Do You Have Chinese Drywall? – Chinese Drywall Remediation Video Series – Tampa, Florida (3)
Do You Have Chinese Drywall? – Chinese Drywall Remediation Video Series – Tampa, Florida (3)


Hi everyone, Eric Stockland with Charter Bay
Home Builders, and this is our third video in our video series on Chinese drywall remediation.
Today we are going to talk about how do you now make the determination that you have Chinese
drywall in your home. We are making the assumption that if you’re watching these videos you most
likely have Chinese drywall, and you most likely have already made the determination,
but we don’t really think our series would be complete without going through some of
the highlights of how you make the determination. The first thing is to determine if your home
was built or remodeled between 2001 and 2008 as that is the window of time that Chinese
drywall was being imported into the country and was actually being installed. That is
the first criteria you are looking for. The next think you’re looking for is blackening
of copper and silver in your home. The elemental sulfur in Chinese drywall actually causes
the coppers and the silvers to corrode. The copper gets a copper sulfide on it, and the
silver gets a silver sulfide on it, and both of them are black. What you can do is remove
a switch cover plate and look at the ground wire, because the ground wire does not have
any insulation on it. What you are looking to see is if its copper-colored
then it’s not experiencing corrosion, but if it’s black, then it’s exhibiting signs
that are typical of Chinese drywall. You can also look at your air conditioning unit, your
indoor air handler. You can take the front panel off that unit and look at the coils,
which are the copper tubes within that unit. The tell-tale signs of a Chinese drywall home
is that they’ve turned black. You’ve got electric wiring and you can check there, or you’ve
got your air conditioning coil or your evaporator coil, and you also have things like jewelry.
Sometimes jewelry will turn. In the home we’re working on right now, the
door stops that are used to prevent a door from denting the drywall were really thick
with copper sulfide because the metal was copper, and if you wiped your finger on it,
it was black. Those are some of the things you look for that are the tell-tale signs. The other thing that is usually a trigger
that makes people start question what is going on with their home is their air conditioning
unit fails. The interior AC coil of your air handler fails. I have heard as many as 6 to
7 failures. By the second or third time people start to wonder, “what is going on with
my house?” If your air conditioning unit has failed that is another sign that you may
be dealing with something that is causing enough corrosion that it is failing that system. The next thing you will look for that is a
tell-tale sign is the smell. When you come into a home that has Chinese drywall it has
a rotten egg smell, and sometimes it has a burnt match smell. It is usually fairly obvious
and apparent, and some people cannot even stay in the home because it’s so strong. If
you’ve got that odor within a house, it’s a pretty tell-tale sign if you’ve got Chinese
drywall or not. Then, there are the health effects. Some people
say that they suffer from nosebleeds, recurrent headaches, asthma issues, and those kinds
of things. If you’re suffering from health effects that you didn’t experience before
you moved into that home, that may be another sign. The next thing you’ll want to do, if you’ve
gone through that list, and you’ve determined that your house meets some of those conditions,
your will want some sort of concrete evidence. Unfortunately, the only way to really do that
is to actually find a piece of drywall that says Chinese drywall on it. It will say; Made
in China; or it will say, Knauf; which is the manufacturer. It depends where the Chinese
drywall came from. The thing that we recommend is first go up
into your attic and just poke around a little bit. If you’ve got blown insulin, move a little
of it around and see if you can see any markings. If you’ve got batt insulation, it’s a little
bit more difficult, but you can actually pull that up and look around. That will be the
easiest way to determine whether or not you have it. The caution here is that you’re not likely
to find it. The reason is that ceiling board is different than Chinese board. If the builder
did your home correctly, there should not be any Chinese drywall in your ceiling. Unfortunately, like in the home we’re doing
right now, it took me all of four seconds to find, Made in China. I walked into the
second-story laundry room, took down the attic stairs, walked into the attic, looked at a
space, decided to start there, moved the insulin and right there it said; Made in China. That
was really pure luck, but you might want to try it and see what you can find. The next thing you’re going to do is that
if you don’t find any evidence upstairs in the attic, choose a small room in your house.
Choose a utility closet, choose your air handler closet, but don’t choose a space adjacent
to your garage because your garage is going to have fire-rated board in it. You don’t
want to minimize your chances of finding Chinese drywall. Choose a space that is away from
the garage area. Once you choose your space, take a key-hole
saw, which is made to cut drywall, and cut a pretty big section. Cut a four feet by four
feet, or 4 x 4, section out and remove it. Hopefully on that piece of board it will have
some sort of distinguishing mark on it. If not, the flip board that you’ll now be able
to see the backside of, which is the adjacent room’s drywall, will hopefully have something. If either of those do not you can look up
into the cavity with a flashlight and see one side or the other side, and those four
spaces should be able to yield a marking. If you’re still living in the home, and if
your air conditioning system is still on, you will then want to take that board and
put it back into place. You can just tape it so it’s in place
and set temporarily. Finally, now that you’ve gone through, made
the determination and hopefully been able to find a piece of drywall that says, Made
in China, the next thing will be to have that piece of drywall tested. The first caution
I have is there are a great deal of scams right now. There is Chinese drywall blood
in the water, and the shark’s are circling. The Florida State Attorney General has actually
issued a warning to consumers against fraudulent scams and marketing that say they have tests
for Chinese drywall, they have cures for Chinese drywall. We’ll get into the cure claims in
our next video. For now, be aware that of the testing agencies out there, a lot of them
are fraudulent. They make claims that have not been substantiated, and will take large
sums of money from you and, for the most part, will not give you results that are conclusive.
Be really, really careful. What you want to do with your piece of board
is send it off to an accredited testing agency, an actual laboratory, and what they will do
is test it for elemental sulfur. They may test for other things, like strontium, but
the main thing they are looking for is elemental sulfur. From that, you will have a piece of
board that said it was from China, you will have a testing laboratory that will tell you
how much elemental sulfur is being off-gassed from that piece, and the you’ll know really
what you’re dealing with. I spoke a little bit about the fraudulent
tests, and there are air tests that are legitimate. The problem with Chinese drywall is that the
standards they have for elemental sulfur are in the parts-per-millions. Chinese drywall
homes are actually emitting and are not testing in the parts-per-billions, so it is very difficult
to get an accurate air test form a home that is conclusive in any way. The main thing you
want is to have a hard piece of drywall, get it tested for elemental sulfur, and then you
know. Hopefully this list of items has been helpful.
In the next video we will go into that now you have determined you have Chinese drywall,
what do you do about it. And that will be next time. Until then, Eric with Charter Bay.

1 thought on “Do You Have Chinese Drywall? – Chinese Drywall Remediation Video Series – Tampa, Florida (3)”

  1. Darla says:

    Thank you for the good information. I may write an article about this topic soon and your video will be great to include/embed

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