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Protecting Old Sheetrock in a bathroom

Hi, I've just ripped marlite out of my bathroom and underneath it is perfectly fine condition sheetrock. I pulled off a couple sheets where I plan to put put cement backer board & tile before I spooked from the thought that old sheetrock sometimes contains asbestos. The house is from 1915 but was substantially remodeled in the 30's and had later updates. So I couldn't say what decade the sheetrock is from. It looks like there was plaster there before they ripped it out and put in sheetrock & marlite.

Either way, rather than ripping the rest of it out, I'm wondering if I there is something I can paint it with to preserve it for years to come. Maybe an oil-based paint?

Any thoughts are appreciated . . .

A. Spruce
Re: Protecting Old Sheetrock in a bathroom

One word for you, encapsulation. As long as lead and asbestos are encapsulated, they can do no harm. Leave your walls alone, prep with an overlay of either tile backer or a mud set (plaster layer ) tile. If you don't want tile, look into cultured marble or real stone products, a little more expensive than tile, but worth it in looks and maintenance. The rest of the bathroom, as long as the paint is maintained in good condition, again, no harm, no foul.

Re: Protecting Old Sheetrock in a bathroom

Sheet rock did not start to be used before the 1970's, Before that it was plaster and lathe. I would suggest than the sheet rock has no asbestos in it. You could get it tested.

Re: Protecting Old Sheetrock in a bathroom

USG made sheet rock in 1916.
It became the leading interior wall sheathing in about 1945 when the homes were built for the returning GI's .
By 1970 there were very few homes using lath and plaster.
Starting in about 1970 Plaster was used in Schools ' Hospitals and commerical buildings.

Re: Protecting Old Sheetrock in a bathroom

Most sheetrock is post-war and does not contain enough asbestos to be harmful if left alone The main hazard with asbestos is airborne dust being inhaled. If you cover it with paint or any other continuously sealed substrate (mud ot Kerdi coated tileboard for instance) it's safe enough for continued use. You'd have to try hard to cause health problems from this unless you worked with it every day.


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