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Apparently, Norfolk and Virginia Beach ended up with a LOT of Chinese drywall in 2006 and 2007.

The local paper has done a four-part series on how individual homeowners in our area have been affected. It's an in-depth piece with lots of emotional wrangling and "my life was permanently ruined by my house" stories.

http://hamptonroads.com/2014/06/then-walls-closed-part-3-pleading-help

Reading these stories makes it sound like Chinese drywall is a bigger health hazard than snorting asbestos dust and eating lead paint chips. Scary stuff.

Homeowners are talking about breathing problems, long-term lung diseases, lupus, severe skin conditions, eye irritation and more.

And I'm wondering how much is true reporting and how much is fear-mongering.

My question is, now that we're a few years away from this, is it possible that the true health risks involved in this Chinese drywall have been exaggerated? Isn't it possible that there are families living in these houses that are not suffering all these terrible health problems?

And I'm also wondering why the local rag (The Virginia Pilot) picked NOW to do a four-piece series on Chinese Drywall.
 

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Was sold at regular outlets and just mixed in? Or would the chinese drywall have been labelled differently? I really am not sure how anyone would know for certain what was in the house after it was up and painted/finished.
 

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Was sold at regular outlets and just mixed in? Or would the chinese drywall have been labelled differently? I really am not sure how anyone would know for certain what was in the house after it was up and painted/finished.
One of the telltale effects of Chinese drywall is the corrosive effects on mettalic components in the house, such as AC coils, electrical devices and plumbing fixtures. Here's an informative article on the matter. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...eP_ARPtVd9rmjTayg&sig2=MfdoZ5T86C_Mb_GGOqIJFQ
 

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Ive been in Chinese drywall houses and there is an odor. I know builders here who used this crap and financially wiped out families who bought their houses and probably caused health issues too. They still have their vacation homes and big yachts. The last one I was in had 56 sheets mixed in the house. Kitchen, bathrooms and closets all had it. The material all has a brand name Taichan and Made in China. I noticed a key hanging in the kitchen that was nearly black in that house.
 

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The one thing my customers always ask is if I am using Chinese drywall. I wasn't dong any drywall back then, so didn't really know what it was all about.

How much cheaper was the stuff? A sheet of drywall is anywhere from 8-12 bucks. How much difference can there be?
 

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It wasn't any cheaper, this was about the 4th time Ive seen drywall shortages. The real question is this, Did wholesalers or manufacturers create a shortage by withholding this product from its distributors. I remember when this shortage was going on and saw thousands of sheets at a plant near me sitting outside and I couldn't buy it because there was a shortage. Yep it was 9.00 a sheet and all of sudden its 15.00 and stored in the rain. I trust no manufacturer.
 

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There was a massive shortage of a lot of material in 2006 and 2007. This was during the Katrina rebuild and the tail end of the housing boom. I never seen any chinese stuff back in the day. Only the stories that surfaced around 08-09.
 

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The drywall in question has made in china written on the back of it in big letters. It was shipped into ports in SC., Fla., AL, and Texas. It was sold directly to very large builders in very large quantities only, some smaller quantities (100k sheet unit) were sold to smaller builders . When they could not use them all or wanted to make a profit the smaller builders sold them directly to lumberyards and even smaller builders.

The initial profit was very large if I remember correctly.I think off the boat on the dock it was less than $1 a sheet, when normal drywall was $7.

There was an hour long documentary about it a few years ago.

Most of the builders who used it had companies set up for their individual developments, so they just disbanded and picked a new company name of the month.
 

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It wasn't any cheaper, this was about the 4th time Ive seen drywall shortages. The real question is this, Did wholesalers or manufacturers create a shortage by withholding this product from its distributors. I remember when this shortage was going on and saw thousands of sheets at a plant near me sitting outside and I couldn't buy it because there was a shortage. Yep it was 9.00 a sheet and all of sudden its 15.00 and stored in the rain. I trust no manufacturer.
Most drywall manufacturers are employee owned in some type of partnership with the original owners. It was very common for them to slow down distribution to increase prices, in the late 80s early 90s when building was slow the manufacturers were go to go out of business and offered the employees a partnership deal. They made and sold drywall at or slightly below cost just to keep their jobs, hoping to get that money back at a later time. Which they did.

Now drywall is a commodity just like corn or wheat.
 

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THAT IS VERY CONTRARY TO WHAT HAPPENED HERE. The material was sold to plastering and drywall contractors here who furnished materials and labor to builders. The material was sold to them by a wallboard material supplier. I doubt the builders knew anything was wrong until the newspapers did stories about this.
 

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I agree. I don't know if it's even relevant to discuss whether or not anyone knew that it came from china as much as whether anyone knew if it was dangerous. We buy so much stuff that was made in china that nobody ever questions anything about it. Then eventually we see something on the news telling us to beware of certain toys or cooking utensils. I'm sure the chinese drywall was no different.
 
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I am currently in the process of renovating a Chinese drywall house. Built in 2006. Thank god the ceilings were USG. I found that most Chinese drywall is only 1/2" so for most ceilings there was a US product sourced. I have done 3 this year.
There is an odor. Similar to smelly well water. Sulphur smell. The easiist way to identify the stuff besides the Made in Chine stamp across the back of the board is if you can get to a corner and remove a chunk to see the label that binds two boards together and it is yellow and light blue. Most of the stuff I have removed or replaced is this variety.
Also, during demo the material does not break like normal drywall. For the most part it just crumbles unless you can get one room done and push the next room in from that room just demo'd. It seems like the stuff is almost a grey color as well..US drywall you can break a piece and use it like chalk to scribe on concrete..the Chinese stuff just disintegrates if you try to use it like that.

The corrosive effects are bad..but one of the houses I did was completely PEX and the only plumbing that needed to be changed were all the turn offs and short stub outs..The electric is shielded for the most part..hopefully you have enough to trim back about 6" and reconnect...HVAC if inside the house/closet air handler are usually junk..the ones in the garages are ok..again because of 5/8" required in garage code down here..ceilings and walls.

I think the concerns are true but not as dire..you have to remember that this crisis happened at the same time as the collapse of our economy so it was a convenient excuse to be a "victim" of the economy/housing collpase as well. The majority of these homes I am in were occupied and walked away from due to the lack of funds to make repairs and wait for a settlement or the same reasons most of the people in South Florida let their homes go into foreclosure--a housing bubble popped.

Some sad stories for sure..but great investments as well for the people scooping them up...

edit: I think that anyone who was buying 50k-200k sheets of drywall at time for 75% less than normal knew there had to be something worng with the prouduct being sourced...although us small builders did not see these discounts..the sources we bought them from did..and the culpability for their actions to my knowledge have never been proven..couple of small settlements with some bog box retailers..for the most part they got off scot free.
 

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edit: I think that anyone who was buying 50k-200k sheets of drywall at time for 75% less than normal knew there had to be something worng with the prouduct being sourced...although us small builders did not see these discounts..the sources we bought them from did..and the culpability for their actions to my knowledge have never been proven..couple of small settlements with some bog box retailers..for the most part they got off scot free.
I agree, someone had to be suspicious somewhere but said nothing because they were making lots of money.
 

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THAT IS VERY CONTRARY TO WHAT HAPPENED HERE. The material was sold to plastering and drywall contractors here who furnished materials and labor to builders. The material was sold to them by a wallboard material supplier. I doubt the builders knew anything was wrong until the newspapers did stories about this.
Those suppliers were the ones who bought the smaller units and bypassing their regular suppliers.

Like the restaurant guy buying meat/seafood from some guy passing by which was from an "over order"

I will try to find out the name of the documentary.
 
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