Between 2004 and 2007, thousands of homes throughout the country were built with Chinese drywall after a construction boom and several hurricanes led to a shortage in domestic drywall. This drywall is now believed to be defective, and has been found to cause strong sulfur odors, property damage, and certain health symptoms. Some sources estimate that more than 500 million pounds of potentially defective Chinese drywall entered America during this period.
The exact cause of defective drywall problems is still uncertain, and research is currently being conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and numerous other agencies. Initial results of the CPSC Chinese Drywall study were released in October 2009. Several companies have been linked to the Chinese drywall, including manufacturer Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. of China and building companies Lennar Homes and Taylor Morrison.
Signs of Chinese Drywall
In many cases, the most obvious sign of Chinese drywall is a strong sulfurous odor in the home, similar to the smell of rotten eggs. The corrosion of copper coils in air conditioning units, tarnishing of silver jewelry and silverware, and blackened and corroded metal components in the home are additional signs to look for if you suspect Chinese drywall in your home. Problems with electrical wires and appliances may also be caused by the sulfur compound emitted by the drywall.