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How Temporary Pressurized Walls are Built

How Temporary Pressurized Walls are Built

You probably have heard about pressurized walls, but may not know about the materials that are used, how they are constructed, and how they are installed. For those who are thinking about creating another room inside their residence or business, a pressurized wall is the right answer for several reasons.

How They are Constructed

A pressurized wall is a temporary wall that is constructed out of sheet rock or plasterboard, metal, and wood. Most installation companies will use lattice strips of the wood to cover the joins on the drywall itself. The frame is set up first and once completed, the sheet rock screws are used to attach the drywall to the framework.

The 2 x 4s are pressurized so their contact with the floor, ceiling, and walls are firm. To prevent any damage to the structure or architecture of the residence or business, T-nuts along with leveling screw pads are used when pressed against the studs. Because of the pressure that is exerted, there are no fasteners or adhesives used to provide additional stability. To use such items would damage the floor, walls, and ceiling. The pressure alone is more than enough to keep the wall in place while causing no damage to the surrounding materials.

Safety Features

When putting a door into a pressurized wall, it is recommended that French-style or hollow core doors are used so that the weight distribution does not cause a shift to the balance of the wall itself. This means that the doors are generally lightweight so that the pressure exerted by the wall is not compromised by an open door.

Over the years, advancements in materials and techniques have resulted in pressurized walls that are safe when installed by a reputable company. Because concerns about their stability and safety have faded over the years thanks to their remarkable service, more landlords are allowing them to be used inside apartment complexes. In New York City, it is common for additional rooms to be created using a pressurized wall with the condition that they be removed once the apartment is vacated.

For a time in New York City, some in authority wanted the pressurized walls removed because they did not comply with building codes and were perceived as a safety hazard. However, no laws were passed in terms of banning the installation, use, and regulation of the walls themselves. To this date, pressurized walls have no real definition under the current NYC building codes and there is no sign that it will change anytime soon.

Today, pressurized walls have expanded far beyond the New York City area where they were most prominent. They can be found in Pennsylvania and as far west as California. They are most popular in expensive tenement buildings where renting out an extra room is a common practice. This is why for many young professionals pressurized walls have become a popular way to rent out extra space and provide less expensive housing for those who live in the heart of the city.

Donny Zanger