From Engineering on August 11, 2010 in Building Materials
While Chinese drywall may have been seen a few years ago as a quick solution to dwindling supplies of American-made drywall, it has now become a massive health and building hazard.
Constructed from iron sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, sulfur dioxide and carbon disulfide, Chinese drywall is said to give off gas as well as a rotten-egg smell. In addition, the sulfur corrodes copper, affecting plumbing, electrical wiring and water lines.
How widespread is the problem, exactly? The Consumer Product Safety Commission is now reporting that over 6,300 homes have been affected in 37 different states. Over half of the complaints are reported by homeowners themselves, and the rest from state and local governments. Most, however, have stemmed from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia.
As of this past April, the official advice to homeowners is to strip all Chinese drywall down to the studs and remove corroded electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers and gas pipes.
Clearly, there’s no simple solution to this problem. And unfortunately, homeowners will most likely be footing the bill.
Photo Credit: Danny Lipford