Inspecting for Contaminated Chinese Drywall
Inspecting for Evidence of Contaminated Drywall.
Standardized sampling protocals have yet to be established in the United States. Accredited Building Consultants, Inc. currently provides inspections following the case definition criteria outlined by the Florida Department of Health.[DOH Site]. We cannot guarantee to you in writing that you do or do not have contaminated drywall. If you are looking for a written guarantee we are not the company for you. If you find a company that will give you a written guarantee we recommend that you closely read that guarantee . It is virtually impossible to guarantee whether or not every square inch of drywall in a home is free of contamination.
Contaminated Drywall "Threshold Inspection".
First; we determine the year the home was built and/or remodeled from between the years of 2001 and 2008. Note: this will always be a positive, year built!
Second; we perform a visual and invasive yet nondestructive evaluation of the electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures, mirrors, air-conditioning evaporator coils and any and all other metallic materials in the home. NOTE: We inspect random outlets and switches NOT every one in the structure. These metallic components exposed to Chinese drywall out gassing will tarnish or turn black, see photos below.
Third; we perform a visual inspection of the drywall by measuring the thickness of the drywall because subject Chinese drywall is ½” thick. Note: this will always be a positive, most structures have 1/2" and or 5/8" drywall!
Fourth; we look for identifying markings of whom the manufacturer of drywall. Our methodologies include inspection of unfinished drywall between walls and in the ceiling area using our specialized techniques see photos below.
Fifth; we visually identify small samples for color differences. Chinese drywall is usually off-white from American made drywall. The off white color is caused by known contaminates (black particulate) that are found in the contaminated drywall material, see photo below.
Sixth; we note of any unusual odor characteristics of the drywall; odor is most prevalent at electrical opening and is most prevalent in the summer. This is an excellent indicator of problematic Chinese drywall and best detected when high humidity is present.
NOTE: these six steps follow the protocol of the Florida Department of Health's, "Self Assessment Guide" that can be viewed at the [DOH Site]. You certainly can perform this inspection yourself however it would be highly recommended that a trained professional familiar with working around high-voltage components like electrical service panels and experience in removing cladding around air-conditioning equipment, be hired so that you avoid serious injury and or damage to the equipment. A typical inspection using this protocol will always have a 33% chance that it is contaminated due to two positive facts out of a possible six: 1). The year the structure was built and that the structure has 1/2" drywall. Two out of six is 33% positive.
Below are photos that we have taken over the years that were conclusive for Contaminated Drywall found in structures that we have inspected. NOTE: Knauf Tianjin Drywall is one of the contaminated drywall brands, more information about Knauf Tianjin CLICK HERE
"Threshold Inspections" with a full due diligence home inspection up to 1200 sq.ft. of A/C space and one (1 ea.) HVAC system is $50.00, for more square footage and multiple HVAC's call for quote.
"Threshold inspection" stand alone up to 1200 sq. ft. of A/C space and One (1 ea.) HVAC system is $275.00. The home must be within a 30 mile round trip distance from our office at US 41 and College Parkway Ft Myers, Fl. 33907. For a larger homes and or commercial structures with or without multiple HVAC systems, call for a quote.
A Note about X-Ray Devices (XRF Guns)
X-RAY DEVICES: If you have heard about the portable X-ray equipment, PX-Ray Fluoroscopy Device’s (“XRF”) used to detect individual sheets of Chinese drywall, evidence found in federal court shows that this X-ray equipment has been ruled not reliable for detection of Chinese drywall by the courts. See this web site for more information: [Judge-Rules-XRF-Testing-for-CDW-Not-Reliable