Home Buying in Cape Coral>Question Details

Duane Hartle, Home Buyer in Cape Coral, FL

Is there a build year that one can be sure that a house was built before the Chinese drywall issue? Is CDW noticeable ? Thanks!

Asked by Duane Hartle, Cape Coral, FL Fri Apr 13, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Chinese drywall began arriving in the United States in 2001 and was imported in larger quantities after the 2004 - 2005 hurricane repairs and continued in quantity until 2007. Chinese drywall continued to be imported and used in home construction throughout the US. Feb 2009, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida requested a ban on the defective drywall, and a bill urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall Chinese-made drywall and temporarily ban its import. It was only in Nov of 2009 that the CPSC issued its report about Chinese drywall. Chinese drywall was installed in an unknown number of new construction projects throughout the US. I have seen numbers like 100,000 homes built with and half a billion pounds of drywall imported after 2006.

Frank Carr
Home Inspector
First Choice Home Inspections
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
Thanks for the info!
Flag Sun Jan 11, 2015
Tip #7: Chinese Drywall

Chinese drywall includes most defective drywall that was imported from China from 2001 to 2007. Mostly homes built in 2006 will raise a red flag in Cape Coral. This tainted drywall emits sulfuric gas and noxious odors and can cause corrosion on metal surfaces, internal writing, appliances and electronics.

Dangers from Chinese Drywall

Corrosion resulting from Chinese Drywall can create issues with electrical appliances, including alarm systems and smoke detectors. In very high concentrations, Chinese drywall emits hydrogen sulfide, a dangerous gas that is considered fatal in high levels. The highly toxic compounds found in this drywall can be particularly dangerous to growing children. It affects not only their bone growth but also their nervous system.

Signs of Chinese Drywall

Rotten egg, sulfur or ammonia smells upon entering your home can be signs of Chinese drywall. Not all owners report these smells, so it is important that you look for signs of corroded copper wires, air
conditioning coils, and corrosion on other metal sources.

Where does it come from?

A complete understanding of the sources of the issue with Chinese drywall is not known, but it suspected that mined gypsum (which contains high level of strontium) was included in the production and may be the cause of the defect.

If you suspect that you may have Chinese drywall in your home or a home that you’re considering purchasing, it is imperative that you hire an inspector to check your home for common symptoms caused by Chinese drywall. Inspectors are licensed and knowledgeable in all aspects of concern in buying a home.

If you prefer to buy a home that has not been made with Chinese drywall, contact us
today for more information.

12 Tips to Buying Real Estate in Southwest Florida
Learn more by visiting http://www.AckermanSWFL.com or calling (239) 565-7867.
Copyright © 2010. AJ Ackerman & Associates. All Rights Reserved.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Is there a build year that one can be sure that a house was built before the Chinese drywall issue?

You can be reasonable certain that there is not a CDW issue is before 2000. You must be also certain the home did not have drywall replaced between 2000 and 2007.

Contaminated drywall imported from China came to SW Florida and was used in the majority of homes that were are the drywall stage of construction after Hurricane Charley, in late 2004 with continued use through early 2007.

An older home that had a remodel involving drywall replacement between 2000 – 2007 may have some CDW.

The good news is, 7 years later, a home contaminated with CDW is hard to find. Most have been purchased at deeply discounted prices, rehabbed and sold.

Is CDW noticeable?
A house where most of the drywall is CDW will smell strongly of sulfur. If only a few pieces of CDW where used, CDW may be difficult to detect. The problem is not the drywall itself, but the damage the high sulfur content causes to anything made of metal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 19, 2013
Many builder used the defective drywall during the years of 2004-2007. Although the comments below are also true, the majority of the homes built with the materials were during the shortage due to the rebuilding of the gulf coast after the hurricane and the building bubble in all of Florida and surrounding areas.

However the defective drywall did not only come form China, there were also imported from Brazil, and other Central American Countries.

Adolfo Diaz
Century 21 Sunbelt
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 8, 2013
If this concerns you, an experienced agent in the area will probably already know which homes have Chinese drywall. They have probably shown the houses many times.

Be careful of buying homes where the Chinese drywall issue was not properly remediated. There are now published recommended guidelines on how to do this.

Ray Stevens
Branch Manager
239 481-9514
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
Buildings made from around 2004 to 2007, or buildings that underwent repair/remodeling work during that period have great chances of having defective drywall. During that time, the US's drywall industry wasn't able to keep up with demand because of the housing boom and the rebuilding done after Hurricane Katrina. I have also extracted this information from a presentation, this might help you:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 13, 2013
Most homes that used CDW were between 2004 and 2009 , industry experts indicate. There are other ways to inspect for CDW if you buy within those years. Consult a home inspector for signs and signals that there may be a presence of CDW in a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
As others have told you chinese drywall is usually noticeable - there are several signs to look for in addition to the smell. Regardless of the year a home was built you should still have a chinese drywall inspection to be sure. You need to remember that thousands of homes had damage when we had the storms in 2004 and 2005 and even if the home was built before chinese drywall was brought in the drywall could have been used when the storm damaged homes were repaired.

Feel free to email me at leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net or call me at 239-707-4575 if you would like more information on chinese drywall or if you have any other questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 26, 2012
My email has changed to bonniemiller08@gmail.com if you need to contact me.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
There are many homes in the United States that have chinese drywall. There are many types of chinese drywall. It seems that 2006 was the worst year but that does not mean that all homes built in 2006 have chinese drywall. It also doesn't mean that all chinese drywall smells like sulpher. I can tell you from my many experiences with it, that I can not breath in it. It affects different people in different ways. I good home inspector will 1st check for chinese drywall before proceeding any further with the home inspection. As far as the build year, if someone did a remodel in any year house with chinese drywall, that house could of been infected with it.

If you would like help finding a home in our area without chinese drywall, please email me at bmillerrealtor@yahoo.com or call me direct at 239-229-1339. I have been a local realtor here for the last 10 years and have seen the good and the bad. I hope this helps to some degree with your questions.

Bonnie L Miller, PA
The Paradise Team
Sellstate Priority Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
I generally find the smell pretty noticable and the damage to the wiring pretty noticable. If you're buying, pay the extra money for the Chinese drywall extra inspection to be more certain. If you already own the home, and suspect there may be an area of Chinese drywall, look for an old penny you've dropped. If the penny is black, there's a drywall issue. If the penny is still bright copper, you're probably okay. This is not a definitive test, just an indicator.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Most experts agree that chinese drywall homes started in 2002 and ended in 2007. There are some mild variations. It is usually very noticeable by smell and investigation of copper in A.C. coil and electrical outlets.

Steve Geving:
(O) 239-573-1400
(C) 239-321-1395
(F) 239-288-0537
Jones and Co Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
I would not recommend to a buyer, agent or even homeowner that they investigate the wiring of an electrical outlet or even venture to disassemble their HVAC to check the coils. Only a qualified and trained person should attempt the items you suggest. I recommend only a qualified home inspector, electrician, or HVAC technician should evaluate the systems you suggest.
Flag Fri Apr 5, 2013
There is a local Cape Coral company that uses x-ray technology and has the ability to certify a home relative to this material. The process isn't inexpensive and cost upwards of $600. We just had a Chinese drywall evaluation that involved nearly 400 readings.

One of the dilemmas associated with Chinese drywall is that homes can have varying degrees of this material. Identifying a home with only a few sheets can be much more of a challenge that one built totally of it.

We would be happy to provide you with the name and contact information for this company at your request.

Hope this is helpful.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Hey Duane, Most of the CD homes have been purchased by construction company's wanting to rehab them. However this week I have been into two built in 2006 with it and have found several on the MLS for a builder looking for more with it. The biggest boom years for it were 2005-2007.

The smell is like someone just struck a match (sulfuric). The ground wires in the outlets are usually black as well as the copper wiring in the air handlers. I always leave these homes with a bad taste in my mouth.

Happy to help you when you are ready. Our purchase contracts allow you to have an inspection period of up to 15 days during which time if you find issues that you do not want to deal with you can cancel your contract. Thanks for the great question.

Sarah Garrett, Realtor
"Chosen best in client satisfaction 2006-2011" by Gulfshore Life Magazine
Cell: 239-464-8620
Email: sarahgarrett@argfl.com
Web: http://www.flrealestatebuysell.com
Web Access to MLS:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
I have a buyer whose home has defective drywall that was made in the US! It was built in 2004 and he bought in 2005 before we had any idea there was a probem. So make sure you have a good inspector who knows what they are looking for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
There is no guarantee!!! Example: a home built in 1985 had severe storm damage when Hurricane Charlie hit in August of 2003...there is a possibility chinese drywall was used for repairs.

I can usually detect the signs of chinese drywall however I have encountered 2 homes over the last year that when inspections were done the inspector found only 1 room in both of the houses with the defective drywall. Neither home had a bad odor so it is not always as obvious as some people think and I am very sensative to smells.

Do NOT assume because a home was built in a certain year or that the home doesn't smell really bad etc...that you are guaranteed there is no chinese drywall in the home.

Protect yourself and get a chinese drywall inspection...the cost is well worth the piece of mind.

Should you need assistance with your home search please feel free to contact me. As a resident of Cape Coral for almost 24 years I know the area extremely well and will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Terry McCarley, Realtor®, CDPE
Jones & Co Realty
email: leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net
phone: 239-707-4575
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
Hello Duane,

The smell from the Chinese drywall is so bad, you will know for a fact that it is in the house.
If only a small portion of the house has it, then yes, a good home inspector should perform a specail inspection (it is an additional charge) on Chinese drywall presence.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
The periods that are of concern are 2001-2008. After 2005 is of greater concern. Regardless, a home inspector is really the only way to have any certainty when buying a house. A good inspector should also be able to detect if the homes was re mediated for defective drywall.
Web Reference: http://www.joesansone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012

It is most common I have seen when the building boom was in the years 2004-2007. Although, like others mentioned, it was around before and after this. It is noticeable when the whole or majority if the house was built with it by a strong sulfur smell. Also, all copper wiring on the ac handler and electrical wiring will turn black. Another way to tell is a stamp on the top of the drywall in the attic reading China. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Frank Glaab
Gulf Gateway Realty, inc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
Chinese drywall was used from 2001-2008. Homes built before or after then *should* be fine. Anything built before 2001 can possibly have pieces of defective drywall if it was remodeled to update or repair after the hurricanes came through in 2004 & 2005.

A home inspection is especially important and if it makes you feel more comfortable, separate defective drywall testing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
Not every builder used CDW and it's very noticeable !
Primarily homes built between 2003-2008 are suspect, but that doesn't mean they all have it. In some instances there was only a few sheets used and in others the whole house has it. They is no shortage of websites showing the cause and effect of CDW. If you google it you'll find all information needed including pictures and how to remediate homes with CDW and the costs to do so.

If you're buying a good home inspector will detect it. But there are signs you can be looking for.
Google it and educate yourself as you are the first inspector of any home your interested in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer