Guide to Detecting the Evidence of the Problem Chinese Drywall

by | Home Maintenance

Chinese Drywall ProblemsDetecting Chinese Drywall Problem

According to Consumer Product Safety Commission Guideline, there are many signs that might link a house to the problematic Chinese drywall defects.  According to this report, the step one in this report covers the Threshold Inspection through the Visual Inspection.  The first telltale sign is the blackening of copper electrical wiring and the A/C evaporating coils.  This method of identifying is easy for any unskilled person to determine the possibility of erosions associated with the presence of the sulfur compound in the defective Chinese drywalls.  Some of the water connection, between the main line and appliances such as the dishwasher, under the kitchen sink, are sometimes cooper-based materials and the blackening of these waterlines are easily visible to the naked eyes.  The second step is broader than the visual inspection.  The guideline asks to define if the drywall was installed between 2001 and 2009.  The installation could be for both the construction of the home or renovation.

The step 2, the Corroborating Evidence goes further in details and generally will need assistance from laboratories and experts.  This step explores the fact that there are other reasons that could have caused the discoloration and blackening of copper elements.  For the homes that the characteristics of the metal erosions are present, the guideline calls for 2 different criteria.  First for the homes with the drywall installation date of between 2005 and 2009 at least 2 of the collaborating evidence must be present.  Secondly, for the drywalls installed between 2001 and 2004 at least four of the following collaborating evidence must exist.

Collaborating Evidence of Defective Chinese Drywall

  1. Sulfur compounds level in the drywall exceeds 10ppm
  2. Formation of copper sulfide on copper test strips that are placed in the house for a period of 2 to 4 weeks.  This step is to confirm that the blackening of copper elements such as the copper ground wires or the A/C coils are as a result of the defectiveive drywall and unacceptable level of sulfur compounds in the drywall
  3. Visual examination of the “Made in China” marks on the back of the drywalls
  4. Higher than standard levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and/or carbon sulfide from drywall samples after conducting the ASTM Standard Test Method D5504-08or similar chamber testing
  5. The evidence of the corrosion caused by placing both of the copper metal and drywall sample in the chambers

As previously mentioned collecting such collaborating evidence will require assistance from expert professionals or testing laboratories.  For more information about Chinese drywall inspectors or help with any other concerns regarding a home that you are planning to purchase please contact us at:


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