Beware the Dangers of Chinese Drywall

Have you ever heard of Chinese drywall? If you’re like others, probably not–until you had a problem with it.

According to Wikipedia, the term “Chinese drywall” refers to an environmental health issue involving defective Chinese-manufactured drywall that was imported to the U.S. beginning in the 2000s, containing volatile chemicals that can emit sulfurous gasses including carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and hydrogen sulfide.

The wallboard’s sulfide and other chemicals have caused health-related complaints when inhaled, including allergic reactions, nosebleeds, headaches, difficulty breathing and asthma attacks, as well as foul odors (similar to a rotten egg) and corroded wiring and pipes. The samples giving off the most chemicals are generally found in the hotter, more humid states.

Chinese drywall was installed in more than 20,000 homes, mostly in Southern states, and is still found in Northern Virginia homes. And because of this problem, the United States passed the Drywall Safety Act in 2012 that set chemical standards for domestic and imported drywall.

How to Find Out if You Have Chinese Drywall

Several of the ways to prove you have Chinese drywall in your home are performed through lab testing which looks for elemental sulfur, copper sulfide, elevated sulfide gas emissions and corrosion. Chinese drywall may also display Chinese markings like “Made in China,” reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A visual inspection looks for drywall installed between 2001 and 2009 and blackening of copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils.

Unfortunately, the only remediation is to rip out and replace the problem drywall and all building components that may have been affected by it, such as gas service piping, smoke detectors, electrical components and sprinkler systems.

Först Consulting Group Can Inspect for Chinese Drywall

As building experts, Först Consulting Group is trained to look for construction defects such as Chinese drywall. If your home was built between 2001 and 2009, you should have your drywall checked. After all, the safety of your family is of paramount importance. Contact us to find out more.