How to Report Chinese Drywall
In the United States, most complaints have come from states in the Southeast, where a warm and humid climate seems to encourage the emissions. The states of Florida (59%), Louisiana (20%), Mississippi (6%) and Alabama (5%) made up 90% of the 3,296 cases reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as of April 2, 2010. More than 700 complaints had been filed with the Florida Department of Health. Sources estimated that from 60,000 to 100,000 homes could be affected.
Can I inspect for the presents of Chinese Drywall? For the most part the CPSC has not established any guidelines, ”How to tell if a home has Problem drywall”. However, a visual examination and laboratory analyzed samples are currently being used.
As an ASHI Certified home inspector, without being technically exhaustive, what should I include in my reports? Most home inspectors have a protocol for reporting the possible presents of asbestos or lead contaminants in the home. A similar protocol should be used, a stronger statement is recommended in the southeastern states for all homes constructed between 2001 and 2008. In other states you should research the complaint occurrence with the CPSC and your state health department.
I would report something like this. “Homes constructed between 2001 and 2008 may have unsafe imported drywall used in its construction. The CPSC has not established a protocol for its inspection. I therefore recommend obtaining an affidavit from the builder/supplier certifying the non-use of imported drywall.” Rational: As an ASHI home inspector we are required to report, in our opinion, on the condition of the property at time of inspection. ASHI SoP 10.1.A, 2.2.C.1 & 2.
About the Author: Robert Johnson has been an ASHI member since 1981-82, a founding member of the Southeast ASHI Chapter, and currently an ASHI Report Compliance Verifier since 2005.
Article originally published as “What about Chinese Drywall” on www.inspecprowriter.com