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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Fire (25)

Can the USG Drywall Suspension System be used in fire-rated designs?

Yes. USG has more than 60 UL designs where Drywall Suspension Systems are listed. In fact, the system can be used in place of cold rolled channel and furring channel in any UL fire rated design.

Does USG offer a three hour rating for the Cavity Shaft Wall?

Yes, U416.

Industry Terms and Definitions (15)

Why is LR important?

When the proper type of lighting fixture is used with a high LR ceiling, there can be savings in both initial construction costs as well as long-term energy costs. The concept is to use the ceiling to reflect light back into the occupied space.

Why is NRC important?

NRC is very important in open office plan environments where there are few full height walls to help absorb or block sound.

Installation and Application (184)

Which Durock™ Self-Leveling Underlayment product would be considered “low-prep”?

USG always recommends shot blasting, sand blasting, or scarifying a floor prior to installations of our self-leveling products. To decide whether mechanical preparation of substrate is required or not, the concrete substrate must be thoroughly assessed for its quality and tensile strength over the entire pour area. The assessment of concrete tensile strength must be made in its existing state without the removal of any foreign material that may be present on the concrete surface. Simple visual appearance of concrete substrate as strong and solid does not necessarily guarantee that the concrete substrate is free of impurities and has the right tensile strength.

A weak or degraded concrete surface layer must be removed mechanically to provide a solid base. Concrete exhibiting signs of laitance (a layer of weak material on the concrete surface either visible or invisible), scaling, spalling, crumbling or delamination must be mechanically removed to achieve a solid and clean substrate. Prior to installation of the underlayment, mechanically profile concrete subfloor to a minimum of CSP 3, in accordance with the industry standards as outlined in International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) Technical Guideline No. 310.2 Selecting and Specifying Concrete Surface Preparation for Sealers, Coatings, and Polymer Overlays.

Use mechanical removal methods such as shot blasting, scarifying or diamond grinding to clean and prepare the concrete subfloor contaminated with adhesives, asphalt or oil. Shot-blasting is the preferred method of mechanically profiling and preparing the concrete subfloor for the application of USG self-leveling underlayments.

Can fiberglass tape be set with drying-type compounds?

No. When using fiberglass tape, only setting-type joint compounds like Sheetrock® Brand Durabond® and Sheetrock® Brand Easy Sand™ should be used for the first coat over the tape. Ready-mixed drying-type compounds can be used for subsequent finishing coats.

Product Specific (99)

How do I properly store Sheetrock® Brand MH Gypsum Panels at the job site?

Place board inside, under cover and stacked flat on a clean floor in the centers of the largest rooms. All materials should remain in their packaging until ready for actual use. Place gypsum boards intended for use on ceilings on top of the pile since they will be used first. Do not stack long length boards on top of short length boards.

What is the best way to store ready-mix compound for another use?

Clean sides and lid of container so no dried compound falls into the mixture. Level joint compound surface with a knife and cover container tightly. If storing, cover leveled surface of joint compound with approximately 1/2" of clean water and cover container tightly. Pour off water before reusing joint compound. Do not store in direct sunlight and protect from extreme heat and cold. The shelf life of an unopened container is up to nine months under proper storage conditions.

Residential (14)

What is the best way to store ready-mix compound for another use?

Clean sides and lid of container so no dried compound falls into the mixture. Level joint compound surface with a knife and cover container tightly. If storing, cover leveled surface of joint compound with approximately 1/2" of clean water and cover container tightly. Pour off water before reusing joint compound. Do not store in direct sunlight and protect from extreme heat and cold. The shelf life of an unopened container is up to nine months under proper storage conditions.

Should USG Durock® Brand Cement Board Panels be waterproofed in wet area use?

Water does not affect USG Durock® Brand Cement Board, however, TCNA guidelines recommend the use of a waterproof membrane in wet areas.

Specialty Uses (13)

Is gypsum harmful to animals?

No. On the contrary, USG Calcium Sulfate Feed Grade is used as a calcium enrichment for animal feed. USG Food and Pharmaceutical grade gypsum products are used in many human food and pharmaceutical applications. Gypsum should not be harmful if used appropriately.

What are the best grids to use in an area that is accessible to moisture?

The best grids to use in an area accessible to moisture are the Donn® AX™ Acoustical Suspension System or the Donn® ZXLA™ Acoustical Suspension System.

Sustainability (3)

Isn’t fly ash bad for concrete and isn’t it a potential hazardous product?

Fly ash often is used as a filler in concrete. When used at excessive levels, fly ash and concrete has been cited as one of the reasons for excessive moisture in concrete slabs.

In Durock™ EcoCap™ Self-Leveling Underlayment, the fly ash is not used as filler but rather as a source of aluminum and silicon in the geopolymer reaction that takes place. In this case, the fly ash contributes significantly to the strength, self drying and setting characteristics of the product due to the geopolymer reaction.

What is the recycled content of Durock™ EcoCap™ Self-Leveling Underlayment?

75% of the cementitious binder is recycled material.

Technical (86)

How is the load test data collected for ceiling grid?

Load data and spans are based on simple span tests in accordance with ASTM C635, with a deflection limitation of L/360.

Where can USG Cavity Shaft Wall be used?

USG Cavity Shaft Wall can be used in elevator and mechanical shafts, air ducts, stairwells, and areas where wall construction is only available from one side. In addition, USG Cavity Shaft Wall can be used to provide horizontal protection for corridor ceilings, underside of stairwells, and other applications.

Product Storage (13)

How do I properly store Sheetrock® Brand MH Gypsum Panels at the job site?

Place board inside, under cover and stacked flat on a clean floor in the centers of the largest rooms. All materials should remain in their packaging until ready for actual use. Place gypsum boards intended for use on ceilings on top of the pile since they will be used first. Do not stack long length boards on top of short length boards.

For Durock™ Self-Leveling Underlayments, what size bags are available and how many bags per pallet?

For Durock™ Self-Leveling Underlayments, USG uses 50 lb. bags stacked 56 bags per pallet. We also can use high volume “super sacks” for larger jobs.

Durock™ Fast Finish Floor Patch is available in 10 lb. bags with 208 bags per pallet.

Warranty (6)

What is the warranty for USG Sheetrock® Brand Paper-Faced Metal Tape-On and Nail-On Bead and Trim?

The warranty is effective for 30 years from the date of the installation in the structure. See complete warranty for details:

What kind of warranty does Fiberock® Brand Aqua-Tough™ Underlayment have?

Fiberock® Brand Aqua-Tough™ Underlayment has a 20-year limited warranty. See complete warranty for details.