Chinese Drywall Facts

Chinese Drywall Facts

Before you start panicking over the recent reports regarding the crisis with drywall imported from China, please do yourself a favor and read what the State of Florida has published on their website. I feel it is in your best interest to direct you to this official source in order for you to be well informed and are able to make sensible decisions based on what information the State of Florida is able to provide for now. Please check back periodically as I will be providing the latest information as I receive it. Remember not every piece of drywall used in construction or remodeling here in South Florida is tainted. There are many newer communities in Miami, Homestead and throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties that are perfectly fine. Give me a call and I’ll be more than happy to share what information I have regarding this and any other home or property inspection issue you seek information about. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Below is the official state link and screenshots taken from that website.

http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/casedefinition.html

First, determine the date of construction

To meet the current case definition (03-30-09) homes constructed after 2003 (2004 to present) must meet two or more conditions; and those built prior to 2004 must meet three or more of the conditions specified below.

  1. There is presence of sulfur-like or other unusual odors
  2. Confirmed presence of Chinese manufactured drywall in the home (Pictures)
  3. Observed copper corrosion, indicated by black, sooty coating of Un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit present in the garage or mechanical closet of home (Pictures)
  4. Documented failure of air conditioner evaporator coil (located inside the air handling unit) (Pictures)
  5. Confirmation by an outside expert or professional for the presence of premature copper corrosion on Un-insulated copper wires and/or air conditioner evaporator coils (inside the air handling unit) (Pictures)

Other Issues:

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Confirmed presence of Chinese manufactured drywall in the home

Drywall with markings – domestic

Drywall with National Gypsum markings in attic

Drywall with GridMarX ®, National Gypsum markings

Drywall with National Gypsum markings in wall

 

Drywall with “USA” markings

 

 

Drywall with markings – imported

Drywall with “CHINA” markings on a piece of drywall Cut from a wall cavity

Cut pieces of drywall with “KNAUF – TIANJIN CHINA ASTM C36″ markings visible

Cut pieces of drywall on floor with “KNAUF – TIANJIN” markings visible

Cut pieces of drywall on floor with “CHINA-ASTM C36 06-05-03, 10.14″ markings visible

Drywall with “MADE IN CHINA” markings visible

 

 

Drywall of unknown origin

Cut piece of drywall with “4 feet X 12f” markings visible. The origin of this drywall was not determined.

Drywall inside a wall with metal studs. No markings are visible.

Drywall inside a wall with metal studs and coated wiring. No markings are visible

Observed copper corrosion, indicated by black, sooty coating of Un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit present in the garage or mechanical closet of home

 

 

Corroded

Photo illustrates that homes were found with both domestic and Chinese manufactured drywall.

Photo illustrates that homes were found with both domestic and Chinese manufactured drywall

Photo illustrates that homes were found with both domestic and Chinese manufactured drywall.

Photo illustrates that homes were found with both domestic and Chinese manufactured drywall.

Photo illustrates that homes were found with both domestic and Chinese manufactured drywall.

 

 

Not corroded

Un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit with no signs of blackening corrosion.

Un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit with no signs of blackening corrosion.

Un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit with no signs of blackening corrosion.

Un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit with no signs of blackening corrosion.

Documented failure of air conditioner evaporator coil (located inside the air handling unit)

 

 

Blackening corrosion on coils

Evaporator coil inside the air handler unit showing blackening corrosion of copper.

Evaporator coil inside the air handler unit showing blackening corrosion of copper.

Evaporator coil inside the air handler unit showing blackening corrosion of copper.

Blackening corrosion on copper tube of the evaporator coil inside the air handling unit. Some corrosion has been removed showing uncorroded metal.

 

 

Normal corrosion on coils

Evaporator coil showing blue/green and dark red patina on copper tubing and dark orange rust on other metals

Evaporator coil elbows showing dark orange rust on other metals blue/green and dark red patina.

Evaporator coils showing blue/green and dark red patina on copper tubing and dark orange rust on other metals.

Evaporator coils showing dark red patina on copper tubing and small amount of orange rust on steel.

Evaporator coils showing blue/green and dark red patina on copper tubing and dark orange rust on other metals.

Confirmation by an outside expert or professional for the presence of premature copper corrosion on Un-insulated copper wires and/or air conditioner evaporator coils (inside the air handling unit)

 

 

Blackening corroded wiring

Electrical outlet showing blackening corrosion on the ground wire (bare wire on bottom).

Blackening corrosion on the exposed copper of wiring on the electrical panel inside an air handling unit.


Blackened in-wall speaker wire

Blackening corrosion on bare ground wires

 

 

Normal wiring

Blue/green patina on the ground wire inside air handling unit.

Electrical switch panel with the cover removed showing no corrosion on the bare copper ground wire.

 

 

Other Photos

Mirrors

Mirror showing a slight darkening of the edges.

Mirror showing significant darkening of the edges.

Mirror showing significant darkening of the edges.

Mirror showing significant darkening of the edges.

 

 

Miscellaneous items with possible corrosion

Light fixture above bathroom vanity showing corrosion of chrome plated surface.

Door hinge showing corrosion.

Coins and an antique piece of metal that homeowners reported as darkening.

Metal finishes on furniture that a homeowner reported as darkening.

 

 

Miscellaneous items without corrosion

Water heater in garage with no corrosion on copper water lines.

 

 

Plumbing Fixtures

Toilet water shut-off valve showing corrosion.

Shower fixture showing corrosion of chrome plating.

Bath faucet with black corrosion pitting the chrome plating.

fire sprinkler head showing corrosion.

 

Refrigerators

Blackening corrosion on copper tubes of a refrigerator.

Blackening corrosion on copper tubes of a refrigerator.

Blackening corrosion of a copper water tube leading to a refrigerator.

 

 

Chinese Drywall Facts

Step-by-Step Self-Assessment Guide for signs that a home may be affected by drywall imported from China.

This self-assessment guide has been developed for people to determine if their home is showing signs of corrosion and odors found to be present when Chinese Drywall has been used during construction or renovations.

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Step One – Odors:

Does the home, or certain rooms have either a sulfur-like odor or other unusual odors?  If there is a “rotten-egg” like odor or “sewer-gas” smell, verify that they are not from the home’s water, or a sewer problem.   Sometimes sulfur odors can be noticed from water heaters that have sat unused for a long time.

Yes

No

 

Step Two – Recurring and costly A/C problems:

Have there been repeated failures of the A/C evaporator coil (located in the air handler unit)?  This type of failure is due to a black corrosion of the coil resulting in leakage of Freon from the system, making it impossible to cool the home, requiring replacement of the coil.  Many of the effected homes have had to replace their AC coil numerous times and the coils last two years or less instead of the normal 10 to 20 years.

Yes

No

 

Step Three – Charcoal or black corrosion of copper Freon Lines:

A –

Look to see if the compressed Freon line into the air handler has a black appearance, due to sulfur corrosion.  This copper line is approximately ¼ inch in diameter and can be easily viewed without opening the air handling unit (AHU) or removing any panels.  If the air handler is in an interior closet or in the garage, go to it and look at the un-insulated copper line going into the air handler.  Compare it to the images below.  The image on the left shows the normal copper patina caused by age and normal exposure to the environment.  The image on the right shows the blackening copper corrosion that is typically caused by exposure to corrosive gasses.

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Normal Copper Patina

 

Copper Corrosion due to Sulfur Emissions

   

 

Yes

No

***IMPORTANT NOTE ***If your air handler is located in the attic or in a crawlspace beneath the home, we recommend you have a state licensed air conditioner contractor evaluate copper corrosion on the coils inside the unit as described in Step 3A.  It is less common to find the blackened copper corrosion on the un-insulated Freon line when the air handler is located in the attic or crawlspace.

–or–

B –

Corrosion of other metallic surfaces in the home:

If you cannot see your AHU’s compressed Freon Line, other signs of metal corrosion may be observable. Look around the home for corrosion on other copper and metal surfaces.  Any exposed copper, brass or metallic plumbing fixtures can sometimes exhibit signs of sulfur corrosion.  images on the right show corrosion on a cut off valve and copper plumbing. images on the left shows normal copper discoloration on copper plumbing lines.

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Normal

 

Corroded

Normal copper plumbing

Corroded copper plumbing

Normal shut off valve

Corroded shut off valve

 

Yes

No

 

Step 4 – Drywall made in China:

Identifying drywall made in China may be the most difficult and possibly inconclusive.  This requires cutting holes in walls to find printed markings on the back side of drywall that says ‘Made in China.’  Finding those markings are not guaranteed.  Homes can have drywall from multiple manufacturers, American and imported.  Should you have the odors described in step one and notice they are strongest in a particular room of the house, you should consider hiring a building inspector, contractor or other building professional look in that room first.  It is possible that the imported drywall was installed on the ceiling.  You can look under the insulation in your attic space for the markings.  . The pictures on the right show markings typically found on drywall made in China.  The images on the left show pictures of American drywall markings.  Some drywall has no marking at all.

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Domestic drywall with markings

 

Imported drywall with markings

Domestic drywall with “National Gypsum” markings

Imported drywall with “China” markings

Domestic drywall with “GridMarx” markings

Imported drywall with “Knauf Tianjin” markings

Imported ceiling drywall with “Knauf” markings

 

Yes

No

 

Step 5 – Hire a professional inspector to confirm the presence of corrosion on Electrical Wiring or A/C Coils:

Accessing these areas pose an electrical shock hazard.  Hire a professional inspector or certified or licensed technician to check the A/C coil and a licensed electrician to inspect electrical wiring for distinctive corrosion. On the left is an example of what normal oxidative A/C coil aging looks like.  The copper shown here has the red/brown/green patina typical to most homes.  On the right is an example of the black corrosion that is typical of a copper A/C coil from a home experiencing this problem.

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Normal

 

Corroded

Normal oxidative A/C coil aging

Normal copper tubing

Normal copper tubing

Black corrosion that is typical of a copper coil from a home experiencing problems

 

Yes

No

You should hire a licensed electrician to inspect your home’s electrical system. An inspection of the home’s electrical wiring should reveal normal copper color on the un-insulated ground wires located in the main breaker panel, in light switches, and in electrical outlets around the home as depicted in the image on the left.  Should the electrician find black corrosion as seen in the image on the right, that is a strong indicator of the corrosion often seen in homes with Chinese drywall.

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Normal

 

Corroded

Normal wiring

Black corrosion on wiring

Normal outlet

Black corrosion on wiring

 

Yes

No

 

Step Six – Count the Number of “Yes” Answers

The home meets the Case Definition if it was built after January 1, 2004 and you answered “Yes” to two or more of the questions above.

If the home was built before January 1, 2004, and you answered “Yes” to three or more of the questions, your home still meets the Case Definition.

 

 

 

Humberto Carvajal   Jr.

Florida State Property Inspections, LLC

 

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Florida State Property Inspections, LLC



786-223-1540