Learn how to convert a garage into a spa or pool room. Find out how to install moisture resistant drywall that inhibits the growth of mold.
LESLIE: Carol in Minnesota, what’s on your mind?
CAROL: Well, what’s firstly on my mind is that I want to tell you I thoroughly enjoy your program because I’ve been recently widowed and I’m raising a family by myself and there’s so many things I need to learn about home maintenance …
TOM: Well, thank you so much.
CAROL: … that I didn’t know before.
However, what I’d like to do is to convert a (inaudible) garage area into a room  that can hold a swim spa without ruining the rest of my home.
CAROL: And right now the walls are mostly sheetrock. They haven’t been taped or mudded or painted. And then there’s some concrete areas also.
TOM: OK, let me ask you a question, Carol. When you say a swim spa, do you mean one of those big pools for exercising that – where it has like sort of a tide?
LESLIE: Like a strong current?
TOM: OK. Whenever you put a spa or a pool in an enclosed area like a garage – or really any room – not only do you have to be concerned about the materials around it because of the corrosive effects of the chlorine, you also need to be mindful of the humidity  issues. And so, probably what you’re going to need is some sort of humidity control in that area so that it doesn’t get so overwhelming that it grows into a mold problem. The other thing is, Leslie, I think – starting with those walls – probably sheetrock is not the material to use here.
LESLIE: Yeah, I don’t know if you want to use the existing sheetrock only because you’re dealing with a paper product and you’re dealing with a huge source of moisture which is your swim spa. And that’s going to love that drywall. It’s going to eat everything and you’re going to get mold growing in there before you even know it no matter what you do with the moisture situation. So you can either do two things: replace that with a different sort of sheetrock product called Dens Armor  and it’s by Georgia-Pacific and that’s made with a fiberglass face to be really moisture resistant; or you could go with a product that’s called greenboard in the trade or it’s known as a – it’s a drywall  product that has a green facing on it rather than the traditional gray/white and it’s made to really withstand moisture – great for basements, great for bathrooms. Both good choices but definitely not your sheetrock that’s in there now.
TOM: I think you really need to look into Dens Armor by Georgia-Pacific because the difference between that and either standard drywall or moisture-resistant drywall is that there’s no paper face. And paper is a mold food. There’s a website that you should look at, Carol, and it’s called StopFeedingMold.com . And in there you will see information on Dens Armor and why that’s a perfect choice for a spa room where you’re going to have a lot of moisture and humidity problems.
You know, Leslie, I remember about a year ago – before my local health club underwent a major renovation in the swimming area – that I went in there one day and spotted stachybotrys growing on the walls …
LESLIE: Ooh, that’s bad.
TOM: … in the pool area. And you know, you see the kids running all around it and stuff. And it’s just a bad combination to have drywall next to a humidity condition like that.
CAROL: [So there is nothing] (ph) that I have to remove the old sheetrock and – or have the contractors do it?
TOM: Well, I would recommend that you remove it. If you want to avoid some of the expense, you could put a second layer on top of it and put the Dens Armor on top of it. But in the best case scenario, you’re going to want to remove it.