Chinese drywall is in the news once again. Some suspect Chinese drywall as the culprit to the mysterious deaths of 10 babies at Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina. The investigation likely will not be complete until 2011. I’m sure that’s of little comfort to all of the parents with young babies still living on the base.
So what is Chinese drywall?
In short, some drywall imported from China and installed in homes constructed from 2002-2008 is known to be tainted with high levels of sulfur. The sulfur is released into the air in a gaseous form, which causes severe corrosion of copper tubing and wiring. People in contaminated homes have also complained of health problems, including difficulty breathing and persistent headaches. To date, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) has received over 3,600 complaints. You can find more info at the CSPC web site.
How can you find out if you are at risk?
The easiest way is to inspect any copper plumbing, copper air conditioner coils, or copper wiring for corrosion. Corroded copper will be black rather than copper in color. Check out these photos as examples or the photos below. According to the Florida Department of Health, contaminated homes will typically experience coil failures on their air conditioning units every 6-14 months.
So what’s the remedy?
“HUD and CPSC recommend consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.”
Is that all?
We have another remedy: call your lawyer…and your real estate agent.
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-Mark (Heather’s husband)
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