How to Fix Chinese Drywall

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Some Chinese-made drywall installed in houses between 2001 and 2008 emits corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas, according to studies performed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The drywall and all surrounding wiring and piping must be removed.

  • Confirm that the house has problem drywall by following the steps listed in the HUD/CSPC Interim Guidance--Identification of Homes with Corrosion from Problem Drywall document.

  • Contact the CSPC immediately if you believe the house has problem drywall--and note that FHA-insured families may be able to obtain remediation funding.

  • Remove and replace all affected building materials. According to the HUD/CSPC Interim Remediation Guidance for Homes with Corrosion from Problem Drywall document, that includes all possible problem drywall; all fire safety alarm devices (including smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms); all electrical components and wiring (including outlets, switches and circuit breakers); and, all gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't forget to determine if the house is FHA-insured, and to check with your local municipality about the availability of a local Community Development Block Grant funding.
  • According to a New York Times article, preliminary studies have indicated that hydrogen sulfide, combined with formaldehyde, high temperatures and above-average humidity, has led to nosebleeds and headaches.

References

  • Photo Credit drywall, sheetrock image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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