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Joint Compound Expiration

ripmeister's picture

This is probably a silly question but does ready mix joint compund have a shelf life?  I seem to remember reading about that at some time, probably in FHB.  I ask because I generally like  to  buy the 5 gal. size for my projects, but may have several months between uses.  When I seal it up i add a thin layer of water to the top followed by a sheet of saran wrap which I press in to the compound.  This keeps it from drying out but I wonder if there are any other performance issues.

(post #62072, reply #1 of 16)

With me the big issue is my wife: "When are you going to get that ugly bucket out of here???!!!"


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #62072, reply #2 of 16)

I feel your pain.  I keep trying to convince mine of all the uses for that bucket.  Kind of like duct tape.

(post #62072, reply #3 of 16)

I stopped using mine when I opened the bucket and found it filled with nasty black mold. :-)

(post #62072, reply #4 of 16)

i checked the date on one of the old containers used to mud my place and found it had expired    am now in the process of removing it all from the walls to put new compound on   lot of work dude!!

(post #62072, reply #5 of 16)

I've been told that if it developes a sour smell, usualy after freezing, that it is not wise to use.

I have also found black mold growing in a partial bucket

 

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Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #62072, reply #6 of 16)

I have also found black mold growing in a partial bucket


Here are my findings with various amount of mud left in a partial bucket and the time lapsed after the bucket is resealed and undisturbed:


the average time for the black mold to cover half of the exposed surface of the mud left was 192 days where the degree of dependence on the amount of mud left in a partial bucket was statistically insignificant. Of course this was all scientifically monitored under a controlled constant ambient temperature of 72F.

(post #62072, reply #12 of 16)

What was your "n" number? ;)

(post #62072, reply #7 of 16)

mold ... stink .. frozen ...


it'll go bad.


Not sure if an unopened bucket will turn ... bet sooner or later ... more towards later ...


But an open bucket will go bad ... and stink.


Stuffs so cheap ... just scrape all the half's so ya have some clean buckets and buy new when ya need it.


 


Jeff


Buck Construction, llc   Pittsburgh,PA


     Artistry in Carpentry                

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #62072, reply #8 of 16)

it does have a shelf life, of about three months unopened.  It shouldnt have much of a smell. If the mud has a smell its probably too old.   Most mud is timestamped.

(post #62072, reply #9 of 16)

 uh, excuse me...  but


 drywall mud has no expiration date, and develops no smell.


 


 Any smell that you can't tell when a used bucket is opened probably means that that bucket was used as a porta-potty, most definatly when the the job is run by a cheap contractor, who doesn't provide a porta-john.


Even if there is a porta john on site, most drywaller like to colour the point up mud yellow, or brown, so when it's time to sand the point up, those areas are easily seen(or smelt). Keeps them from having to sand the entire house again.


 

 

(post #62072, reply #10 of 16)

bucket was used as a porta-potty


Now I find a new use for my buckets, that's just more excuse to tell DW not to throw them away.

(post #62072, reply #11 of 16)

OK You're excused, but mud does have a smell. I've never openned one that didn't smell like drywall tastes. Alkaline and dry taste, much drier than I like my wine to be. It is when it is going bad that it smeels acidy.

Do you smoke cigs? If so, that could be why you don't smell it. But them I am more than average sensitive to odors...

 

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #62072, reply #13 of 16)

Thanks all. I 've never noticed an exp. date but you are right that the stuff is cheap so why take the chance.  Besides thats just one more bucket that I can add to my collection.

(post #62072, reply #14 of 16)

Well it's five years on, and I came across this thread looking for tricks to preserve that partially-used bucket o' mud. No question about it, at least here in Hawaii, a partial-bucket will start to smell like rotten eggs in a matter of months. The mud shifts colors, too - becomes grayish as it ages. Being cheap/not wanting to stop work to go get still more for a small project, I have several times used the stuff anyway, after giving it a good mix. Smelly? Hell yeah... but only short-term, until dry. Otherwise, works fine.

But I think there must be a simple remedy to prevent/retard growth of...whatever it is...and I think the price of a bucket is a LOT higher now than a few years ago, so along with avoiding the cost of special trips to the supplier, this is still more reason /not/ to add a partial-bucket to the waste stream. I'm about to try a thin layer of vinegar over the surface of the remainder in my current bucket, thinking that the slight acidity should stop all mold/mildew growth, and the smell can't eventually be worse than the standard rotten-egg smell. But I do wonder if this might cause a quick breakdown of the mud material...whatever it is...in your standard acid-base reaction. I guess there's nothing to lose.

Anyone have any tried-and-true homebrew preservative methods for this?

(post #62072, reply #15 of 16)

Dave,


Did you ever find something in the refrigerator that has gone bad?


Did you eat it or toss it,............ Thats what I thought.


Paul


 No one should regard themselve as "God's gift to man." But rather a mere man whos gifts are from God.

 No one should regard themselve as "God's gift to man." But rather a mere man whos gifts are from God.

(post #62072, reply #16 of 16)

umm...I didn't ask whether I should throw it out or not - I already covered that, if you'll read my post. You're welcome to do what you see fit with your blue cheese - rest assured I have no intention of eating my smelly topping compound. In use, it works fine aside from smelling bad until it's dry.

Again, the question is whether anyone has a homespun preservative method - that's all.