Although this defective drywall was imported into the United States and FL as early as 2001, Chinese drywall was generally imported into the United States in large amounts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, when there was a shortage of drywall for the reconstruction of homes and also new construction. That drywall was later discovered to contain toxins that corroded pipes and electrical wiring, emitted foul odors (rotten egg smell) and allegedly caused headaches and breathing problems for some people. The discovery led to thousands of lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors and installers of Chinese drywall. One of the larger cases was just settled this year.
I went back and looked at some articles I had saved on Chinese drywall, as the situation first became a media topic in our area back in 2009.
According to the newspaper articles, 3 builders in our area were found to have used the Chinese drywall in question: Lennar, Taylor Morrison and WCI Communities.
In Heritage Harbour, there were a few homes in River Strand and Stoneybrook that had the tainted drywall, but the bulk of the problems were in Lighthouse Cove, especially Montauk Point Crossing. The builder has replaced the drywall in many of the affected homes. Chinese drywall was also found in a small number of homes in Waterlefe, Greyhawk Landing and Lakewood Ranch, according to the articles. Another problem spot was Stoneybrook in VENICE, another Lennar community.
The homes that have the Chinese drywall in our area were generally built between 2004 and 2008. Most of these homes have been identified and the defective drywall removed. However, I did see an article recently mentioning that several investors buying up foreclosure properties in these areas were complaining that they found Chinese drywall in the newly purchased properties. So I would not go so far as to assume that every property in our area that was built with the defective drywall has had the drywall replaced
I always advise my buyers to include a Chinese Drywall Addendum to their purchase offers and consider having a test done for Chinese drywall if there's any question that the home may have tainted drywall. That also goes for older homes that were remodeled during that same time period.
Diane Christner, Realtor, GRI, SFR, CNE
Realty Executives Solutions