Symptoms of Chinese Drywall: How to Tell If Toxic Drywall Is in Your Home

Published: 23rd September 2011
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A dangerous trend that is only recently gaining attention in the news, Chinese drywall is showing up in more and more homes across the country. Since this toxic drywall is known to cause severe health risks, it's important to be able to recognize Chinese drywall symptoms in your home before it's too late.


A type of toxic drywall containing hazardous levels of strontium and other dangerous elements, Chinese drywall has recently gained attention for its negative effects on households across the United States. Imported from China, this type of drywall causes damage to your building's structure as well as to you and your fellow inhabitants. Incidents have been reported in 42 different states across the country, and the fact that problems are not isolated to one region makes it all the more difficult to pinpoint precisely which homes may be affected. That's why it's imperative that you learn to identify the different signs of Chinese drywall and take proper action if you find it in your home.


A relatively recent development in the housing industry, Chinese sheet rock and drywall products have only been used in the construction of American homes between 2001 and 2009. Fortunately, if your house was built before or after this time period, you may not be in danger of experiencing serious Chinese drywall problems. However, if your home was constructed between 2001 and 2009, or was built in close proximity to that time period, then you'll need to carefully look around your home for the telltale signs of toxic drywall.


The most common indicators include:



  • Slightly gray drywall color

  • Reverse side of drywall is labeled "Made in China" or contains Chinese writing

  • Pitted or corroded metal fixtures

  • Sulfuric or "rotten egg" smell that persists when windows and doors are shut

  • Blackened or corroded copper (e.g. wires and coils)

  • Repeatedly corroded coils in A/C units

  • Allergies, nosebleeds, and respiratory problems that occur exclusively indoors


If you do happen to detect any of the above Chinese drywall symptoms, being proactive is crucial if you want to ensure continued health and safety for your home. Testing for Chinese drywall will allow you to confirm the presence of harmful strontium levels in your building's walls and take proper action.


However, testing for Chinese drywall is not a simple task. In order to accurately measure the levels of strontium and other harmful chemical elements in your home's walls, a local specialist might be your best bet. He or she will be able to take samples of your drywall, corroded copper, and indoor air quality and have them analyzed in a certified laboratory. Once the existence of toxic drywall is proven, you'll then be able to contact the appropriate contractors to start replacing the dangerous building materials.


Remember, if you've experienced frequent nosebleeds indoors, smelled an unpleasant sulfur odor permeating your indoor air, or noticed any of the above Chinese drywall problems, simply initiating a standard test is all you need to do to get started on preserving the condition of your home.


Maria Allen is a homeowner and an Internet marketer for Prospect Genius, offering affordable online advertising to local service providers.




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