Chinese Drywall Update

Posted June 4th, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

We’ve talked before about the recent conundrum involving drywall imported from China, and how it was hurting some folks by putting their homeowners insurance policies in danger. The drywall contained high levels of certain chemicals that could cause corrosion, as well as a smell of sulfur in the home. Homeowners insurance companies in Florida and other affected places were in some cases not renewing policies based on the presence of this drywall.

Now, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has identified the specific batches and shipments of drywall involved. They used a national facility in California to test drywall products, and they found that certain batches of this drywall were emitting high rates of hydrogen sulfide. It’s this chemical that’s responsible for that rotten-egg smell of sulfur that many homeowners reported.

Two of the ten batches identified were manufactured by Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. Ltd in 2005 and 2006. This company has faced lawsuits from literally hundreds of homeowners over this issue, as well as a number of different homebuilders.

The homes affected were primarily located in the Carolinas, Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. In some cases, this drywall was used to help repair homes that had been damaged in hurricanes, including hurricane Katrina. This is especially unfortunate for those hurricane victims who found themselves with an unusable home just months after facing the devastation caused by the natural disaster.

The drywall doesn’t just stink. It’s downright dangerous. There are some folks that speculate that the drywall can cause respiratory problems for people living in the house. In addition, it’s been shown that the drywall has caused problems with corrosion for both wiring and appliances that are installed in affected homes.

The battle is ongoing. Just two weeks ago, Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. made a settlement agreement of $800,000 with one builder. The builder, Beazer Homes USA, Inc., installed the drywall in homes in Southwest Florida during the years 2006 and 2007. Some other builders, such as Lennar Corp., have gone to the trouble of setting aside millions of dollars in order to repair homes that have the defective Chinese drywall.

Overall, there have been more than 3,000 reports of defective drywall to the CPSC in 37 of the states.

Photo via cdsessums

Categories: Chinese Drywall, News

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