HomeSpector

Serving Vero Beach, Sebastian, Ft Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Jensen Beach, and Surrounding Areas

Chinese Drywall

 

 

         Chinese Drywall

Our inspectors will inspect your home using the Florida Department of Heath (FDH) protocol for a visual inspection.

If after inspecting your home we determined that there is sufficient evidence to suspect that tainted drywall is present, we can arrange to have samples tested for elemental Sulfur.

 

What is Chinese Drywall? 

Chinese drywall is a defective or tainted drywall imported from China. Not all drywall manufactured from china is tainted, nor is all tainted drywall from china. Tainted drywall contains a naturally occurring allotrope of Elemental Sulfur which is believed to be the impurity in Chinese Drywall that starts the chemical chain reaction leading to corrosion.  Drywall can be tested in a laboratory where test results are reported in units of mg/kg. A positive result above 10 mg/kg is indicative of corrosive drywall, according to the FL DOH's Case Definition (12-18-09) for Drywall Associated Corrosion in Residences.

 

Could your home have Chinese Drywall?

If your home was constructed between 2001 to 2007 you could have Chinese drywall. Mostly it has been found in homes constructed during the height of the housing boom and shortly after Hurricane Katrina 2004 to 2007. Materials were in short supply, Contractors and builders unknowingly used millions of pounds of abundant and cheap imported defective Chinese-made Drywall. Some estimate that approximately 100,000 homes Nationwide in 35 states have been effected, 35,000 in Florida alone. Ports of entry include Miami 85,000 tons and Tampa 69,000 tons. In Broward County (Miami area) one case dated back to 2001. The amount of boards in your home could vary from one board to the entire interior wall finish and possible the ceilings. The Florida Building Code requires 5/8 ceiling board be used on all residential ceilings, no Chinese drywall was manufactured in 5/8" thick boards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 2,360 homeowners have filed complaints of possible drywall-related problems including damage to electrical wiring, plumbing, utilities, and a variety of health concerns.

Builders with Chinese Drywall: MI Homes, Lennar Homes, Engle Homes

 

What are some of the symptoms of Chinese Drywall?

The off gassing of the sulfurs can corrode copper pipes indicated by a black, sooty coating of un-insulated copper tubing leading to and in the air handler, wiring, blacken jewelry and silver.

Documented multiple failure and replacement of the air handler evaporator coils every 12 to 14 months after occupying the new dwelling.

Homeowners with Chinese drywall have complained about irritated throat, itchy eyes and skin, Difficulty breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection and asthma attaches. Note, to date there is no documented health symptoms that do not clear up after the occupant has left the effected dwelling. The FDH (Florida Department of Health) and DR. Viamonte Ros, Florida Surgeon General has stated there is no imminent health risk associated to Chinese drywall exposure. While drywall-related corrosion is clearly evident, long term safety effects are still under
investigation.

Corrosion at mirrors (darkening of the corners), pictures, coins, plumbing fixtures, door hardware and appliances.

Intermittent operation or failure of appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher) and electronic devices such as televisions and video game systems.

 

What to Look For

The copper tubing inside and outside the air handler will turn from a bright/dull copper to black. Removed the electrical switch and outlet cover plate. The copper will turn black. The back of the boards will be labeled. It may say "Chinese Drywall" or "Knauf Plasterboard, Tianjin" Tianjin is the city of origin in China, "Knauf - Tianjin China ASTM C36", "China", "Made in China".

Power outrages and dimming or flickering lights without any specific cause like the air conditioning turning on. Arcs or sparks, bright flashes or showers of sparks anywhere in the electrical system.

Buzzing, sizzles or unusual sounds from the electrical system.

Overheating of parts of the electrical system such as switch plates, dimmer switches, outlet covers or cords and plugs.

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