DISCLAIMER: We are not Chinese Drywall experts. If you suspect you have defective drywall, call an expert. This post is for demonstration purposes only….
Defective drywall (aka Chinese drywall) is a problem here in Florida. Before we go too deep on the subject, let me first say….. not every home has defective drywall so we need to keep perspective. Houses built between 2005-2007 have the highest incident rates.
We’ve seen several homes with defective drywall recently. Defective drywall corrodes metal in the home. The effects are usually most visible in high humidity areas (bathrooms, kitchens, AC coils, electrical boxes,etc). The corrosive effect makes the home deteriorate at an accelerated rate. Nails, wiring, plumbing, truss plates, bolts, are all affected. Appliances, HVAC and other metal components are also affected.
While the health authorities are not willing to say there is a negative effect on health, it is my personal opinion that if something can corrode metal, it probably is not good for you. Then again, I’m a real estate agent, not a physician. What do I know!?
These photos are from a couple homes that had defective drywall.
The black pipe on the right is COPPER! Blackened copper is a typical red flag for Chinese drywall. It is smart to look under the sinks for signs of corrosion.
The black pipes on the right are AC coils. These coils are copper! Note the difference between the copper pipes on the left of the image versus the corrosion and discoloration on these coils. This home was less than 7 years old! The AC was no longer functional when we visited this property.
Corrosion on bolts is self evident.
The nails that hold the electrical box corrode as do the screws and wires inside the box.
This is a corroded gas line. Natural gas lines + corrosion = bad day.
Note the copper wires are black. Corrosion causes electrical connection problems. Two inspectors also explained the corrosion occurs through the wiring jacket and thus the wire usually has to be completely replaced throughout the home.
The nails that hold the home together also decay.
This home was gutted to eliminate the problem.
Every inch of drywall needed to be removed from this house.
Note corrosion on the metal surfaces (particularly the screws). These screws are where the wiring is usually connected to the socket. Corrosion interferes with electrical connections. You may find your sockets or switches simply stop working.
This blacked pipe was behind the wall in the shower.
Even the motor in the bathroom vent fan corrodes. This particular home had the shower venting steam into the attic. The steam activated the defective drywall and the nails holding the roof together were observed corroding as were the truss plates.
The tips of these cables are supposed to be copper in color, not black!
Corroded plumbing fixtures & pipes.
The smaller pipes are copper and should have a copper color.
Corroded gas lines.
Gas lines and brackets look like they’re 50 years old. This house was 7 years old.
The gas line is clearly corroding in a big way.
Copper wires blackened.
The electrical panel also corrodes.
Fortunately, not every home has this degree of problems! When shopping for your next home, it is wise to keep your eyes open for some red flags:
- Rotten Egg Smell / Struck match smell (not always present)
- Corrosion / pitting in plumbing fixtures & copper pipes
- Copper corrosion and blackening
- Non-working HVAC systems (may indicate a larger problem)
- Homes built between 2005-2007 have higher incidents
- Corroded wiring connections
There are plenty of great resources online for further study. If you have any further questions about this topic, feel free to contact us. We can put you in touch with authorities on the matter.
External resource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_drywall