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
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.
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.
I recommend the following website and an article from the Bradenton FL Herald for the most recent information concerning this subject:
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:
â€¢â€œThe 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 airâ€
United Engineering report 20 March 2009
â€¢â€œThe 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.â€
EPA report 7 May 2009
â€¢â€œ 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.â€
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 â€œChinese 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 â€œChineseâ€ drywall, I also find the word â€œdefectiveâ€ 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.
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
Premiere Plus Realty
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,
Real Estate Business Coach
Keller Williams Elite Realty
24851 S. Tamiami Trail #1
Bonita springs, FL 34134
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!
Faith Home Loans
Get Pre-Approved: http://www.faithhomeloans.com/express.html
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!
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.
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.
"Voted #1 by Naples Daily News Readers Eight Years in a Row"