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Chinese Drywall


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Chinese Drywall

  1. 1. Real Estate Professionals Information Series © 2009 DBR Problem (Tainted) Drywall
  2. 2. The Issue <ul><ul><li>Reports and investigative evidence indicate that certain gypsum drywall (plasterboard) products imported from China are defective. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These imports were needed due to a shortage of domestic drywall during the recent housing boom and post-hurricane reconstruction period and were primarily used for ceilings and walls. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The majority of the Chinese imports arrived in the southeast U.S. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Imports <ul><ul><li>Over 50% of total was imported to Florida </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imports to other areas included, but may not have been limited to : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>South (Carolinas , Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>West (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mid-Atlantic (Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Midwest (Ohio) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Scope and Timeframe <ul><ul><li>While the majority of imported Chinese drywall arrived between 2003 and 2006, some reports extend the timeframe of potential concern to the period from 2001 to 2008. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Areas with significant new construction and post- hurricane renovations work from 2004 to 2007 likely account for most of the installed imports. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some estimates indicate as many as 75,000 homes; may be effected. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Reports of Problem Drywall Cases This Information is based on self-reported cases meeting the the Florida Department of Health “Case Definition” for Problem (Tainted) Drywall. (Click on the image for updated Case numbers.)
  6. 6. The Problem Experienced <ul><ul><li>Unpleasant odors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discoloration and corrosion of metals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Copper pipe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Copper electrical wiring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brass fittings and valves </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air conditioner coils </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Metal household items </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential safety issues from damaged building components </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health-related complaints </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Apparent Cause <ul><ul><li>Drywall containing sulfur compounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outgassing (vapor release) of sulfides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sulfides mix with moisture resulting in: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unpleasant (rotten egg) odors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corrosive acids </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrosive acids cause soot-like residue, blackening and deterioration of even relatively new metal components. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conditions are exacerbated by heat and moisture. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Air Conditioner Coils Blackening of Copper Tubing at Air Conditioner Coils
  9. 9. Copper Tubing Blackening of Exposed Air Conditioner Tubing
  10. 10. Ground wire Copper Wiring Corrosion at Exposed Copper Wiring; corrosion can occur under the insulate sections as well
  11. 11. Electronic Components Corrosion at Thermostats and Electronic Circuits
  12. 12. Refrigerator Tubing Blackening of Exposed Copper Refrigerator Tubing
  13. 13. Plumbing Components Blackening and Pitting of Exposed Plumbing Components
  14. 14. Suspect Drywall <ul><ul><li>A mix of domestic and imported drywall products was used in many homes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only certain brands of imported Chinese drywall have been documented as causing problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imported 1/2-inch drywall is more likely to be defective. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5/8-inch drywall, commonly used in ceiling, appears to be less likely a problems . </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Labels on Suspect Drywall <ul><ul><li>Some imported drywall is not labeled or clearly labeled. The labeling of suspect products include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KNAUF-TIANJIN (the manufacturer of an identified defective imported product) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MADE IN CHINA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ASTM C36 (indicates an older product testing standard) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Imported Drywall Labeling Typically backside has no label or is stamped “MADE IN CHINA”
  17. 17. Manufacturer Labeling Manufacturer “KNAUF-TIANJIN” Labeling
  18. 18. Mixed of Installed Products Domestic Drywall “National Gypsum” Imported Drywall “MADE IN CHINA”
  19. 19. Assessment Options <ul><ul><li>Options include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical (Threshold) inspection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure of metal test strips to house air </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bulk (sample material) testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outgassing analysis of bulk samples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical sampling costs ($500- $1800 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of multiple methods is recommended when attempting to identify/confirm the presence of potentially defective drywall . </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Health and Safety Issues <ul><ul><li>Available data from investigations has not identified levels of corrosive gasses that exceed those recognized as posing a risk to health. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excessive corrosion could lead to leakage of copper gas piping or refrigerant tubing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deterioration of electrical wiring creates a safety hazard. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look to Building and Health Departments for future information and guidance on local conditions. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Remedies <ul><ul><li>Research on remediation needs is ongoing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At this point, primary approach involves removal of drywall and damaged components, and elimination of any residue before replacements is primary approach. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A threshold inspections, with corroborating evidence of concerns related to tainted drywall, is advised before any remedial action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Air quality control measures may help (conditions are generally less severe in low temperature, low humidity environments) but will not correct the problem. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Legal Issues <ul><ul><li>Some builders have been attempting to address complaints from homeowners for several years; others have not accepted responsibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawsuits filed in several areas have been merged into one federal court case. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional suits/class-actions are expected. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Ongoing Investigations <ul><ul><li>Investigation of the imported Chinese drywall issue continues by federal and state agencies, as well as building science experts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer Product Safety Commission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Center for Disease Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Association of Home Builders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Department of Health </li></ul></ul>Additional Information and Images - Florida Dept of Health
  24. 24. Summation <ul><ul><li>Problems with odors and metal corrosion have been associated with tainted drywall. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tainted drywall imported from China is a common factor; however, not all drywall imported from China is a problem and other products are suspect in some cases. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The scope may be relatively limited (est.75,000 homes in only certain geographic areas, and a seven-year timeframe). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verification of problems will required inspection and testing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential concerns are greatest in warm, humid conditions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many homes may contain both domestic and imported drywall. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drywall replacement appears to be only effective remediation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential health concerns are still being investigated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigation of the associated issues is ongoing. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. For more information call or email our office at: (Add Local Contact Information) Thank you! Questions?