Chinese Drywall Inspection
"Chinese Drywall" - since a couple of years this has become a major term when we are talking about properties in Florida.
In the years 2003-2006 the permit numbers for new construction increased extremely. In 2005 alone Lee County recorded the unbelievable number of 12,773 new construction and renovation permits. The domestic production could not hold up with the demand for drywall. At that time Chinese companies covered the shortage and manufactured the shorted product.
Unfortunately the quality management failed and batches of defective Chinese Drywall have been exported to the U.S. These batches contain and emit sulphates and other chemical additives which are harmful to your health. Chinese Drywall smells bad, corrodes electrical lines and copper fittings and changes their color as can be seen in the picture. Moreover components like the air condition, washing machine or the water heater are affected as well. People that have unknowingly lived in a Chinese Drywall home complain about headaches and respiratory problems.
The existence of Chinese Drywall in a home is a major damage. Not only will it cost a lot of money to gut the whole building - the worse part is that as of today there is no such thing as a test certificate that will give you piece of mind after the house has been completely stripped of it. Nobody can say whether the removal will take care of the problem completely or if in other parts like the roof trusses these vapors continue to harm people. Existing homes can also have some Chinese Drywall, e.g. if they have been renovated during these years. In this case just one or two rooms may be afftected by it.
You should pay attention to the homes of the years 2003-2006, however equally important you should have an eye on it when looking at younger homes. Many real estate agents think that by randomly checking 2 or 3 electrical outlets they can find out whether a house has Chinese Drywall or not. Keep in mind that a renovation in one part of the house could have brought the defective product in. Also you cannot determine just by the smell whether it is in there or not - often A/C systems that have been turned off for a long time can be responsible for that. Let the home inspector or a third party company check the house thoroughly to prevent costly mistakes down the road. Most inspection companies already have combined this inspection with the regular check of the home.
If there is any evidence of Chinese Drywall we recommened to walk away from it!