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CPSC: Gut homes with Chinese drywall

CPSC: Gut homes with Chinese drywall

Credit: FLJC101

A large chunk of Chinese drywall from the Alfonso Sanchez home in Davie, Fla. leans against the wall Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009. The $1.7 million house is filled with Chinese drywall and Sanchez says he can sell the house or rent it_to him the house is worth nothing now. He said the family will move out soon in order to safeguard their health. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

by TERRI GRUCA / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on April 5, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 4 at 8:55 PM

With the Easter weekend I figured many homeowners probably didn’t get a chance to see or hear about the new government guidelines for any home that may have Chinese drywall.

Friday the Consumer Product Safety Commission said thousands of homes tainted by Chinese drywall should be gutted. The agency has been tracking problems with Chinese drywall for several years now.

Studies find greater emissions of reactive sulfur compounds, including hydrogen sulfide, from certain Chinese drywall than non-Chinese drywall.

The CPSC has received 3,082 complaints from 37 different states including Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. The majority of complaints (58%) have come from Florida.

Consumers largely report that their homes were built in 2006 to 2007, when an unprecedented increase in new construction occurred in part due to the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.Common features of the reports submitted to the CPSC from homes believed to contain problem drywall have been:

  • Consumers have reported a "rotten egg" smell within their homes.
  • Consumers have reported health concerns such as irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks.
  • Consumers have reported blackened and corroded metal components in their homes and the frequent replacement of components in air conditioning units.

The new guidelines say electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, sprinklers, gas pipes and drywall need to be removed. The guidelines outline what you need to find in order to know if this is the action you should take.

You can find the CPSC guidelines here, the HUD guidelines here.

Homes with new drywall installed between 2001 and 2004 must meet a total of at least four of those criteria. Collecting evidence of these corroborating conditions may require professional help.

FHA-insured families experiencing problems associated with problem drywall may be eligible for assistance to help them rehabilitate their properties.  HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program may also be a resource to help local communities combat the problem.

Homeowners who believe they may have problem drywall should immediately report to CPSC by calling 800-638-2772 or you can file an online complaint here.

Anyone who may be experiencing problems can also e-mail me.

Hearing- or speech-challenged individuals may access the phone number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

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