Chinese Drywall ?

Is anyone dealing with the Chinese drywall in your area and if so, how?
are there any good links or places to find intelligent, technical, useful for home inspectors information concerning ways to identify, report on etc…

Lots of discussion on it:

I have this link to the Florida Department of Healthon my website

good stuff…

Great link, thanks!

Heads Up Guys:
It has been spotted in Dover Florida in a 2006 home.

Every inspector, especially in the South, be aware. This was released Saturday evening, April 11, 2009 on

Nick, perhaps a service video bulletin on this subject.

Thanks for the link.

From the article:
In 2006, enough wallboard was imported from China to build some 34,000 homes of roughly 2,000 square feet each, according to AP’s analysis of the shipping records and estimates supplied by the nationwide drywall supplier United States Gypsum.
Experts and advocates say many homes may have been built with a mixture of Chinese and domestic drywall, potentially raising the number of affected homes much higher.

So far, the problem appears to be concentrated in the Southeast, which blossomed with new construction during the housing boom and where the damp climate appears to cause the gypsum in the building material to degrade more quickly. In Florida alone, more than 35,000 homes may contain the product, experts said.
There should be some potential for smart home inspectors to expand their business due to this calamity.

Some inspectorsare already on it. It seems the best way to do it is to have it analyzed by a labto cover your *****.

I was asked by a Realtor that I have worked with in the past if I could perform a drywall inspection for her. I told her I would get back to her later this weekend. Has anyone here been faced with this scenario and what was your course of action. My immediate feeling is unless you know what you are doing and carry a ton of insurance don’t even get involved. Would like to hear some comments on the subject. Very good information on this thread by the way.


We are getting 5 or 6 calls a week on this. One customer I was scheduled to inspect their home backed out of their contract when the realtor tried to get them to sign a Chinese drywall waiver. The realtor tried to talk them into getting a drywall inspection but the quotes must have been high.

Good information in many ways, but I noticed one of the “links” was to a “law” office, which always I look at with some degree of question. Therefore, my question is: how serious is this, what part of the country is affected by it, and how do we as inspectors determine if this is the case on a house we inspect? Heck, most of the eggs I fry are out of date, probably “smell”, but waste not, I eat them anyway. This is the premier board of quality information, so advise me (and others) on the following:

How to determine if it is Chinese wallboard?
Is it a national issue, or just a “local” issue?
If you “suspect” it, how would you report it?
how “wide spread” is this?
As inspectors, how can we protect ourselves?

Myself I trust the opinions and experiences of those that been in the trenches ( so to speak), and value your opinions and advice, so anything you can add to this situation, would be greatly appreciated!!

He is asking for trouble. It is up to the builder to test for this type of drywall - or at least be give the first right to do so. It is considered a latent defect, which should be covered by the builder. And how are you going to test. Some homes may have only partial Chinese Drywall in the home, some may have only a few sheets. At $500 to $900 per test this can become quite expensive. And what happens if you say it is not there, and it is. Or you say its there and it isnt. For those of you who are inspecting for it because you can make money on it good luck. Down the road I hope you have insurace, because you may wind up in court. Also remember, no one has setup a protocol for testing yet, so what standards are your following.

As usual, great information and advice on this subject.

From what I get from this, is the dry wall problem seems to be mostly in the south/south east. I would assume that is where most of this was distributed. Are there any hard facts as to other areas of the country that have had problems, or where it was distributed? Therefore, just how concerned should inspectors be in other parts of the country?

In the possibility that the drywall seems fine, no obvious signs of a problem, and it’s found out later that is that drywall, just where does that put the inspector liability wise??

I was just asked for the 1st time if I test for “that Chinese drywall”. It took me by surprise, but luckily I had heard about it. i told him I would study more on the problem and be prepared for his inspection. Obviously, any inspection for “Chinese drywall” would be visual, and may or may not be thorough - after all, how many places can you visualize the back side of a piece of drywall. Of all sheets in the house, you can see 2…3…maybe - well enough to see the markings - to either confirm or rule out the presence of Chinese drywall.
From all I’ve read - suspicions should be aroused 1st by the symptoms - the “rotten egg” odor, black-corroded copper, blackened A/C coils… and then start looking for labels on the backside of the drywall.
So, your first step inside, smell all the drywall. That will surely be an icebreaker for your client - “Umm - what are you doing?” Smelling the drywall." “OoooKaayyy!.”:mrgreen:

I found “bad” Chinese drywall in a home last Tuesday, built in 2006. The home was unoccupied. I was the first one on site, and when I walked in it smelled like someone had just lit a match. I announced who I was in case someone was in there, but no one was.

The ground wires and exposed portions of the conductors at the breakers were black. The exposed portions of the HVAC lineset in the garage were black. All of the copper parts of the evaporator coil were black, compared with bright copper at the condenser coil. I pulled cover plates off of several receptacles and switches in the home, and all of the exposed copper had turned black. After about 20 minutes in the home my eyes were burning, and I’m not sensitive to most chemicals, vapors or odors.

I had to look very hard in the attic to find any marking on the drywall, but finally did find “Knauf of Adjin China”.

I would highly recommend to everyone that you include that you don’t test for Chinese Drywall in your PIA, and that even if you don’t see it, it’s results or smell odors, that it could still be in the home in some areas.

Be careful out there, it’s a rough world.


Did you take any pictures Blaine? And, what did the Realtor or owner say when you mentioned it to them? Just curious.


I would say, do a random sampling of the dry wall, by ripping off large pieces to check the back side as to orgin of manufacture.This will also, if it is a plumbing wall, show any copper plumbing that may show signs. This would work great in the bath room, rip out the tile to look behind.

You have accomplished two things: 1. A fine job of inspection, thus limiting your liability, and 2. the employment of a drywaller (and tile contractor) to replace that which you have ripped out. What better employment stimulas package can one come up with?

Don’t go with the “egg smell”, how many houses have you been that have that smell, and it ain’t the drywall??!!

To me. its a WIN, WIN.

Lennar named in drywall suit.

Here are two of the evaporator coil.

The buyers and Realtor were naturally upset, especially in light of the fact that both had called the builder and he swore that no imported drywall had ever been used in any house he had built.