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Contaminated Drywall

Our inspection services

Our services include an on-site visual screening inspection of the home or building looking for the “red flag” signs of contaminated drywall. We will then collect a 2” X 2” bulk sample, in a discreet area if possible, which will be sent to a certified lab for testing, with results within 3-5 business days. A written report will be provided to you as soon as we received the lab results. Our inspections will be performed by a Licensed Professional Engineer in Louisiana, who is also a qualified expert witness should those services be needed in future litigation.

What Is Contaminated Drywall?

Drywall manufactured in China and imported to the USA between 2002 and 2008 has been determined to contain contaminates. There are two known manufacturers of contaminated drywall: Knauf Plasterboard Tianjian and L&W Supply Corp. Contaminants in the drywall include several sulfide and disulfide compounds, not just strontium sulfide or hydrogen sulfide as many places report. These contaminants came from the raw materials used and/or the manufacturing process. Not all drywall from China is bad, but because all known bad drywall comes from China, it is commonly known as Chinese drywall. In general, we will call it contaminated drywall. Contaminated Chinese drywall off-gases these compounds into the air and is sensitive to heat, humidity, and the amount of defective drywall in the building.

How Did This Happen?

During a recent period of housing boom parts of the country experienced a shortage of building materials. As a result contractors were forced to source materials from alternative sources. In 40 states, including Florida, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Washington, contractors were forced to source drywall from China. The use of drywall manufactured in China was not for price or quality reasons, but purely caused by a lack of supply.

How Big Is The Problem?

At this point, no one is quite sure. An initial study places the contaminated drywall problem across 40 states. In Florida alone, more than 326 million pounds of contaminated drywall were imported since 2006. This problem is not like asbestos or mold and many people had home problems for a while but never realized it could be coming from the drywall. Contaminated drywall is most common in areas that have experienced building growth spurts, such as the post-Katrina Gulf area and Florida in the housing boom. Contaminated drywall is also widely found in large scale projects, including apartment complexes and townhomes.

What Are The “Red Flag” Signs and Symptoms Of Chinese Drywall?

The result of contaminated drywall is corrosion of home wiring, including HVAC systems and electrical systems, foul odor in the home, and potential health effects. “Red flag” signs you may have contaminated drywall in your home:

  • Rotten egg or sulfur or other chemical-type odor
  • Electrical problems in the home
  • Black corrosion on copper or other metals
  • Failure of relatively new HVAC systems or refrigerators
  • Blue and yellow side tape on the drywall
  • The Knauf logo on the back of drywall
  • Respiratory problems
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy

What Should You Do?

If you have some of the “red flags” discussed above and you believe you have contaminated drywall in your home you should have a qualified firm like us perform an inspection and bulk sample analysis. You will want to confirm the presence of the contaminated drywall and preserve the evidence with a chain of custody that can be used, if necessary, in future legal proceedings