Health problems and metal corrosion in homes
Contaminated Chinese drywall has high levels of sulfur, which may be responsible for a rotten egg smell in affected homes, blackened or corroded pipes, failure of air conditioners and other household appliances, and health problems such as asthma, coughing, headaches, sore throats, and irritated eyes.
Health Problems Associated With Problem Drywall
Health problems that may be caused by contaminated Chinese drywall include:
- irritated and itchy eyes and skin
- difficulty in breathing
- persistent cough
- bloody nose
- runny nose
- recurrent headaches
- sore throats
- sinus infections
- asthma attacks
Contaminated Drywall Problems
Homeowners with contaminated drywall usually notice:
- a rotten egg smell within the home
- corrosion or blackening of copper and silver items within the walls and home
- frequent failures of air conditioning units and other appliances and electronics
“Contaminated drywall is indicated if two of the below corroborating conditions are present and drywall was installed between 2005 and 2008; or if four of the below corroborating conditions are present and the drywall was installed between 2001 and 2004”, according to the CPSC:
- copper sulfide or sulfur in the home as confirmed by tests
- drywall is marked as coming from China
- high levels of strontium in drywall core
- high levels of sulfur in drywall core
- elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, or carbon disulfide emitted from drywall when tested in a chamber, and
- Corrosion of copper metal when placed in a test chamber with drywall samples.
Electronics and Appliances
|Copper coils turn black|
Contaminated drywall corrodes piping and wiring, which causes electronic devices and household appliances to work erratically or fail completely. Components and devices that may be affected by contaminated Chinese drywall include:
- Central air conditioning evaporator coils
- Refrigerators, dishwashers and electrical ovens and ranges.
- Televisions, computers, and video gaming systems.
Identification and Replacement
According to the CPSC, “A visual observation of corroded air conditioning evaporator coils and/or electrical wiring by trained inspectors is believed to be a prerequisite for consideration of a home as having problem drywall. The Florida Department of Health has long included such corrosion as part of its definition of problem drywall homes.”
The cost of remediation for Chinese drywall can be immense including drywall, plumbing and electrical. Remediation may include removal of contaminated drywall and installing new, problem-free drywall, removal and replacement of copper; plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.
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Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL serving Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Lake Counties. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.
First Choice Home Inspections