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Practicing Drywall Safety

Apr 27, 2018 2:06:06 PM

No matter what the job is, it’s important to make sure the site is safe for everyone involved. While it may seem like it’s not a big deal, drywall safety is imperative to ensure all the workers get to go home at the end of the day without any injuries. Even beyond just a construction crew, many people will be around the project site, including customers, inspectors, architects, and other trade and service professionals. For that reason, we have gathered some information about safely handling, storing, and installing drywall. For contractors looking for a drywall spray rig that fits their needs, American Spray Technologies offers a wide range of customizable rigs. Check out our inventory to see what we have available for you.

-Not Everyone Knows What You Know

When visitors arrive to a project site, you shouldn’t make the assumption that they understand the hazards surrounding them or how to be safe in a construction area. Even with experienced tradesman, they may not be as familiar with storing or handling drywall as you are. While you know that pulling a stack of drywall forward is dangerous, they may not, and disaster could follow. To help avoid these types of situations, it is important that any vertical stacks of drywall are properly secured. Not only will this prevent people who don’t understand the weight and danger drywall presents from getting hurt from pulling it forward, it will also avoid an issue where the stack becomes unstable due to other work going on at the site. Most of this misunderstanding comes from people underestimating how much drywall actually weighs.

-The Weight

Many people have some sort of disconnection between what they think drywall weighs and what it really weighs. Think of it this way — a stack of ten sheets of drywall on the floor would be pretty impossible to lift all at once, whereas you can easily pull a sheet forward when it’s standing vertical. However, that ease ends up belying its true weight. A stack of drywall can weigh around a thousand pounds, and if it’s tipped over, it will gain momentum. That means by the time it reaches the floor, it will have a force equivalent of six thousand pounds. It’s pretty easy to see how that would be a dangerous situation. While there are many benefits of stacking drywall vertically, the dangers are something that need to be considered as well. But it is not as simple as just keeping sheets laying flat on the floor, unfortunately. The repetitive motion and strain of bending over and lifting up a sheet of drywall over the course of a project will wreak havoc on an installers back. You can avoid that unnecessary strain and pain by securing a vertical stack, along with placing a warning label on each stack to help everyone understand the precautions they need to take when dealing with drywall.

-The Dangers

A construction site will carry the possibility of danger regardless of precautions that you take. It is unfortunately just a part of the job. The weight of a stack of drywall falling on someone is enough to cause severe injury, if not death. Contractors have a responsibility to make a job site as safe as possible, because it’s hazardous enough to be working with heavy materials and power tools as is, without poor planning adding to the danger. All it takes is one mistake or accident to endanger someone, so utilizing safe practices can avoid trouble and tragedy.

-Regulations

With the danger involved in all aspects of construction, it stands to reason that OSHA has rules and regulations in place to keep everyone safe. One such regulation is the requirement that all edge stacked drywall must be properly secured. This regulation covers gypsum board, plywood, trusses, and any other similar materials, stating that they cannot be stacked on their edge unless they have been totally secured against falling or tipping. Not following these regulations can result in a citation or penalty from an OSHA inspector. That means that breaking these rules doesn’t just put people in danger, it can also cost you or your company money, even if no one gets hurt. It’s just not worth skipping these precautions, no matter how you look at it. It’s a good idea to review all of the requirements put in place by OSHA, as different states may have different regulations to follow. Ensure everyone working on the job is intimately aware of the best safety practices to avoid accidents. This is the only way to make sure everyone gets to go home at the end of the day happy and healthy. No matter if it is a residential or commercial job site, drywall accidents can affect anyone and everyone involved — from small children visiting their new home, to experienced contractors, to the elderly. This makes it imperative for everyone on site to not only understand the dangers present, but to take the precautions to warn and protect anyone that may be on the property. All it takes is a little extra time to make sure a stack is correctly secured and has a warning label on it to make the site a bit more safe for everyone. American Spray Technologies has a wide array of drywall spray rigs available. No matter if you’re looking for a trailer mounted rig or the Kodiak M2 portable texture machine, we have what you need. Call us today to start customizing your own rig!
Posted in American Spray Technologies By AST

Tips for Matching Drywall Texture

Mar 9, 2018 8:29:43 AM

When you’re patching drywall, matching an existing texture can be pretty difficult. Many variables come into play that can cause the new drywall patch to be visually different from the drywall that surrounds it. With that in mind, we have gathered five tips to help you make a more seamless patch with a matching texture. If you’re looking for a drywall spray rig customized to fit your exact needs, American Spray Technologies has what you are searching for.

-Use the same thickness of drywall

This is the first and possibly most important tip. If you use a different thickness than the existing drywall, it stands to reason that it wouldn’t match up correctly. Before you get started, measure the thickness of the existing texture and use the same drywall size for your patch. For example, if the wall was hung with ½ inch drywall, you should use ½ inch drywall for your patch.

While this process is pretty easy when dealing with drywall that was hung directly to the studs or other backing, patching plaster walls gets a bit more complicated. That is because plaster may not be an exact measurement that is easily matched. To compensate for this, you may need to use thin wooden shims or thick paper that has been folded to match the thickness of the existing plaster walls, which you will then put your drywall patch over so that the wall is level with the patch.

-Coat the minimum amount necessary of the existing texture

After installing drywall to your patch, you will need to tape and coat it so that it will blend into surrounding surface. You will need to apply mud to the existing texture that immediately surrounds your patch to ensure the patch is flat with the existing surface texture. When doing this, use the smallest amount necessary to coat the existing texture.

However, that does not mean we recommend sacrificing a flat transition to minimize the amount of coating you use. You may need to coat a wider area to ensure that both levels blend as flat as possible. It’s important to remember: the less you need to retexture, the easier it will be to control your new texture. That means you have a better shot at making both textures match.

-Remove lines between the patch and existing texture

As you coat your drywall patch, a line will typically appear between the edge of your patch and the existing texture. If you are coating a smooth surface, you would be able to feather this line (or lap-mark) out so the new coating seamlessly blends into the smooth surrounding area. However, if the surface you’re coating is textured, it won’t be possible to feather it out completely. That is because drywall mud will get trapped in the crevices of the texture, creating an uneven and undesirable appearance.

When you have finished your final coat on your drywall patch, and before you texture it, it’s important to scrape the excess mud away from the existing texture where it has become trapped. Doing this at the edge of where your patch meets the existing texture will help make for a more seamless appearance. There are several different methods you can employ to do this. The first method utilizes a drywall knife to remove the drywall mud. It is removed from specific areas to ensure the seam between the patch and existing area is as random as possible. However, that method can be quite tedious. Others find more success when they use a slightly damp soft bristle brush to rub along the line between old and new.

Whichever method you decide to use, your end goal is to make the line between the existing drywall and your patch look like a random transition. It is important to avoid an immediate or harsh transition between your smooth new drywall patch and the texture that surrounds it.

-Utilize the same methods and tools that were used to make the original texture

Though it may seem obvious, the best way to match an existing texture is to utilize the same tools and methods used to make it originally. For instance, if you are trying to match a stomp knockdown texture, it is typically pretty easy, as there are only a few types of stomp brushes that are used. When you look at the pattern in the stomp, you should be able to notice if it was done with a round rosebud style stomp brush or an oblong crow’s foot stomp brush.

If the texture you are trying to match was done by hand, it can be more difficult to tell which tools or methods were originally used. Hand drywall textures can vary quite a bit depending on region and the tradesman’s individual style. Even if you can see the texture was applied using a hawk and trowel, matching the technique is still difficult due to how unique a hand texture is to the individual that applied it.

Sprayed textures like splatter knockdown or popcorn texture are more easily identifiable, as you can tell if it was applied with a spray rig or a hopper. However, it is still tough to determine the exact air pressure that was used or how much force was used to pump the mud through the hose originally. It can even be tough to determine which size spray nozzle was used. Due to the number of variables at play with spray textures, they are the most difficult to match. This means it is critical you match those variables as they relate to the original texture as closely as possible so as to make a smooth texture.

Newer tradesmen may find it is difficult to tell the difference between different techniques that were utilized because that knowledge comes with experience. If you are new to the world of drywall, try experimenting with different tools and methods to learn what changes in technique result in different styles.

-Use the same consistency of drywall mud as the original texture

After you have taken the other tips into consideration, using the same consistency of drywall mud is one of the most important factors to be aware of when matching a drywall texture. It is so important because the viscosity of the drywall mud can make or break your patch. Even if you followed the previous tips, a mud that is too thin or thick will make your patch less smooth and more obvious. The last thing you want is a patch that clearly sticks out, apart from the rest of the wall.

This is tough to handle, as much of matching the exact consistency comes down to making an educated guess. The only real way to get a feel of how to match mud consistency is through experience. Mixing different types of texture mud and applying different texture styles is the best way for a tradesman to get the experience necessary to make that guess. However, with that experience, you will be able to look at a type of texture and make a strong estimation as to how thick or thin the mud was when it was originally applied.

When you’re learning how to match drywall texture, it’s important that you take your time with this step. Start off by applying the texture to a small area and examine it closely. As you examine it, try to imagine what it will look like after it has dried. Let it set for a few minutes, but don’t let it dry out entirely as textures may look different while they dry. If it doesn’t seem like this texture is matching perfectly, remove the texture you just applied, add some water, and try again. Once you believe you have matched the consistency, you’re ready to texture the whole patch.


Matching an existing drywall texture can be difficult, but it is possible with practice and experience. Follow our tips and we think you’ll have a much easier time with applying your patch. If you’re a tradesman looking for a customized drywall spray rig to apply your textures, call us at American Spray Technologies. Whether you’re looking for a portable Kodiak M2 texture machine or you need a rugged and durable trailer mounted rig, we have what you’re looking for. We manufacture the texture spray machines that drywall contractors depend on, so you know you can depend on them, too. We hope to hear from you soon.


Posted in American Spray Technologies By AST

No matter if you’re a rookie new to construction or you’re a long-time contractor that’s a little curious, you may not know the difference between Sheetrock and drywall. The most basic way to describe it is similar to the comparison between a Q-Tip and a cotton swab. Essentially, one is a name brand while the other the a generic brand. With that out of the way, we’ll get into the difference in more detail now. Whether you’re working with drywall or Sheetrock, you need a spray rig you can trust. At American Spray Technologies, we have multiple styles of spray rigs that you can customize to fit your needs. Check out our selection and call us to start building your own rig today!

-What is Drywall?

Few construction materials are as well known and widely used as drywall. It is utilized to produce flat walls and other important surfaces. A single sheet of drywall contains gypsum, which is a type of rock that has been turned into powder and was pressed between two pieces of very thick paper. Drywall is installed with either screws or nails attaching it to the studs of the room, while the seams between sheets of drywall are filled with a joint compound. Compared to older methods like plaster, drywall is much easier to install and repair if necessary.

-What is Sheetrock?

Sheetrock is the brand name of a specific drywall (like Q-Tip) which includes a variety of different types of drywall in a variety of thicknesses. Sheetrock also produces a line of specialty products — fire-resistant walls or panels with moisture protection, for example. Essentially, Sheetrock provides more specialized options compared to standard drywall, which sets it apart from generic brands. That means the specific needs of the building or home are able to be met with one of these specialized options. Sheetrock also produces drywall tools that contractors and homeowners alike can purchase, under their brand name. That means that while Sheetrock can refer to a basic style of drywall, it can also be applied to specialized options as well as the tools used, giving it a wider range of application than you might expect at first.

-The Differences

When you get right down to it, the actual differences between Sheetrock and drywall are pretty limited. Past the specialized designs or tools that Sheetrock offers, both terms are often used interchangeably. Sheetrock has become something of a catch-all term thanks to brand ubiquity, similar to how Kleenex is widely used to describe tissues, even when they are not Kleenex brand. While some contractors find it is advantageous to use Sheetrock products, others are more prone to use a generic brand drywall. Because they’re practically the same thing, consumers often will get the terms mixed up, though most contractors will understand what they’re talking about. We hope this clears up any misunderstandings or sates your curiosity as to what, if any, differences there are between Sheetrock and drywall. If you’re in the market for a drywall spray rig, check out the wide variety of options we have here at American Spray Technologies. You can customize your rig to fit all of your needs so you can get the job done. Call us today!

Posted in American Spray Technologies By AST

Avoiding Screw Pops

Feb 5, 2018 12:51:51 PM


Few things are as frustrating when you’re hanging drywall than screw pops. Best case scenario, it happens before you’ve started taping and plastering. If that’s not the case, then you have to spend precious time repairing it instead of moving on with the rest of the project. While there isn’t a way to completely avoid these project derailers, we have gathered some helpful tips to reduce the amount of pops you have to repair. For the best drywall spray rigs, look no further than American Spray Technologies. Customize your rig to fit your exact needs so you can complete a job you’re proud of.

-Use the right type of screws

When you don’t use the right screws for the framing you’re working with, you’re just asking for trouble. With wood framing, use screws with coarse threads. In contrast, use fine threaded screws when you’re working with metal framing. It’s important the screws are not too long, as they get harder to keep straight the longer they are. You really only want to penetrate the framing by ⅝”. For example, if you’re working with ⅜” panels, 1” screws will fit the bill perfectly. Likewise, ½” panels require 1-⅛” screws and ⅝” panels require 1-¼” screws.

-Get the depth and angle right

When you set a screw too high or way too low, it will tear through the paper. It’s easy to accidentally set a screw just a little bit low, which will result in a screw pop in the future. To avoid this, make sure you set screws at exactly the right height. The same goes for screws that go in at an angle, as they will be more likely to rip through the paper and pop later on, which will result in more issues in the future. Get the height right, make sure they’re going in straight, and you’ll be in much better shape.

-Construction Adhesive

When construction adhesive is used properly, it can limit the amount of movement in the wall system. When movement is limited, screw pops are less likely to happen as the connection between the studs and drywall panels is much more stable. Securing the panel to the studs will help also help avoid pops, as it reduces the pressure on the screws and panel. Using construction adhesive to keep the panels stable can prevent many issues, so this is easy to recommend.

-Use a pattern

When you’re trying to get the job done quickly, it’s easy to just fasten the edges and then finish up with the middle. However, when you fasten drywall like this, it creates a disparity in how evenly everything is fastened. If you follow a pattern of moving back and forth between sides, it makes it even and helps to avoid screw pops. It’s very similar to changing a tire, as fastening the lugs in a star shape makes it a stronger, more uniform fit.

-Don’t fasten directly at the plate

Because two different pieces of framing intersect in perpendicular directions, they are prone to shift. When this shifting takes place, it can cause the few screws on the plate to pop, whereas the other framing members are better secured with other fasteners. Most professionals recommend ending your fastening pattern about 7” away from the top plate, and if necessary, a similar distance from the bottom.

It may feel like you’re wasting time, but when you ensure your drywall panels are hung properly the first go around, you won’t have to constantly stop to repair screw pops. A little extra time will save you in the long run, while also avoiding future issues for your client. If you are in need of a quality drywall spray rig, call us at American Spray Technologies. No matter the job, we have the rig you need to get it done, and done right, the first time. We hope to hear from you soon.

Posted in American Spray Technologies By AST

Tips For Drywall Texturing

Jan 9, 2018 10:18:21 AM

The History of Drywall


Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer with a big remodeling project to tackle or you’re a professional looking for new techniques, there’s plenty to know about different types of drywall, how to apply it, and how to remove it. We’re going to be taking a look at Popcorn, Orange Peel, and Knock-down drywall textures today. If you’re in need of a reliable drywall spray rig that’s customized to your specifications, call us at American Spray Technologies today. AST spray rigs reduce your job time and make applying a drywall texture a piece of cake, thanks to powerful, dependable performance time after time.

-Popcorn Drywall Texture

You can spot a popcorn drywall texture pretty easily, thanks to its thick formation and appearance. This is created by keeping the drywall mixture in a thicker state. Then, after the compound has been applied to the wall, the mix has not been knocked down.

-Removing or Repairing Popcorn Drywall Texture

Popcorn drywall saw the most popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, though this creates an issue when you’re working with this texture. If this texture was applied prior to the 1990s, it’s a good idea to get a sample of the drywall tested for asbestos, which was heavily involved in many construction projects in decades past, before we knew of the dangers it presented. If you’re doing this DIY and the test comes up positive for asbestos, you’ll need to have a professional come in to remove it safely so as to not expose your family to the carcinogenic dust.

If the test comes up negative for asbestos, you can start the removal process. Since this is a pretty messy task, it’s a good idea to cover the room with drop cloths or plastic sheets to avoid making a permanent mess. To get started removing a popcorn drywall texture:

 

  1. Cover the room and remove all light fixtures.
  2. Use a drywall joint knife to remove the drywall.
  3. Press the knife against the wall and push away from yourself evenly. Continue this process until the surface is as smooth as you want it to be.
  4. Sand the whole surface twice. As you do this, ensure there are no rough spots or holes in the drywall before you continue. If you do find a gouge in the wall, you can repair it with a drywall compound. Once you have applied that, sand it down again to get it even with the rest of the wall.

 

-Orange Peel Drywall Texture

Orange peel drywall is characterized by a rough but compact appearance. Orange peel drywall texture is never knocked down or smoothed out. As such, it is left as is when it is applied to the drywall. To apply this type of texture, it should be done with a high pressure spray gun. If you’re not a professional contractor, it’s recommended you practice on a few extra panels to ensure you can get the desired effect when you apply it to the permanent surface.

-Removing or Repairing Orange Peel Drywall Texture

Orange peel drywall texture is probably the easiest texture to remove, as it isn’t very difficult to smooth the texture out with a new mud. Once it’s smoothed out, you can apply a new or different texture without trouble. Be sure you consider the current thickness and density of the compound in your current finish prior to removal. If you find you’re having trouble removing an orange peel texture, you may need to replace the drywall as a whole.

-Knock-down Drywall Texturing

Also known as “skip trowel” drywall texturing, knock-down textures are typically flat or otherwise smoothed out surfaces. They share a similar look to an orange peel texture, but are smoothed out with a knock-down blade, which looks a lot like a large squeegee. To apply a knock-down texture, the blade should be used about 15 - 20 minutes after you have applied the drywall compound to the surface. If you do not wait long enough for the compound to lose its glossy sheen, you will not be able to get the desired knock-down effect. It’s recommended for DIYers to have a professional contractor apply this style of texture to ensure it is done right the first time.

-Removing Knock-down Drywall Texturing

The removal of a knock-down texture largely depends on the thickness or weight of the texture. It is possible to retexture the drywall by applying a thin layer of mud to create a smooth surface to work on. However, if you find this does not achieve the desired effect and the knock-down texture remains, you may need to replace the drywall as a whole, which can be a very in-depth process to tackle.

It’s pretty amazing how much the feel of a room can be changed, simply by adding a drywall texture. American Spray Technologies offers a wide range of texture spray machines, with many customization options available to fit your needs. So whether you need a portable Kodiak M2 or a durable trailer mounted rig, you can find the right rig for the job. Create your own custom rig now!

Posted in American Spray Technologies By AST

The History of Drywall

Dec 14, 2017 12:00:00 AM

The History of Drywall


In 1916, the U.S. Gypsum Company (USG) invented drywall. At that time, it was called ‘Sackett Board’, named after the USG subsidiary of the same name. Originally, it was sold in small, fireproof tiles. After a few years, it was updated as multi-layer gypsum and paper sheets. It took less than a decade of use before it transformed into the drywall we know today, made up of one layer of compressed gypsum, which was then compressed between two heavy sheets of paper. Though it didn’t take long for drywall to take the shape of the building material we know today, builders didn’t begin regularly using it substantially until almost 25 years later.


Builders were initially uneasy about using drywall. At the time of its creation, drywall was predominantly seen as a quick fix option. Most construction was employing the use of plaster, which carried with it a tradition, almost as if it were an artform, and along with it came a higher price. It was at this time USG changed the brand name of their product to something they hoped would improve its reputation, ‘Sheetrock’. At the time, this had little to no effect, despite it being a household name all these years later.


This all changed when the United States became involved in World War II. That is when the benefits of using drywall became clear. With so many materials diverted toward the war effort, a new, quick, and affordable alternative was needed. The labor shortage created with so many men being sent overseas to fight in the war made plastering no longer a viable option, and thus drywall became the more common. This allowed builders to construct everything from sorely needed factories to brand new homes in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the labor needed as well. Affordable and efficient products were viewed as quite patriotic at the time, because it allowed citizens to devote more effort and money to supporting the country’s war effort.


As of 1945, drywall was the building material of choice in the United States. Its affordability and easy installation facilitated the massive post-war building boom that took hold as service members returning home sought to put down roots and start a family. By changing from plaster to drywall, contractors found they were able to complete homes and workplaces in one-tenth the time it would have previously taken them. This allowed them to take on more projects and brought in much higher profits than they had earned before. As of 2007, USG reported net sales of over $5 billion, continuing to hold their place as one of the world’s top producers and innovators in the drywall market.


Next time, we’ll be taking a look at how drywall is made and the changes it’s gone through since its creation. If you’re looking for the best selection of the best drywall texture spray rigs, American Spray Technologies is the place to go. Whether you’re looking for parts, trailer or skid mounted rigs, or a Kodiak portable sprayer, we’ve got the perfect rig for you. Create your custom spray rig today!

Posted in American Spray Technologies By AST

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