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It is with great interest to me that the majority of the questions I receive involve what I consider to be a given. We all assume a level of knowledge when dealing with other industry professionals. However, this is apparently not the case. Several calls recently have involved wet drywall. In most cases the question was, Can we leave it in place after it has dried out? Duh! I cannot understand why anyone would ask such a question.

While are no specific standards in place that specifically require the replacement of wet drywall, common sense and avoidance of a future lawsuit would tell the “reasonable person” the drywall needs to be replaced. I understand that someone has to pay for the labor and material to accomplish this task; however, the conditions of the contract should cover this.

Questions about wet drywall have come from contractors, owners and code officials. I can understand the need to have some in writing, as in a standard, to effectively reinforce an official position to cause a change to occur.

How can you as a construction professional and a member of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry help in these situations? Three words: education, education, education! In AWCI’s publications there are numerous documents that belong in the hands of the design community and code officials. These documents will go a long way to answering questions and providing information that will eliminate headaches for you on future jobs. Most of you know the design firms that need help on the basics. With the holidays soon upon us, a nice gesture would be to give your favorite designer an AWCI publication to add to his technical library. Just go to and browse the publications; I’m sure you’ll find an appropriate document to send.

Another area that is in need of help is the sequencing of a construction project. You have all encountered problems in the completion of a project. Maybe it was a large project where a basement floor slab wasn’t placed in anticipation of installing a system that couldn’t be installed until later in the project time line. Depending on the time of year and the climate, this situation could wreak havoc on finished drywall. Or maybe it was the placement of a terrazzo floor after the drywall has been finished, and the flooring contractor or the general contractor didn’t provide protection to prevent the lower portion of the walls from being damaged by the terrazzo operations. The list of these items can go on forever.

AWCI is currently preparing a “Sequencing Document” that will list many of the problems encountered during construction. As you can imagine, this is a serious undertaking that will result in a document that will, when used correctly, make everyone’s life easier.

AWCI needs your help in putting this document together. We need to deal in real-life problems. Some of these problems are known, but we haven’t encountered all of them and may never encounter a lot of them due to the geographical nature of many of the problems. Our hope is that the documents will be a living document and available in electronic format allowing updates on a regular basis.

Send us the problems you have encountered and how you solved the problem. If you didn’t solve the problem, send it anyway and maybe we can find a solution. Not only will this document help you as an AWCI member, but it can be shared with the general contractors you work with and also your favorite designer. Contributions can be sent via e-mail or snail mail to Don Smith, AWCI director, technical services, at AWCI. We really look forward to your contributions.

About the Author

Donald E. Smith, CCS, is AWCI’s director of technical services. Send your technical questions to him at, or fax them to (703) 534–8307.

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