Normally the articles that I bring you give you all sorts of advice on how to fix up your home yourself. However, this article is going to be very very different. It carries with it a grim warning to each and every homeowner who built or remodeled a home sometime between 2004 and 2007. So what was it that happened between 2004 and 2007 that could cause your remodel or new build to have such a grim outlook?
During this timeframe there were scores of natural disasters that demolished thousands upon thousands of homes. One of the worst was Hurricane Katrina. As a response to these disasters thousands upon thousands of good Samaritans banned together to rebuild the destroyed homes. What they didn’t know was that the United States producers of drywall just couldn’t keep up with the heavy demand so Chinese drywall was brought in in huge quantities. What is wrong with that? Well, according to, Cain Burdeau, Associated Press Writer for Eyewitness News 3, Chinese drywall has 100 times more hydrogen sulfide then drywall made anywhere else.
And what is wrong with hydrogen sulfide? Actually there is a lot wrong with it. Over time it can it cause irritations in the nose, throat and eyes. It can also corrode such vital items as your computer components, your electrical wiring and your air conditioning units. This renders homes with high levels of hydrogen sulfide un-inhabitable. Yet another hard blow to the many families who lost everything during the Katrina disaster.
Flipping through page after page of news to create this article for you I was hit by the many pictures of homes bearing signs and banners on them, both professionally and hand made. The signs all read the same, “Toxic house. Chinese Drywall.”. The more I looked the more chills ran down my spine. It was literally like looking at the Katrina disaster all over again. You know what I’m talking about? The hand painted signs on the sides of destroyed homes. Messages telling people if a home was condemned or not and how many people had died there. However, before you start putting up toxic signs on your home’s exterior, let’s see what you can do to find out if you have Chinese drywall in the first place.
First, you need to think back. Did you do any major remodeling or building between 2004 and 2007? If so then you will need to do some further snooping around. Is there a foul rotted egg smell within your home? Have you and your family been experiencing unusual and frequent occurrences of fatigue, headaches and itchy eyes? Has jewelry in your home suddenly become tarnished for no apparent reason? Is your computer malfunctioning even though it may be a newer model? If you answered yes to these questions then you will need to call in a testing facility to test your air quality. Check your local phonebook for air quality control laboratories or call your local Realtor to find one in your area.
If your test results come back positive then you will need to remove a test piece of the drywall to ensure once and for all that you truly do have Chinese Drywall and to verify which manufacturer made it. Once you have all your ducks in a row you will need to find yourself a good lawyer to assist you in becoming one of the many complainants against the various manufacturers of Chinese Drywall.
So, now that you have the facts, what does Doc think of all this mess with the drywall? Quite honestly I don’t believe that the Chinese intentionally did this to our country as some sort of ploy to harm Americans. The components that make up drywall are a naturally occurring substance found deep in the bowels of the earth. It is quite possible that their mines simply have more hydrogen sulfide then American mines do and, due to lax governmental control over toxins, they may not even be aware of it until now. It is very much like the water collection systems in Bermuda. Rainwater collects on Bermudian roofs, along with all sorts of bird dung and bugs and filters down into cisterns in the basements. Tourists who drink the water often become ill whereas locals drink the water all the time without consequence. Why? The locals are used to the toxins found in the water. Their bodies have built up a natural immunity to it. So how does this relate to sheetrock? Maybe the people of China have built up an immunity to the hydrogen sulfide and therefore they find it to be no problem for them.