There are hundreds of details that homeowners have to worry about when remodeling or building a brand new home. But honestly, we never thought that you would have to be concerned with drywall. Seems like home owners and builders in some States like Florida and 47 other States do. Specifically, Knauf brand drywall is now at the center of several lawsuits alleging that it emits gases that harm household systems and may be dangerous to your health. American drywall manufacturers are USG and National Gypsum are also named in the lawsuite.
The chinese drywall contains high concentrations of sulphur which produces a gas akin to the smell of rotten eggs. Here's some signs of the problems associated with this defective drywall:
1) Frequent replacement of air conditioning systems or refrigerator components (such as air coils).
2) Wiring that has turned black and/or is corroded.
3) Piping that has turned black and/or needs replacing.
4) Silver jewelry turning black.
5) Electrical problems.
6) Respiratory problems.
See the GMA Video from Good Morning American on Toxic Drywall.
The fix could be expensive for everyone. If a determination that the chinese drywall is the culprit, it will have to be removed, electrical wiring will have to inspected and corrected, and new drywall will be installed and painted. The biggest challenge may be to determine what drywall brand to replace the bad stuff with.
While Knauf brand is the target of lawsuits there may be other drywall brands that were manufactured in China and have the same problem. Home builders like Lennar in South Florida are just as upset with Knauf drywall as home owners. They are replacing drywall in some cases and also filing suit in the courts against Knauf. These issues may take a while to be sorted out by the courts. Recently, a consumer rights law firm requested the court to consolidate the individual suits to expedit the cases.
Be especially careful if you are remodeling or constructing a new home. We think it is best to write into the contract that you do not want Kanauf Drywall or any drywall products made in China. At least your builder and architect will be put on notice about your desire and take extra steps to prevent that from happening. However, that may not be easy as USG and National Gysum may have end up buying chinese drywall and slapping their own brand name on it according to an drywall article in the National Law Journal. Both USG and National Gypsum deny that and say that all of their products are manufactured in U.S. manufacturing plants.
See the details on Chinese Drywall as reported by Good Morning America, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Business Journal.