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Chinese Drywall Used in Florida Can Destroy Your Home and Be Toxic

Dick and Nancy Nelson, who say the Florida retirement home they bought new in 2006 has Chinese-manufactured drywall, contend all their appliances with copper are failing, according to CNN affiliate WFTS-TV.

“The washing machine, the dryer, the microwave, a refrigerator — these are all brand-new appliances, and they’re breaking down,” Nancy Nelson of Palmetto told the Tampa station. The Nelsons are among those who have complained to the state health department.

In a neighborhood in Homestead, Florida, owners of homes with Chinese-manufactured drywall say the dwellings smell like rotten eggs, especially on humid days, according to CNN affiliate WPLG-TV.


Electronics and appliances with copper components stopped working in short order, and copper pipes and wiring turned black, homeowners told the Miami station.

“My dream has turned into a nightmare,” one of the homeowners, Felix Martinez, told WPLG-TV. He said he closed on the home in August 2006.

Michael Foreman, head of construction consulting firm Foreman & Associates in Sarasota, Florida, said he’s been investigating drywall complaints in that state since last year and is sharing information with at least one group of lawyers preparing lawsuits on the matter. Based on shipping records, Foreman estimates the United States in 2006 and the first two months of 2007 imported enough drywall from Chinese manufacturers named in lawsuits to produce at least 50,000 homes at a size of 2,000 square feet each.  Florida ports alone took in enough of that drywall during those 14 months to build 30,000 homes of that size, he estimated.

I spoke with The Home Team Inspection Company today and asked if they check for signs of Chinese Drywall.  Here’s the signs they recommended to look out for.

HOW TO FIND OUT IF A HOME HAS CHINESE DRYWALL:

The house was built or remodeled between 2003 to present  

Rotten egg or sulfur-type smell in the home  

Corrosion on air conditioning coils, or HVAC units  

Corroded, or black electrical wiring  

Corroded, or black copper pipes  

Corroded or tarnished plumbing fixtures

If any of these symptoms are noticeable during the course of your visual inspection, if possible, look at the back of drywall possibly in the attic or garage.

Look for the words; “CHINA” in red ink or “KNAUF” in black ink, also look for the Stamp on the back of the edge tape C36.

If you suspect you purchased a home and with Chinese Drywall, hire a home inspector and get an attorney right away.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/community/indoor-air/drywall.html

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Written by Rae Catanese, Realtor

Licensed Realtor since 2002, Tampa Bay’s own Rae Catanese regularly gives expert advice and insider tips about the Tampa Bay real estate market via her blog, The Tampa Real Estate Insider. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas-then this blog is for you. I typically post articles once a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe here! Have a real estate question? Email me here!

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