Chinese drywall, eggs and lawsuits.
The internet ocean is teaming with information about Chinese drywall but the frenzy of lawyers imitates Jimmy Buffett's "Fins to the left..fins to the right". I read until I got to the end of the internet and the "technical" info was the little fish and the law suit info was the Great White. So.I'll give you what I got.If your Florida property was built after 2004 and you have noticed a sulphur or "rotten egg" smell and/or had recurring problems with corrosion of your air conditioning, appliances or electrical wiring, your property may have been built using defective drywall manufactured in China by Knauf (company). This drywall was imported into the free waters of the US and used by builders during a shortage of "red white and blue" drywall caused by the construction boom in 2005-2006 even though other reports included imports as early as 2001. One theorized possibility is that the Chinese drywall was made using gypsum that was first used in slurry containing carcinogens to de-sulphur coal. This drywall product emits toxic hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfur dioxide. Heat and humidity seem to trigger the drywall to bleed (emit sulphuric odors) sulphuric acid AND this stuff was imported, distributed and installed in throughout the south, hmmmm. Toxic Chinese drywall is being blamed by homeowners suffering symptoms ranging from nosebleeds to breathing problems. Many Florida homeowners have had to vacate their castles because of the Chinese drywall smell and affects, so some builders are scrambling to gut and replace the drywall throughout the house.
Here's something else to think about.in the old days when a drywall sub may have been paid by the board, any/all pieces ordered were all "hung" whether it was in the house or in the dumpster. In order to cut costs, some contracts were by the job. That means, extra pieces were taken to the next job by the sub contractor. It is therefore possible that a home may have something fewer than a whole house installation of the defective stuff. The only current way to prove you have it is via destructive investigation (bulk sample) and lab testing. Pricing per sample may run anywhere from $500-$3000. So just because one piece tests negative (or positive), doesn't prove the rest of the house is the identical. The cost to test the whole house may well exceed just guttin' the thing and starting over.
And as you would expect (besides the attorneys) the Chinese drywall inspection business is now in full swing. The chum is in the water and the rods are ready so be careful folks. "Inspectors" who will charge you to observe your house for blackened wiring or other corroded metals in order to establish the existence of defective Chinese drywall may find themselves in the cannery. I would obviously advise you to look for these things and if you need assistance that's cool too but if you believe you have the bad stuff, contact your builder first and foremost. As the legal dance progresses from the builder to the sub to the supplier to the wholesaler to the manufacturer, your contract was with the builder. They are protected by Florida Statutes and permitted the option to remedy before you go making repairs. Thankfully some builders are making good.
Builders known to have installed the drywall include Lennar, Taylor Morrison, WCI, Transeastern, Ryland and Standard Pacific.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, suspects a problem with tainted drywall in his own home and is moving his family out of their home in Fort Myers according to Professional Builder magazine. Heck, even Senator Bill Nelson is getting involved and calling for action.
So anyway, most of the blame has been passed on to Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, a German-owned company with plants in China. The company said the sulfur in its drywall came from a Chinese mine that contained too much iron disulfide, a naturally occurring mineral. Knauf says it has since switched to another mine. Lucky you.
I've not heard of any Central Florida issues but at a recent Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) meeting, the thought amongst those in the know, was that it was probably just a matter of time. ProLab says that they are testing dozens of samples a day trying to keep up and have only had a couple samples in from Central Florida in the recent past. So if anyone here thinks they have issues, please let me know! If we all stick together, nobody gets burned or Moo Goo Gai Panned!