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Q: I just returned from a week of volunteering with Hands On USA in Biloxi, Miss. I am currently a graduate architecture student at the University of Minnesota and want to do more. With the beginning of the hurricane season drawing closer, Hands On USA needs help. Demolition and de-molding of homes on the Gulf Coast is ongoing, but no drywalling and finishing have been completed. All our efforts would be ruined if the completion of these homes is not accomplished before the next hurricane. We need your help. The long-term volunteers are looking for drywall alternatives and they need this information as soon as possible. Do you know of any products or alternatives that could be used on wood-framed homes that need to be completed?

A: There is a product which has been used for some two years or so. It’s known as “paperless drywall” which means that the ground up newspapers – the normal paper binder on gypsum drywall – is no longer used. I believe that there is either a light fiberglass mesh or no binder at all used to keep the gypsum strong. I became familiar with this product when a friend in Dallas was constructing a “zero energy home” and wanted to include the latest product offerings by many manufacturers.

Exterior sheathing has also been changed in recent years. It is not uncommon to drive past new buildings under construction which have a bright yellow color to them. That product is gypsum drywall that uses fiberglass as the binder instead of paper. It too is “paperless drywall” that is used on the outside of buildings. The bright yellow color comes from a yellow-colored fiberglass mesh that’s installed on the surface of the gypsum. The specific name for that product is DensGlas Gold.

Travis West

Travis West is the president of Building Air Quality Inc., a Houston-based indoor air quality consulting firm. He can be reached at, or toll-free at 866-367-1177 or visit

Editors note: Hands On USA also needs volunteers and other resources to help complete their work repairing damaged homes. Visit to find out how you can help.


The product mentioned here is a “paperless wallboard” called Dens Armor Plus made by Georgia Pacific and is available at retail and commercial outlets across the country. The paper facers traditionally used to make wallboard and the starches that bind the paper to the gypsum can be a problem when they become wet. Traditional wallboard will often need to be ripped out after a storm event due to the development of mold and the deterioration of the wallboard. Replacement of damaged paper faced wallboard with a paperless moisture resistant wallboard product in storm prone areas and high humid environments is an ideal solution.

Georgia Pacific has brought the proven technology of Dens Glass Gold exterior sheathing inside with a paperless wallboard that instead of paper facers has fiberglass mat facers. Mold eats paper, so logically in storm prone areas it is logical to no longer line walls and wall cavities with paper that mold eats. More info on this product is available at or .

We certainly appreciate Mr. West mentioning our products.

John Hurst
Georgia Pacific Gypsum
Product Manager
DensGuard Products

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