Home Buying in 34119>Question Details

Ethan Kessler, Home Buyer in Shishmaref, AK

Looking at this community as an investment and second home. I am reading issues about chinese drywall, any info would be appreciated

Asked by Ethan Kessler, Shishmaref, AK Mon Aug 9, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Fog. Here's my blog about Chinese drywall and what's going on with homes and developments that have it:


I wrote this blog a while ago. Since then, there have been new protocols published on ridding homes from the bacterial residue left over from the drywall.

It's a complete nightmare. Is there any reason you can't buy in a community that does NOT have Chinese drywall? There's so much inventory out there at bargain prices, why not shop for something not stigmatized by this drywall?


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
Hello Fogland,
Most answers are correct. However, defective drywall was used from 2002 onwards in various states of the USA, including Florida and it is not only builders of new property that unknowingly used it, some owners renovating pre-2002 property could potentially have used defective drywall too. The main thing to do is play safe by (a) Researching the community your thinking of buying into, (b) Use a good reputable real estate agent that knows the area (A buyers agent with the ABR designation rather than the listing agent who is trying to sell the property) and (c) have the agent represent you as a "Single agent" to fully look after your interests, rather than a "transaction agent" who can only offer you limited representation and finally (d) make sure your agent includes a "Defective Drywall Disclosure and Inspection Addendum" to any standard contract. That gives you not only the right to inspect for defective drywall but more importantly the option to cancel the contract if Chinese drywall is found on the property, which gives you piece of mind and protection.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Chinese drywall is a health hazard no doubt about it. Testing for it is scattered at best even though there are companies that specialize for that on site the best way is take samples and have them tested at an independant lab. There are still no government standards for this testing. And don't forget that if one "panel" is affected the entire condo/home has to be remediated. One thing a lot of people don't know is that if you are looking at a foreclosure the bank will make huge monetary consessions to get it off their inventory list. If it is not a foreclosure and you walk away the seller's will have to disclose it which could be a negotiating tool for you and it could benefit you in the bottom line. As an agent I would look at homes bulit OR remodeled after 2002 just to be safe. A good question to ask the builder or developer is their policy on remediation. If it is an older community your risks are lower unless it has been remodeled.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
The best way to protect yourself is to use this company as part of your home inspection process and should the inspector find Chinese drywall you can terminate your contract or renegotiate the sales price for repair. http://www.drywallscience.com/ Feel free to contact me directly for more specific information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Having a second home in sunny FL and summer in Alaska - that is a dream!
When purchasing a home in SW Florida our team always protects the buyer by submitting an addendum to the offer contract that covers the possibility that there may be Chinese Drywall. There are differen degrees and prices of inspection for this problem and that is a discussion you need to have with your agent upon time of submitting an offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Though this question was asked last year, there have been new developments in the past week.
I recommend the following website and an article from the Bradenton FL Herald for the most recent information concerning this subject:


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 22, 2011
Homes built since 2003 and beyond. Find a good home inspector to come out and see the drywall for themselves.

Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 22, 2011
Hello Fogland,
The best way to determine if there is "Chinese" (a.k.a Defective) Drywall is to have a Chinese Drywall specialist inspect your home and write your purchase contract contingent upon such an inspection. Here is a quote from the person that I use:
"As a chemist I knew there had to be a scientific way to detect defective drywall without destroying the home. Therefore, I developed and patented the X-ray method described below. Now we have four offices in Florida and have done around 1000 inspections." Jack Frost

Visual inspection of corrosive metals and the unique Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) smell are certainly possible signs of bad drywall in a home, but not conclusive. However, I was able to scientifically identify, using portable XRF, "defective" drywall from acceptable drywall by the high strontium (Sr) content. This unique Sr signature for defective drywall was first reported by Unified engineering and later confirmed by the EPA and CPSC:

•“The Gypsum sample manufactured in the United States (Gridmarx LOC1) contained non strontium rich inclusions detectable by SEM/EDS or XRD. The other three drywall samples that originated from China contained strontium sulfide inclusions at trace levels. According to the Merck index, strontium sulfide has the odor of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in moist air”
United Engineering report 20 March 2009
•“The initial analysis shows the presence of strontium at 2570ppm and 2670ppm in the Chinese drywall samples, whereas strontium was detected in the US-manufactured drywall at 244ppm to 1130ppm.”
EPA report 7 May 2009
•“ These statistical findings are consistent with the previous EPA studies of different drywall samples that showed elevated levels of Strontium and Sulfur in Chinese drywall.”
CPSC study 18 Nov 2009

I have a patent pending status on a patent that I filed in April on "The method and system for analysis of elements in drywall utilizing X-ray flourescence"

Notice I use "defective" drywall, and not specifically “Chinese defective" drywall. Although for the most part the "defective" drywall has been imported from China , there is suspicion that other drywall manufacturers and/or recycled drywall may be suspect as well.

Not only do I hesitate to use the term “Chinese” drywall, I also find the word “defective” to be misleading. The only standard for drywall ASTM 1396C, does not regulate the elemental composition, only the physical properties. Therefore, the defective drywall causing the problem does not contravene any laws or standards of manufacture.

Drywall Science has tested over 500 homes and over 20,000 pieces of drywall throughout the State of Florida. I have found many examples of homes to have defective drywall, but without the classic smell and visual symptoms. However, you can always rely on confirmation of good or defective drywall using the XRF for testing high Sr levels. Some homes that have been kept cool and dry and have a small number of defective drywall boards may not give any smell or visual symptoms.

In conclusion, I believe that a defective drywall test should be done before existing homes are purchased, sold, insured and/or mortgaged. And for homes being built, drywall needs to be tested before it is hung on the walls. The most suspect date is 2006 to 2008, but we have found defective drywall in homes built in 2001. Remediation is very expensive, but the already existing problem must be dealt with and not passed on to unsuspecting people. However, with this scientific, non-destructive, cost-effective and conclusive test, the problem will never reappear.

Feel free to contact me for Jack's contact information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 4, 2010
Not all homes or condos in a community where Chinese Drywall has been found have been universally so. But Chinese Drywall inspections have become as common as Mold or Radon. These are all areas of concern and you have the right to have the inspections. However, these inspections are almost always performed at the expense of the prospective buyer.

In the case of an "as is" type sale if you are truly interested in the property my suggestion would be to have the inspection prior to making an offer; yes, the expense will be yours and you will be responsible for repairing any damages caused by the inspection (generall with Chinese Drywall a small section of drywall is cut out from various areas within the property), but better to know prior to entering into the contract.
Agnes Tabor, REALTOR
Florida Licensed
Premiere Plus Realty
(239) 564-0384
Web Reference: http://agnestabor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
Homes that are were built between 2004 and 2007 are the primary homes that we look for Chinese Drywall, however the ratio of affected homes goes up for homes that were built (CO-Certified Occupancy) in 2005-2006. NOT every builder had this issue and there are plenty of homes that were built during these years that were not affected. Rather than an area we usually look at how old the home is.
Some tell tale signs that an inspector looks at: smells like rotten eggs (sulphur), discolored or deteriorated faucets and possibly silver plated jewelry. They also look at the copper wiring behind electrical outlets, refrigerators and AC units to see if the wires are "blackening." When the sulphur in the drywall comes in contact with moisture/humidity, etc... it activates the sulphur which shouldn't be in the drywall to begin with.

You can have it inspected-might cost around $350.

Let me know if we can help you with anything.
All the best,

Mary Cassidy
Real Estate Business Coach
Keller Williams Elite Realty
24851 S. Tamiami Trail #1
Bonita springs, FL 34134
Cell: 239-292-2379
Office: 239-949-8338
Fax: 239-949-8339
Email: MaryCassidy@kw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 21, 2010

chinese drywall is a sensitive and important issue. As you know during the drywall shortages of 2002-2009, a lot of builders used chinese drywall that later was discovered to be defective causing problems with electric wiring as well as a foul smell. The best way to make sure that the house you're purchase does not in fact contain chinese drywall is to do a drywall inspection. Your realtor will more than equipped to help you get that arranged.
Let us know if you need any further help!

Andrew Ollick
Amerivest Realty
Faith Home Loans
skype: napleshomes
Get Pre-Approved: http://www.faithhomeloans.com/express.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
As stated before.....not sure what info you are looking for. We sell a lot of homes in chinese drywall communities and know the ins and outs. If you would like more clarity let me know.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Good Morning Fogland: Depending on the nature of the transaction will dictate how to proceed with the deal. In otherwords, if you have an as-is situation that would be different if you are buying this property "normally" (what is normal these days! LOL ) What I mean by that is using a standard Naples sales contract. Whether you are concerned about Chinese Drywall, or for that matter anything your inspections give you the protection you would need prior to proceeding to closing. The major difference is how you react if you find defects be it Chinese Drywall or whatever. This will translate back to the AS-IS or "Normal" contract. If you need further guidance let me know. Regards, Chris
Web Reference: http://www.spinarealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Seems that most of the Chinese drywall was in homes built from 2005 to 2007. It also seems that it was by "production" builders ... companies that were ordering large amounts of drywall at one time.
I would suggest that anyone buying a home or condo built in 2004 - 2008, pay the extra money for a Chinese drywall inspection. If it test positive ... walk ... unless you are buying for lot value only!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
As answered earlier, you need to specify the community you are referring to.
Chinese drywall inspection is one of the many services and reasons why buyers need to be represented by a professional Realtor. I recently had this inspection completed for a buyer from out of state.

Mary Horesco
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.
"Voted #1 by Naples Daily News Readers Eight Years in a Row"
Web Reference: http://www.maryhoresco.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
with any home built since 2002, I would recomend a good home inspection including drywall., if a home has it, I would advise my buyers to keep looking. There are too many unknown aspects to the condition. Just be aware, One house may have it, another may not. Oneor more panels in a home may be defective, others may not. Be sure your inspector is qualified.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
Which community are you referring to? The only way to know for sure what type of drywall is in a specific residence is to have a company with a XRF gun (measures the levels of Strontium) come out to the unit and test each panel. I have worked with a great local company in the past, and I'd be happy to discuss it with you. Feel free to contact me at anytime.

Ryan Bleggi
Downing-Frye Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
You may wish to ask your question again and be a little more specific as to what community you are referring to so that your question can be answered accordingly--in the meantime any local agents(s) can help you--contact any realty office(s) and inquire.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
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