chinese drywall identification

I am looking for some tips on how to identify chinese drywall. This house was built in 2004 and I know we have had chinese drywall delivered to the port of vancouver in this era. I typically try to identify the manufacturer of the drywall when inspection a house in the chinese drywall era. This drywall has no readily accessible manufacturer identification. What do you write up when you cannot identify manufacturer and or do these pics provide any evidence of manufacturer etc. Thank you.

PICT0406 (Small).JPG

PICT0407 (Small).JPG

What is there to write? A home inspection isn’t intended to identify the manufacturer of drywall. And if there are no visible indications (ie, black copper), and no manufacture information that implies it is there, then there is no defect.

If you are doing a “Chinese drywall” inspection. I would include the picture above, and state that: “No evidence of Chinese drywall was found during the LIMITED inspection. It is virtually impossible to state that the home is free from all occurances of Chinese drywall without invasive testing of every sheet in the home, which is impractical. There are also some instances of similar problems with domestic drywall that is also contaminated as the Chinese drywall is reported to be. Just because it appears the material had a domestic source, it is not guaranteed to be free from contaminants.”

I agree with Mark. Below is how I describe your situation in my report…

“Without further destructive testing which would require cutting holes in the sheetrock wall and sending samples out for lab testing it is impossible to know for certain if Imported drywall exists in this home, but based on the Red Flag Survey I conducted it is my conclusion that there is no evidence of any active Red Flags associated with the installation of Imported drywall within this dwelling. Furthermore, at this time destructive sampling and lab testing of the drywall in this home is unwarranted.”

I like it thanks!

This is what I wrote…

The manufacturer of the drywall was not identified in spot checked locations on the day of the inspection. Recommend further investigation by following up with the vendor, builder and or distributor to identify the geographical location the drywall was manufactured. There is some known issues and or recalls with drywall manufactured in China during this era of construction

Yes, I am an alarmist… I know :wink:


  1. you didn’t find any red flags
  2. you didn’t identify the manufacturer as being Chinese
  3. you didn’t identify the manufacturer as being anyone

In other words, you are raising an issue for your client that there is no reason to raise. You also are recommending further evaluation on something that you already evaluated and didn’t find.

Mark, I mean no offense when I say this, but alarming a client over something that you have no evidence of being there is more than being alarmist. If I were the seller, and this client walked over this, I would be suing you out of business …

I agree with everything Mark said in post #5. Conjecturing is not in our job description. If there were no visible signs, nothing to alarm you, I would not mention anything related to Chinese Drywall or any other kind of drywall potential defect.

Once you do this, you’ll have to do same at every inspection.

I think what I wrote is pretty clear. I did not state that the drywall was in fact made in China, I simply stated that the manufacturer was unidentified and that there is some known issues with drywall manufactured in China during this era of construction. How could I possibly be sued for that?

I informed my client and left it up to them to either do some further investigation, walk from the purchase and or move forward with it. Ultimately, it is up to them as they have been informed. Everyone has a different comfort level. It is not my choice to overlook or not inform unless there is facts/evidence. The fact is the drywall is unknown manufacturer and the building was consturcted in an era where some chinese drywall was available. Granted, there is no other implications to provide evidence of chinese drywall but is that 100%? Do we really know what the implications are in every house and or when they will develop, if they do? There is always variables involved. That is why they had a home inspection…

As far as being an alarmist, I was joking… My obligation is with the house and I only state the facts. We are in the information business and obviously the average person is lacking our knowledge. I believe my clients are informed when I complete my job and that is what I take pride in.

Published estimates said as much as 929,000 square meters of Chinese drywall arrived in Canada through Vancouver between 2001 and 2007. In addition to lower British Columbia, some Chinese drywall may have been shipped to Canada’s Prairie Provinces and as far east as Toronto.

Yes, I do this for every house that was constructed in the Chinese drywall era when I cannot identify the drywall source. Follow up the paper trail is all I am saying to my clients. An hours work or so to identify a manufacturer is not that unreasonable nor is it justified for any damages or suffering to the vendor. My clients are paying for my professional opinion and my opinion is clearly proven by facts including chinese drywall being delivered to the port of vancouver in this era.

Furthermore, I verbally explained to my client that the chances of it being chinese drywall are low but it doesnt hurt to do some further investigation by having the vendor, builder, distributor pulling some files.

If I was purchasing this house, If my Mother was buying this house, I would want a home inspector to let us know everything he/she knows. That is the way I conduct my service.

Is it any different then saying vermiculite might have asbestos? or older radiant ceiling heating panels might be recalled even though I cannot find the manufacturer? Maybe, we should just overlook that and hope the house doesnt burn down…

I respect and understand what you are saying and sure you are conducting a calculated risk process. I always risk the side that is in the best interest of my clients…

I appreciate the opinions and feedback of my peers, that is why i started this thread. It makes us all better in the end :slight_smile: