How to Store Drywall (Damage Free)

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 05/08/24 •  6 min read

Despite its durable design Sheetrock (or other brands of drywall, click here to read about the differences between Sheetrock and drywall) can get damaged if it’s stored improperly. This means that storing drywall safely is important if you don’t plan to hang drywall right after purchasing it.

So, what’s the best way to store drywall you don’t intend to use right away? The best way of storing drywall is to keep it stored flat and indoors where the entire surface is well away from the elements. The most important thing is to keep your drywall in an environmentally controlled area because moisture will make it lose its structural integrity, making it soft and swollen and creating a fertile breeding ground for mold spores. When this happens, the drywall is ruined.

Can Drywall Be Stored Outside?

Drywall should not be stored outside if it’s left uncovered. It’s hard to keep drywall dry outdoors in the rain, snow, and/or humidity, and the damage moisture causes will quickly ruin it. However, if you carefully store it raised off the ground, evenly supported, and vacuum-sealed from the elements in plastic, it can be done.

Occasionally, you’ll see drywall stored outside in vacuum-sealed plastic material. That usually takes place on major construction job sites, where it may be a few days before anyone can get to it. 

Unless you have an industrialized method of getting a for-sure vacuum seal on your drywall, you’re best to find a place to store it indoors. If you’re really in a jam, trying to vacuum seal it with a large piece of plastic sheeting and a shop vac may buy you some time, though it may or may not work.

To store your drywall outside, place some scrap 2x4s, pallets, or other supports on the ground then lay a tarp or sheet of plastic on top of your supports before stacking the first sheet flat. When all the sheets have been stacked, wrap them with the edges of the tarp or more plastic sheeting, making sure to wrap it completely. Seal the tarps or plastic at every edge, and if possible vacuum seal it. If not well-sealed the outside moisture will eventually get to it and that will cause damage that’s difficult if not impossible to fix.

We have personally done this with wood before, and it’s worked well, but wood is vastly more weather-proof than drywall (though it’s still prone to warping).

Can Drywall Be Stored in a Garage or Shed?

If you have nowhere else to store it, the inside of your garage or a shed is a far better place for better than the outside, even if there is no heat or A/C.  Like anywhere else, so long as your shed or garage floor is flat and spacious enough, and there’s no risk of moisture getting to it, you can store Sheetrock safely there. If you have a gigantic garage, with plenty of room to both park your car and stack drywall horizontally, then it may just be the perfect place.

Can Drywall Be Stored Standing Up?

You can lean drywall vertically on its side if you plan on leaving it that way only for a few days or weeks, but for more long-term storage, you should try to store Sheetrock by stacking it flat. Storing drywall on its side definitely takes up less space, but it leaves it vulnerable to damage and creates a safety risk for any workers on the job site.

You’ll see drywall leaned vertically on its side (beveled edge up/down) all the time on construction sites but keep in mind the schedule of a typical builder home today is very tight and that drywall is not hanging around for long, often being brought in by the drywall installers themselves.

How to Store Drywall Standing Up to Reduce Risk of Harm and Damage

If you need to store your drywall standing up, make sure to protect the bottom edge and protect it from moisture risk.

Also, make sure to lean your first piece at around four or five inches from the wall. Storing drywall sheets against a wall with a lean of less than four inches creates a serious tipping hazard. Leaning sheets with a gap of more than six inches can cause significant lateral pressure and cause it to curve or break.

Lightweight drywall will be more prone to breaking when stored on its edge than regular drywall. This may be a consideration if you’re trying to decide between lightweight and regular drywall.

Don’t store different lengths of drywall against each other if keeping it stored on its side. A big concern for tipping is when one sheet is pulled out from behind the others in the stack. Tipping can also cause serious injury (drywall is heavy!) or breaking.

How Long Can You Store Drywall?

Drywall can be stored away for a long time, especially if you can get it airtight and keep it in a controlled environment. Stack it properly and seal it from the elements, and then the Sheetrock with have a virtually unlimited shelf life!

For more long-term storage, you should always keep it up off of the ground, that way, there is no threat of any moisture getting to it from the bottom up (notice a theme here). You also want to throw some plastic tarp over it to help protect it from moisture in the air.

All Things Considered

Before you purchase your drywall boards, consider when you think you’ll actually need it in your building schedule as well as where you can realistically store it and try to prepare that area as best as you can. If you can get environmental controls in the storage area, you can easily make the drywall last until you need it. 

Always try to keep it indoors, and stack it horizontally and off the ground. Lastly, vacuum seal it if you can.

Sure, it’s an extra step and it can be a pain, but vacuum sealing your drywall in some industrial strength plastic is the perfect way to ensure a long-term viable storage option. When it comes time to pull it out, it will look like it did the day you bought it. 

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.