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Chinese Drywall

April 12, 2011

A relatively new problem, Chinese drywall has been imported and used in the US since 2001, especially in the south.  It may be causing problems of which homeowners are as yet unaware.  During manufacture some drywall vats in China were not properly cleaned, impregnating the gypsum during the manufacture process with contaminants that, when released inside a home, can be dangerous.  Although experts are still trying to determine the level of health risk, the off-gassing is known to corrode metals and can cause failure in plumbing and HVAC systems.  Here are the warning signs:

  1. A sulpherous/rotten egg smell;
  2. Pitting on faucets and metal surfaces;
  3. Soot-like blackening on electric wires;
  4. Alarms, cable boxes and light switches may fail;
  5. Copper coils in A/C units can pit, causing holes and the release of freon;
  6. Brass and other metal fittings in furnaces can corrode and cause leaks;
  7. Drywall with a “Made in China” label.

If you have had drywall installed since 2001 and notice any of these signs, call your insurance company to lodge your complaint before the insurance industry adds any disclaimers for Chinese Drywall.  Ultimately your builder is responsible, according to Michael Reitmann of the Lee Building Industry Association in Florida.

(Source: Mobility Magazine, July 2009)

Patty Cunningham, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Preferred  
Exton, PA 19341
O. 610.363.6006
C. 610.659.4669
Lic #RS294054

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