Can You Burn Drywall?

Are you wondering if you can burn drywall? Perhaps you have leftover drywall and want to know if you can burn it?

Or maybe you are wondering what will happen to your drywall in the event of a fire? Whatever your question is, we have the answer for you!

We all want to know what will happen to drywall in a fire. Whether we have some leftover drywall we are looking to get rid of, or if you have it in your homes and want to know if you will be safe in a fire, these answers mean a lot to us.

But it isn’t always easy to find out these answers and many of us are left unsure. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need! Keep reading to find out if you can burn drywall and answer any other questions you might have. 

Can You Burn Drywall?

Can You Burn Drywall?

Let’s get straight into it! No, you should not burn drywall. Drywall is made from two thick sheets of paper on either side of gypsum.

Sometimes fiberglass is also added to help make the wallboard more fire-resistant. As drywall was made to be fire-resistant, you will find that it doesn’t burn in the way paper might. 

You should avoid burning drywall. It will not burn (more on this later), but it could be dangerous!

Before 2016, drywall made and manufactured had few regulations, especially in other countries. 

Studies have found substances like sulfur in them, which you certainly don’t want to inhale or put into the air!

The gypsum board in the drywall can also release toxic fumes too. Often, the drywall just won’t burn, so it is best to avoid it altogether. 

So while this is fantastic news for homeowners with drywall, if you are trying to get rid of some drywall, you won’t be able to burn the sheets!  

What Happens To Drywall In A Fire?

If you put drywall in a fire, the first thing that will happen is the paper will start to burn.

But the gypsum center will not. The paper on the drywall starts to ignite at roughly 480 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most drywall manufacturers state that drywall will become damaged at around 176 degrees Fahrenheit, but the gypsum center itself will not ignite. 

So what does the drywall look like if it catches on fire? Well, the gypsum center gets about 20% of its weight from water.

When this is exposed to fire, it will release the water content. Once the water evaporates, the gypsum drywall will crumble or crack. 

This damage can often be repaired or the drywall will be replaced in the event of a fire in your home.

If you have tried to burn leftover drywall yourself, then you are likely to find the drywall at the bottom of the fire once it's put out!

Yes, the paper might be damaged, but the most damage the inside of the drywall will have is some cracks. 

Some drywall like type C or type X has additives in them that help increase their fire rating. This helps to delay the drywall from burning, ensuring that should there be a fire in your home, the walls should resist the fire.

Not only can this limit the damage to your home, but give you some more time to evacuate and for the fire to be put out. 

What Should I Do With Leftover Drywall?

What Should I Do With Leftover Drywall

So what can we do with drywall scraps if we can’t burn them? Well, we have a few options for you! Let’s take a quick look at them now. 

Repurpose Drywall

You can repurpose drywall by taking the paper off! Peel back the paper and then you can crush the gypsum center into powder.

This can be spread on a lawn or garden. Gypsum is known to reduce erosion and improve soil structure, so why not give it a try today! 

Recycle Drywall

Another option is to recycle your drywall! Often, you will purchase drywall that has been made from recycled drywall scraps!

You can always ask your local home center if they accept scraps to be recycled and reused. This is a quick and easy way to get rid of your drywall scraps. 

It's worth noting that not many curbside recycling programs will accept drywall.

You might need to contact your local recycling center to see if they will accept it or find an independent company that will collect and recycle your drywall scraps. 

Compost Drywall 

You can also add the crushed drywall center, after the paper has been removed, to your compost bin. This is a fantastic option, although it does have a bit of a smell that can take some getting used to! 

Save Drywall

If you are a frequent DIYer, you can save some of your scraps of drywall to use for future repairs! 

This saves you from needing to buy full sheets later on if you need to make a small repair. You can even use the paper on the drywall as a great canvas for painting on! 

Throw It Out 

If none of these options are suitable for you, you can put it out with your other household waste for it to be disposed of.

Be sure that you have broken down the drywall and bagged it up like you would with other waste. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, you cannot burn drywall! Even if you try to burn drywall, you will find that although the paper will burn, your drywall center will crack or crumble.

This will ensure that your home's walls have a fighting chance in a fire, keeping you a little safer and preventing serious damage. 

However, when it comes to disposing of drywall, you will want to look at recycling or having your waste disposal collect it.

Whatever you do, make sure that any drywall scraps are stored in a dry space to prevent mold and mildew.