If your home was built or remodeled between 2001 and 2009, it’s possible that you have dangerous drywall installed in your home that came from China. Due to the rapid expansion of home construction during this time, as well as hurricanes that occurred in both 2004 and 2005, the U.S. began importing significant amounts of drywall from China.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has compiled a webpage with extensive information to help you identify Chinese drywall and resolve any issues that may exist in your home. If you find that your home contains drywall that originated in China, you will find specific steps to follow to resolve the matter.
Once you know how to identify Chinese drywall, you can ascertain whether you have a problem or whether the drywall in your home is safe from dangerous chemicals.
Symptoms associated with problematic Chinese drywall include irritated eyes and skin, persistent cough, breathing difficulties, bloody nose, runny nose, recurring headaches, asthmatic symptoms and sinus infections. It’s common for symptoms to improve when away from the drywall and to return during exposure times. Learn more about Chinese drywall health risks.
The first criteria that your drywall must meet to fit the profile for Chinese drywall is that it must have been installed between 2001 and 2009. Secondly, check the drywall visually for evidence of blackening around copper electrical wiring or air conditioner evaporator coils. If your drywall was installed during the indicated period and you see this visual evidence, proceed to the next steps.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, drywall installed between 2005 and 2009 must meet two of the following criteria. Drywall installed between 2001 and 2004 must meet four of the following criteria.
- • Evidence of sulfur in the core of the drywall
- • Evidence of copper sulfide on grounding wires or air conditioner coils
- • Chinese stamps or marks on the drywall
- • Evidence of elevated sulfide gas emissions coming from the drywall
- • Evidence of corrosion from the drywall
Even if you find Chinese stamps or marks on the drywall, the drywall may not automatically have safety issues connected with it. The drywall must also meet one or more other the other criteria.
4.Problematic Chinese Drywall
If you suspect that you have Chinese drywall causing problems in your home, you will first need to have outside lab testing of your drywall and grounding wires or air conditioner coils to diagnose the issue officially. Once you have this official testing performed and it indicates problematic Chinese drywall, proceed to remediate the problem.
You must remove and replace the following:
- • The problematic drywall
- • All smoke alarms
- • All carbon monoxide alarms
- • Electrical distribution components
- • Fusible fire sprinkler heads
Make sure that a professional company performs all remediation work so that it will comply with local building codes, environmental regulations and OSHA standards. After completing the work, you should have your home inspected to make sure it meets code compliance and safety standards.
Because the health threats and the damage to your electrical components can be potentially serious, it’s important to investigate possible drywall conditions to make sure you don’t have issues in your home.
Secondly, check the drywall visually for evidence of blackening around copper electrical wiring or air conditioner evaporator coils.