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    Chinese drywall

    Chinese drywall

    New postby richmeister on Tue May 19, 2009 9:58 pm

    I am in a South Florida community where Chinese drywall is suspected. I have good pics of the drywall during construction and besides that there are some lighter and darker colors on the drywall face, there appears to be no markings to indicate this is Chinese drywall. Also my copper looks OK and I have no sulphur smell. Can you look at the attached pics please.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue May 19, 2009 10:52 pm

    Hi Rich,

    The only one of those photos with any hope of revealing anything is the center photo in that is shows the back side of some of the drywall.

    One piece toward the left against the wall has two lines of what looks like writing, unfortunately though, even zoomed to 400% I cannot make the writing out.

    To the right are two pieces with the backside showing, and have end tapes on them, but again, I cannot make anything out on them.

    What part of South Florida are you in: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Southwest Florida over by Naples and Ft. Meyers? What city?

    Do you have any other photos which may show the back side of the drywall with writing on it?

    richmeister wrote:there are some lighter and darker colors on the drywall face,


    Typically, all of the drywall is purchased from one distributor at the same time, and typically the drywall would all be the same brand. The different color may be from exposure to sunlight, or it may be from different brands (different brands are not all the same color) from having to run out and buy a few more pieces, unintentionally mixing brands.

    there appears to be no markings to indicate this is Chinese drywall.


    And no markings to indicate it is not Chinese drywall. At this point I would not want to presume either, so do not take my statement as meaning it may be Chinese drywall, only as meaning that you do not know either way.

    I am a construction consultant ( http://constructionlitigationconsultants.com/ ) and can come down there to check if needed, but before you have me come down there, I would first recommending seeing what you can find on your own:
    - First go into the garage attic and look at the top side of the drywall, if there is no second floor over the garage the backside of the drywall should be visible as the garage ceiling is usually not insulated. Always start with the easy stuff first.
    - Second would be to go into the attic over the living spaces and move some insulation around, seeing if you can find anything there, but moving insulation around is not a real fun thing to do.

    Also my copper looks OK and I have no sulphur smell.


    When was your house built?
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby richmeister on Wed May 20, 2009 2:06 pm

    Jerry,
    Thank you for your quick response. The house was built in 2005. I went into the attic where there is a large drywall area of about 200 SF. I searched the entire area and found only the two JPEGS. One shows a production date and the other is at the seam end where the label covering is still intact. It reads "Manufactured to meet ASTM---- C36". Your thoughts please.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed May 20, 2009 3:42 pm

    Hi Rich,

    richmeister wrote:The house was built in 2005.


    That definitely puts the house in the time period in which the Chinese drywall was installed.

    I went into the attic where there is a large drywall area of about 200 SF. I searched the entire area and found only the two JPEGS. One shows a production date and the other is at the seam end where the label covering is still intact. It reads "Manufactured to meet ASTM---- C36". Your thoughts please.


    "Manufactured to meet ASTM---- C36"

    While not a dead giveaway, that is one of the signs I have seen reported as indicating it may be Chinese drywall.

    It does not state that it actually "meets ASTM C36", only that it was manufactured "to meet" that standard.

    ASTM C 36 is the standard to which drywall (gypsum board) is tested.

    From the ASTM C 36 Standard Specification for Gypsum Wallboard:
    - 1. Scope*
    - - 1.1 This specification covers gypsum wallboard which is designed to be used for walls, ceilings, or partitions and affords a surface suitable to receive decoration.

    Thus, while that is not specifically stating it is Chinese drywall, it is evidence that more checking needs to be done to try to find more information to verify what was installed.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby richmeister on Wed May 20, 2009 8:05 pm

    Jerry,

    This could be getting to be a witch hunt. I have seen pictures of what the copper AC coils should look like and mine match perfectly for no unusual corrosion. What about all the stories of people having to change their AC units 2 times in less than 3 years? My copper electrical wiring is also OK. I have no rotten egges smell. If I have no signs after 3 .5 years, what am I worrying about?
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed May 20, 2009 8:48 pm

    Hi Rich,

    richmeister wrote:This could be getting to be a witch hunt.


    It could be, except there is no proof witches exist and there is proof that Chinese drywall does.

    Regarding your other concerns, I have heard that it may ("may" being key) ... may be dependent on humidity levels with higher humidity levels possibly causing the problem sooner.

    Your home may (again, "may" being key) ... may not have any Chinese drywall and may (dang, there is that word again) ... may not have any problems - many homes do not have those problems. However, many homes are having those problems.

    I really cannot tell you what to do on this issue, other than if you inclined to purchase piece of mind you could have more of the drywall looked at, or not, your choice.

    All I am doing is providing the requested information to you for your thoughts and education, hoping that my information helps you out with both of those.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby richmeister on Thu May 21, 2009 5:38 pm

    Jerry,

    Thanks for your great help! I really appreciate it. If it is a humidity problem then I would assume that the AC air handler coils in the garage, which becomes very humid, would be affected. But they are clean and normal as is the copper wiring. I will refer other cases to you, as there are suppossedly 10 confirmed cases in our Davie community so far.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Thu May 21, 2009 5:43 pm

    Hi Rich,

    richmeister wrote:If it is a humidity problem then I would assume that the AC air handler coils in the garage, which becomes very humid, would be affected.


    No, it would be a humidity problem in the house, affecting the drywall in the house, regardless of where the a/c coil is located, the return air from the house goes through it.

    But they are clean and normal as is the copper wiring.


    Which is a good indication, but not proof, that you do not have Chinese drywall in that house.

    I will refer other cases to you, as there are supposedly 10 confirmed cases in our Davie community so far.


    Thank you, I look forward to them.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby richmeister on Fri May 22, 2009 2:35 pm

    Jerry,
    What I meant was, that if humidity may exacerbate the problem if there is Chinese drywall, and the only place where the drywall gets the humidity is in the garage, then I would assume the copper coils in the garage where that drywall is, would be affected? And they are not, as well as 2 other air handlers in the house.
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    Re: Chinese drywall

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Fri May 22, 2009 2:58 pm

    Hi Rick,

    richmeister wrote:What I meant was, that if humidity may exacerbate the problem if there is Chinese drywall, and the only place where the drywall gets the humidity is in the garage, then I would assume the copper coils in the garage where that drywall is, would be affected? And they are not, as well as 2 other air handlers in the house.


    That is what I am saying: No, that would not be the case. The air in that air handler is the same air as is in the house, not as in the garage. The air from the house is circulated through that air handler, the garage air is not.

    Thus, if the garage had other chemicals in it (and most garages do, as well as gasoline fumes and odors) those chemicals and odors are not in the air handler, otherwise those odors and chemicals would be circulated throughout the house too.

    The main thing, though, is that the two air handlers in the house are not showing the signs of that contaminated air in the house. That is good for you and the house, and a sign that all may be okay ... with "may" being key.
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