Home Inspection for Chinese Sheetrock in SC
Is your home built between 2001 to 2009? If so, it could have been built with "Chinese Sheetrock". Over 9,000 lbs of sheetrock / drywall was delivered to Charleston, SC in April of 2006 and to Wilmington, NC in July of 2009. Although the time frame was from 2001 to 2009 of imported material. Although very little amount of cases filed in South Carolina.
Do you know the signs of Chinese Sheetrock? Most homeowners never suspect their home may be causing health issues or why your Air Condition system is always needing repairs. I know most homeowners do not inspect their own homes for signs or issues, but blackened copper or rotten egg odor to a faint sulfur smell may be red flags for Chinese sheetrock / drywall.
As a Home Inspector providing building inspections, we have to stay on top of our business with providing the best inspection services. Recently I had a fellow inspector call me about a possible Chinese drywall case in South Carolina. There was strong evidence to linking this to Chinese drywall. Even though there may be something else causing the blackened copper wire or pipes, nothing stops you from saying as an inspector, "We need to review this further or we recommend testing."
Testing is very expensive and should be done after a complete visual inspection has been performed. Sometimes if enough evidence is found, testing is not needed. Lab testing can run from $1500-$1800 dollars. One of the easiest methods is labels on the sheetrock. If you have signs of blackened copper wires or pipe, then we recommend, if your attic is accessible, to remove insulation to see the back of the sheetrock for manufactures markings. If it says, "Made in China" or "Knauf Tianjin" on it, then you know you have a case. I would contact the Chinese Sheetrock complaint center (866-714-6466). However, if you don't find it in the attic, you are not out of the woods yet! You may have a mixture of US sheetrock and Chinese then the lower walls may need to be removed in patches to check behind that area. I only recommend this intrusive type of inspection if the outlets in that room show signs of blackened copper wire on the exposed wires inside your electrical box.
Five red flags for Chinese sheetrock / drywall
1. If you have unexplainable health issues. i.e. unusual rashes, nose bleeds, severe headaches (mainly upper respiratory issues)
2. You notice blackened copper on your water pipes or electrical wiring. Even copper items in the home. Get some copper and set it in each room for a while to see what happens to it.
3. Your HVAC system has to be worked on a lot. Ask your vendor to see if the coils are blackened or look at them yourself.
4. Remove some insulation in the attic to see if the markings on the back of the insulation says, "Made in China or Knauf Tianjin"
5. Other items in the home that are copper are blackened, i.e. Jewelry.
If you have any of these signs, contact the Complaint Center at 866-714-6466. If you need a professional before you spend the big bucks on a lab. Have an experience home inspector to check out your home for possible red flags or determining if you need to proceed further. A normal home inspection may uncover this issue; however this is not a typical item most home inspectors look for. Some will have disclosures for anything environmental to not be part of their inspection. So ask the right questions when hiring a building inspector.