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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Household Odors? Might be Chinese Drywall

Not so long ago we wrote about the possiblitiy of radon emissions from granite countertops. Some say as much as 10% of granite in homes might be effected.

The culprit in the granite/radon issue was that huge demand in recent years made supply less uniform, and granite from some new sources may well emit radon. Blame the boom.

And Now....Chinese Drywall
Of late, another material used during the boom has raised its profile in a negative light. This would be imported Chinese drywall. The allegations here seem to be centered in Florida for now. Some officials have wondered though how far the supply chain may have actually reached before building came to a virtual halt in the US.

MSNBC leads us off with a story from January, concerning Florida:
Chinese-made drywall imported during the height of the housing boom is suspected of being responsible for the corrosion and failure of metal components, as well as foul odors...
And later in the article:
Air-conditioning evaporator coils, which are supposed to last a decade or more, are corroding and failing in homes only a couple of years old. Pipes and wiring may also be deteriorating.
The risk to human health is not definitively known, the story is too recent, but Channel 10 in Tampa, among others, report claims of health problems.

To its credit, Lennar has been the most responsive big builder, and has filed a lawsuit while working to remedy homeonwer concerns. The judicial paper trail extends to manufacturers, suppliers and contractors.

Florida NBC Channel 2 has a list of items to look for in this developing situation:
Could you have Chinese drywall?

* Does your home have a strong smell (a sulfur or rotten egg-type smell)
* Do you have corroded copper coils in your air conditioner or are the coils black?
* Do you have KNAUF written on the back of your drywall? Go to your attic and look at the back side of the drywall for Knauf. This is the manufacturer's ID, which identifies it as the drywall in question.
* Chinese drywall is thinner and lighter than typical drywall.
Time will tell.

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