Chinese drywall

I have been reading a lot on Chinese drywall lately since my are has tons of it but I do not get two of the same answers from anywhere. I have had people tell me that there is no defective US drywall and others that say US companies have purchased drawl from China and relabeled it I hear that corroded wires and Ac units are a sure sign and others say it can be from sulfur from wells. Where can I get the ral answers. Also what about XFR analyzers. Is there one that works for this and what is the price. Any help is appreciated

Disclaim it in writing. Look for evidence but don’t promise it. Have E&O?

Chinese Drywall This is an informative link if you haven’t already found it.

This is the CPSC’s link regarding chinese drywall:

It is called an XRF gun. You can rent one for around $500 per day, or purchase one for around 40K. You will need proper training to use one. They are more commonly used to detect the presence of lead.

Guidlines from FL DOH

Yes, that is the page I use too, during home inspections for real estate transactions all that is required for a buyer to walk is contained in Criteria 1:, I have not needed to go beyond that definition.

I don’t normally do Chinese Drywall inspections but agreed to do one yesterday. This was due to a call from someone who had a home inspection by someone else and the inspector saw a label on the attic access lid that the drywall was made in China. I put several statements in the PIA saying that I could only report on what I saw and could not guarantee that there was or was not Chinese Drywall.

I pulled 3 or 4 outlets in each room, the Electric panel cover and the A/C coil cover. There was no evidence of corrosion anywhere. All the copper was clean.

When I went in the attic, sure enough the label on the access cover said “Beijing New Building Materials Co.” I dug through insulation in several areas of the attic and that label did not exist on any of the other drywall. What I did notice was that the UL “Issue number” of that piece of drywall and all the rest were different. Then digging in the insulation in one last place, I found another Access cover that did not have that label.

What I think happened, although I can’t prove it, and can not put it in writing, is that the insulators put the cover aside and blew insulation over it. Later the builder had a new cover made (or brought one from another property and put it in place. Unfortunately that new cover was Chinese Drywall.

I wish there were a way to prove that.

I am glad that you agree Joseph. Part of the problem with Chinese drywall is that the builder may have used drywall from different suppliers, especially in PUD’s. Remember that FL was in a crazy building time, Hurricane Kartrina and Rita also increased demand. To be 100% accurate you would need to take a sample from each piece of wallboard installed. The cost of this type of sampling is exhorbitant for the consumer/potential buyer.

With the FL DOH guidlines we have several thresh holds to overcome before moving up the chain of sampling. It does provide a level of “cover your azz” safety but you should disclose to your client that a total sampling is the only way to provide a 100% guarantee that there is not any Chinese drywall in the dwelling, as Joseph mentioned if you get beyond criteria 1 it is all over, the fat lady has sung.

With a Chinese drywall inspection I open EVERY outlet and switch in the house, yes it takes longer but that is also reflected in the price of the inspection and provides the client with enough additional information to make a qualified decision as regards Chinese Drywall. Eg, “The South West bedroom showed signs of corrosion on the copper conductors in all the outlets and switches, no other similar corrosion was observed in the structure. Refer to photos 1, 2 and 3” You have reported what was seen, now the client has good data to make a decision.

Here in SW FL I include a copy of the FL DOH guidlines when a client requests an inspection for Chinese drywall and advise the client of the protocols as well as the additional costs involved for further testing. The client can make his/her decision as to how to proceed. Basically, I follow the FL DOH guidlines, report what I have or have not seen and the client can decide where to go from there.