense of the product is balanced by its ability to withstand the elements.
Another perfect application is the exterior sheathing of a residential structure. Whether there is masonry, wood, or even a synthetic exterior façade the use of a fiberglass densglass sheathing will provide a stable and water resistant sheathing, which can be left to the elements almost indefinitely. When the word indefinitely is used, it is meant to mean in a “best practice “situation. Densglass is not meant to be the permanent exterior sheathing for a structure. Densglass will withstand the elements for a period of time; however, eventually the sheathing will become compromised and will start to deteriorate.
Residential construction provides many opportunities to use densglass. The reason that the material is not used in many instances is that homeowners do not recognize its existence, and builders are hesitant to recommend the product due to cost.
Densglass is excellent in the interior of the residential unit, in place of water or mold resistant sheetrock. It is less expensive than the use of a cement board or hard masonry board that is used in many instances, in place of moisture resistant sheetrock.
Ask you builder about densglass and its many applications. Do not be afraid to suggest its use as an exterior sheathing, an interior waterproof material or the substrate for masonry, wood, or other types of siding.
This is a case when spending a few additional dollars will pay dividends in the end.