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Chinese Drywall – Is Your Home Safe?

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There has been a lot of hype recently about Chinese Drywall, so I decided to interview expert George Garcia, owner of New World Inspections, to get his thoughts on it. George has been in the business of environmental inspections since 1997, and has owned his company for nine years. He does suspect/visual inspections of Chinese Drywall and he is also involved in the more detailed product inspections.
 
What are the signs that you have Chinese Drywall in your home?
In general, there will be a deterioration to various metals in your home, mostly copper. You will notice tarnishing of the copper, and silver will show signs of it too, including tarnishing or even deterioration and blistering of the metal.
 
Are the signs always obvious?
No, they aren’t. Chinese Drywall is a reactive drywall, so it has to be humid in order to cause the reaction that brings the gas out of the material.  Without the humidity, you might not have any signs in your house. It’s also worth noting that it’s not sulfur that’s in the material, but a sulfuric acid. They still haven’t exactly identified what the acid is.
 
In what homes is Chinese Drywall most prevalent?
It has actually existed for a very long time – the U.S. started importing it back in 2001. But from the research that has been done, it is mostly found in houses built from 2004 to now.
 
If you do fear you have it, how best do you handle it?
If you know you have it, you have to deal with it. There’s a protocol under the Department of Health that requires that it be removed.
 
How is it being handled by insurance companies?
It’s not!
 
Are there any health risks? And if so, what are they?
That’s a good question. There are EPA sites in Florida that say there are not any health risks associated with it. But there are also some EPA sites outside of Florida that do cite health risks such as headaches and bloody noses. However, none of these symptoms have been directly linked to the Chinese Drywall.

With additional questions or to have George do an inspection for your house, please contact New World Inspections at 305.828.5602.

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