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Charlotte Home Inspector Asks – Could Your New Home Have Harmful Drywall From China?

May 15th, 2009 · No Comments

When the demand for housing materials was booming back in 2005, partially due to the increase in demand brought about by Katrina’s destruction, construction companies were hard-pressed to meet the demands set by clients. As such, they began to look at more inexpensive options to meet the huge demand for housing while maximizing their profits, with substandard procedures.

There is one particularly insidious danger that threatens the inhabitants of a substandard home. You won’t notice its effects until the signs begin to show, and by then the damage would have been done. The nasty smell of rotten eggs, electronic devices suddenly breaking down and constant respiratory problems that comes from nowhere are three signs of a drywall that emits sulfur gas.

Rotten Eggs
The first and probably the most irritating sign of a substandard drywall is the looming smell of rotten eggs or at least the smell of ignited matchstick-heads when you enter your home. The nose usually gets used to these smells, and this is why you need to get inside straight from the outdoors in order for you to pick up the scent. Some home inspectors will simply dismiss this smell as a ‘new home’ one if they are not aware of the dangers of sulfur gases permeating your home.

Sudden Electronic Failures
Another sign of substandard drywall is the sudden failure of electronic devices like the TV or the air conditioner. Copper coils corrode very easily in high-sulfur environments, and the most prominent sign of this is when copper is covered by a black-soot. What follows next is a slow but sure process of corrosion that will explain just why electrical appliances suddenly fail to function.

Inexplicable Respiratory Problems
A more long-term sign of high sulfur content is the sudden onset of respiratory problems that seem to be aggravated only when you or your family is inside the house. These respiratory problems range from simple coughs to full-blown lung cancer if exposed to the sulfur long enough, and should be enough to warrant an inspection of the home’s interior components.

What can you do?
Even if you experience all the aforementioned problems in your home, only specialists will be able to determine for certain if your drywalls emit toxic levels of sulfur. This is because other problems like mold or radon may be the real cause of your problems, and it would be unwise to jump to the immediate conclusion that your drywalls are the source of your problems.

Another note: if the contractor of your home ordered drywall supplies from Florida or China-based companies, you may especially want to call in a specialist to check your home. A certain company going by the name of Knauf Drywall is the prime suspect when it comes to these substandard drywalls, and in-depth investigations are currently ongoing as to whether or not Knauf Drywalls contain dangerous levels of sulfur.

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Tags: Drywall · Environmental Hazards · Unusual Findings

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