Drywall Inspection: Board Yet?
Corey McCloskey & Greg Hudson
The drywall inspection is booked at the time we are insulating the home. Similar to the insulation inspection, it will be booked with our drywall contractor. On a typical single-family home, the inspection occurs 18 working days later, after the completion of the process of insulation, drywall, taping, sanding, priming, and texture. Your Cedarglen Site Supervisor and our contractor’s quality care technician scour the house from top to bottom, looking for any deficiencies on your walls and ceilings prior to paint.
We start the drywall inspection in the ensuite bathroom and work our way through the house from there. At Cedarglen, our inspections are completed using a pencil and a 300 watt light bulb, which is critical in finding the deficiencies we can only see after the light fixtures have been installed and the house has been painted. What is a drywall deficiency, you ask? Anyone can see a chunk of drywall missing, which we identify and repair during this process; but there are many other types of problems which can result. Preparing beautiful walls is an art form.
Once the drywall board has been hung, the tapers come in and work their magic. Taping hides all of the gaps, holes, and flaws in the board, leaving a smooth finish you can paint to a uniform surface. This is also the area where many problems can arise, if not done properly. Seams occur everywhere the boards meet, and are hidden with, essentially, a roll of paper tape and drywall mud. The mud is floated several inches on either side of the tape to hide the outline of the joint, and must be sanded perfectly to ensure the wall is...well, seamless. Corner beads are installed in much the same fashion to ensure a 90 degree corner (or a rounded one if you upgrade to softline). These must be floated with drywall mud to hide the bevels in the corners; these can also be oversanded, revealing the outline of the bead itself. Without the help of our inspection lights, these flaws would not be identified until much further into the build.
What holds the drywall to the studs? Screws, and a lot of them. There are thousands of drywall screws in any given house, and each one of these holes need to be filled with mud and sanded. As wood shrinks or when drywall moves, these patches can crack and become visible, called screw pops, and are also repaired by the tapers. Dents, pits, and tears in the paper are also skim coated with mud and sanded to a smooth finish. After all the sanding is completed, a priming crew rolls out a coat of latex-based primer, sealing the surface and providing an ideal canvas for our painters to work on. The drywall inspection actually follows a touch-up done by our drywall contractor, where hundreds of imperfections are identified and repaired prior to the final inspection.
There is still a very important aspect of the process we haven’t talked about, and is often overlooked, even though it covers every room in your home: your ceiling. Ceilings can be painted or textured, and can look sloppy if completed poorly. Bad tape joints can separate and crack ceilings in four-foot sections, and intersections which can appear jagged or out of square. “Popcorn” ceilings are sprayed on with water, and can clump if applied too slowly, or appear patchy if applied too quickly. Knockdown ceilings are troweled onto the drywall, and drag marks in the texture can be seen if the trowel is not pulled in a consistent fashion. Cedarglen Site Supervisors will be looking for all these potential problems during their inspection. Any problems identified will be remedied immediately.
After an hour and a half to two hours of staring at your walls and ceilings, your Cedarglen Site Supervisor also checks that the attic has been insulated, ensures the thermal barrier has been applied to any exposed spray foam in your basement, and verifies that your garage has been taped and mudded to satisfy the fire protection requirements of the Alberta Building Code. Each house is then signed off on by your Cedarglen Site Supervisor and our trade’s quality care technician.
The next time you find yourself blankly staring at your bedroom wall, think about how many people worked on that wall to make it look as great as it does. Also remember our drywall contactor is so confident of their quality that they offer a one-time comprehensive drywall warranty repair that can be requested by our homeowner anytime within a three-year period after possession.