I read this article that addresses the recent issues of Chinese drywall and it got me thinking about how you can identify the potential of Chinese drywall in your house and what problems it can cause. I looked at several websites purely dedicated to addressing the Chinese drywall problem and even the Center for Disease Control's webpage specifically about the problem. I have summarized a few key concerns that I had, but have included the websites for your further personal study.
Some basic facts about Chinese Drywall:
The problem, though most recently has become prominent, is due to an increased amount of drywall imported from China since 2001.
The drywall is usually 1/2" and can even have a stamp on it saying, "Made in China".
The majority of Chinese drywall was installed in new construction or remodeled homes between 2001 and 2008.
The presence of Chinese drywall emits a harmful sulfur gas that can corrode copper wiring, contaminate furniture and fabrics in your home, and damage you air conditioner or other appliances.
So how can you tell if you may have Chinese drywall in your home? Well, before you hire a professional inspection, there are a few assessments you can make on your own.
1. Often the home has a odor of rotten eggs. This is due to the sulfur being emitted from the drywall.
2. Black or corroded ground wires or coils on the back of your air conditioning unit, due again to the sulfur emitted from the drywall.
3. As mentioned above, some sheets are labeled "Made in China" and if you can expose the back of your drywall, you may be able to identify this stamp.
4. There are potential health issues that may appear due to the gaseous emissions, including (but limited to) eye irritation, sore throat, stuffy nose/ rhinitis, cough, shortness of breath/ chest pain, nausea, headaches in cases of short term exposure (hours); and fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, poor memory, dizziness, insomnia, headaches in cases of long term exposure (days or weeks). These symptoms come from the CDC's website and more information on health issues can be found there. Be aware that these symptoms are also related to other problems so consult your health care professional for proper diagnosis.
In most situations the best solution is to remove all the offending drywall and replace it competely with new material.
For Further Information please visit these websites that were using in researching Chinese drywall for this article.