My husband and I are looking to purchase a new home in the Williamsburg, VA area. We would like to avoid buying a home where Chinese drywall was used in construction. How can you tell a home was built with Chinese drywall? Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Cindy 0'Hara, TN
Chinese drywall was used in new home construction at the height of the building boom, between 2006-2007, when there was a drywall shortage, and there was an upsurge in post-hurricane construction. It was not used in ALL new home construction of that time period. Here are some of the indications a home was built with Chinese drywall:
- Chinese drywall emits a putrid smell, like rotten eggs. It tends to smell like sulfur, one of the materials used in Chinese drywall. Hot, humid areas bring the smell out.
- Electrical outlets and appliances in the home are corroded, especially copper wiring or components. Some consumers have reported air conditioning units, refrigerators, or other electrical appliances or wiring failing.
- People living in homes with Chinese drywall report itchy eyes and skin, breathing problems, coughing, bloody or running noses, persistent and/or recurring headaches, sinus infections, and aggravation of asthma symptoms.
- As of April 2010, 123 occurrences (4%) of Chinese drywall were reported in Virginia to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The majority of instances of Chinese drywall reports are in Florida (59%) and Louisiana (20%).
Here are some websites where photos of Chinese drywall and the damage to electrical wiring and copper components, can be viewed:
- Drywall Information Center, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- "Chinese-made drywall ruining homes, owners say," CNN.com
- Chinese Drywall Complaint Center
- Do you have Chinese drywall?
Thanks for Asking,
By: Elaine VonCannon ABR, SRES, REALTOR, Notary, Team Leader, Residential and Commercial Property Manager, Managing Partner VonCannon-Starke Commercial Division, Member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Award Winning Agent, RE/MAX Hall of Fame, Licensed in Virginia, Member of Commercial Council VAR
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