Drywall Evaluation using x-ray fluorescent (XRF) equipment
Last week I had the opportunity to view an inspection on a home that was known to have Defective drywall. This inspection was non-destructive and said to have immediate accurate results.
First, what is Defective Drywall?
Defective Drywall was mostly imported from China (but can also be from other countries) from 2001 to 2007 and is suspected of emitting gases. These gases are thought to be caused by certain minerals (i.e. sulfur, strontium and iron) which can cause an unpleasant sulfur like odor and corrosion of electrical wiring, air conditioners, copper plumbing, etc... Some people also believe that these gases cause health issues like headaches, nose bleeds, and respiratory problems.
Not all homes with Defective Drywall have an odor. Not all the drywall in a house might be defective. What if a house only has two sheets of Defective Drywall and the rest is good drywall? Not all drywall is alike--it doesn't depend on where it came from but what it was made out of. Complicated! Yes! ...when talking about and dealing with Defective Drywall...there are no absolutes.
So how do we deal with this mess?
We've learned that you can check the air conditioner, electrical wires, and copper plumbing for signs of a black corrosion. Maybe you can get at the back of the drywall and see if it has the company name Knauf on it. Remember, just because the drywall is stamped ‘China' does not make it bad. You could always cut out a piece of the drywall and send it out for testing...right? Wrong! What if the sheet you cut was good drywall but the one next to it not so good? Up until last week that is all we had....
So in I walk, to this lovely smelling house, a bit skeptical.....
It wasn't long before I realized that I was listening to something very interesting. New and exciting! This company uses X-ray fluorescent equipment to test the sheets themselves for certain elements. In a matter of minutes we could see the equipment producing difference numbers as it tested different section of the wall. This sheet was low, that sheet was hot....
Interesting indeed....I have a feeling we are going to be hearing a lot more about x-ray fluorescent evaluating.