Chinese Drywall Gassing Your San Diego Home?


by Roberta Murphy

Not likely. (Whew!)

Chinese DrywallCarlsbad, CA–It appears owners of San Diego real estate–and those who remodeled their homes in 2003-2005, may have been spared the corrosive and noxious results that can stem from certain Chinese drywall products.

Most of the sulphur-laden Chinese drywall was shipped in 2004-2005 to Hurricane Katrina-ravaged states that were trying to repair and rebuild their storm damaged homes.

Florida, Louisiana and other states battered by Hurricane Katrina are facing a secondary assault– this time from poisonous  Chinese drywall that was imported to help bolster supplies needed for repair and construction of homes damaged by the hurricane. It was also apparently used during the building boom that exploded across the country during the early and mid-2000’s.

But what about San Diego real estate and the homes constructed during the building boom?

It appears San Diego homes may have dodged the sulphur bullet.

Even so, how can you tell if you have toxic Chinese drywall in your home or business?

  • Use your nose. If you smell rotten eggs (other than the real thing), you may want to investigate further.
  • If you can, crawl into the attic or into some other accessible area to look at the underside of your drywall. If you see “Made in Chine” or “KNAUF” you’ll know your walls were made in China; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are toxic. Not all are. On the other hand, some Chinese drywall has no markings at all.
  • Check for blackened copper pipes, air conditioning coils and electrical wiring. The sulphur reacts with copper, turning it black. A quick test is to remove the faceplate from an electrical outlet and look for blackened wiring–but do not touch!

It is good to know that San Diego should remain relatively unscathed by this dangerous Chinese import that is leaving homes vacated in other parts of the country,

3 responses to “Chinese Drywall Gassing Your San Diego Home?

  1. So far, knock on wood, San Diego real estate seems to have been spared. It does point out, though, the caution we should use with Chinese mports.

  2. The defective Chinese drywall debacle has been making news for months now, with homeowners plagued by sulfur fumes that smell like “rotten eggs” and cause air conditioning coils to corrode. Residents complain of sinus and respiratory ailments, eye and skin irritation, persistent runny or bloody noses, headaches, and asthma. Some situations were so severe that residents had to vacate their homes. In some cases, victims have been harassed by builders into signing unfair, one-side remediation agreements.

    It seems that the gypsum in drywall, which typically comes from mines, has recently come from a chemical process involving lime or limestone and gas from coal-fired power plants. Contaminants and sulfur found in power plant smokestacks are supposed to be removed in the process. Failure of proper removal is the cause of foul odors, respiratory complaints, and corrosion, according to some Chinese experts in building supplies. Others say phosphogypsum (calcium sulfate), a radioactive phosphorus substance, is to blame. Banned for use in U.S. construction in 1989, the EPA says prolonged exposure to this radium-contained element can lead to a higher risk of lung cancer.

    The issues surrounding defective Chinese drywall are confusing and worrisome. Here is a good blog that has been providing emerging and valuable information on the problems:

  3. Pingback: 5 Cheap Fixes for Kitchen Remodel | Carlsbad, Encinitas and San Diego Real Estate
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