Chinese Drywall

What is Chinese Drywall?

During the housing boom, some States were experiencing building material shortages. Cape Coral and Fort Myers were among the hottest places in America, receiving national attention! Some homes were built or renovated using defective drywall imported from or manufactured in China. This defective drywall reportedly emits levels of sulfur methane and/or other volatile organic compounds that cause corrosion of items in the house and can pose health risks

A bit of caution should be taken on any age home than may have had some renovation done that required the use of drywall between 2002 through 2008.


1. One of the first signs of Chinese drywall is a strong sulfur smell, similar to the smell of rotten eggs. Lots of people in new homes pass this off as smell from the paint, or new carpeting, etc. If you smell sulfur in your home, you should consider having some testing. Also, just because your home doesn’t smell like sulfur doesn’t mean you don’t have Chinese drywall. In cooler environments, Chinese drywall contaminated homes have been found not to smell.

2. Check for corrosion on your metal faucets, drains, mirrors, picture frames, jewelery, etc. Anything that contains decorative metal in your home should be checked for pitting, darks spots, or a dark discoloration. These are tell-tale signs of Chinese drywall.

3. Also, check the copper in your home. If you see darkening of copper wires, you may have Chinese drywall. A good place to check the copper in your home is at your water heater. There should be a few copper pipes around the top of your water heater.

4. Watch for failing appliances. If your appliances like TV’s, air conditioning unit or refrigerator have stop working or are working poorly, especially if they are relatively new, you may have Chinese drywall in your home.

When placing an offer on a property to purchase, your Agent will include a Chinese Drywall Addendum. In Short, this state basically what was mention above, and includes an acknowledgement by the seller that he is unaware of any defective drywall. If there are some, he will disclose that information.

The Addendum also allows the buyers 2 options.

1: To waives the opportunity to conduct any testing.

2: Gives the buyer the right to inspect the property, at his expense and the buyer agree to pay for any damage the inspection may have done. It also allows the buyer to set a limit he may want to spend to make the needed correction. It also allows the buyer to cancel the contract, and receive full refund of the buyer deposit, within 3 days after the inspection, by written request. Failure to do so, the buyer may not terminate the contract.

The last item the Addendum has is the disclosure that the listing/seller agent is unaware of any other situation other than what was disclosured by the seller, and he has not done any independent investigation.

Remedy of defective drywall is very expensive and is based on square footage. The house has to be gutted down to the wood frame, and all the wiring and plumbing has to be replaced. Also, the government recommend all-electric item be replaced, such as washer/dryer/air conditioner, smoke detector, etc,

The below is like a summary of what was mention.

Thanks to Charter bay homes for the information.

Ron Wolchesky


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