Drywall was most heavily imported from China between 2005 and 2007.  So much time has passed since the discovery of Chinese drywall as a hazardous building material, it is no longer considered a major issue in our local real estate market, as most homes with Chinese drywall have likely been repaired.


It is important to note that not all drywall manufactured in China during his period is considered defective.



Defective Chinese drywall contains elevated levels of certain minerals and metals, such as sulfur.  In a hot, humid environment, this defective drywall emits noxious gases.  The gases can create hazardous health conditions for humans and pets, and reacts with metal surfaces in the home, most notably copper.


Copper is found in every important system in a home:  electrical wiring, plumbing, heating and air systems, computers and electronics, smoke detectors, and appliances.  


The long term effects of the sulfur gas emitted from Chinese drywall means these systems experience corrosion and eventual failure.  Leaking copper pipes, expensive HVAC replacement, and elevated fire hazard caused by corroded, arcing copper wiring (a possible fire hazard) are just a few of the possible outcomes of prolonged Chinese drywall exposure in a home.



Once your offer on a property is accepted, you will be conducting a home inspection within 10 days of all parties receiving a copy of the signed purchase contract.


The home inspector you choose should have a disclaimer in their service agreement that details how they handle the discovery of Chinese drywall.  If they suspect it is present, they will provide examples of symptoms in their inspection report, and recommend that you retain the services of a Chinese drywall specialist to further inspect the property.


At this point, 99% of buyers will decide to back out of the contract once Chinese drywall is discovered, if it is not first disclosed by the seller.



Remediation (repair) of Chinese drywall is expensive and extensive.  It involves stripping everything in the home down to the subfloor and studs, and replacing all copper plumbing and electrical wiring, appliances, and HVAC systems.


The significant cost means most buyers will walk away from purchasing a home with Chinese drywall.  Homes for sale that have had Chinese drywall remediation should have the appropriate photos, permits, remediation reports, and certifications, prior to a buyer making an offer on the property.

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David Barr, Sarasota FL Realtor


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