Chinese drywall was defective drywall used in many southern coastal homes from 2001 to 2008.  The discovery of the tainted drywall lead to a huge lawsuit in 2008.  The drywall caused extensive property damage and disrupted the lives of thousands of people.  While the case reached settlement, it's hard to tell how many homes still have the toxic drywall.  In fact, many homeowners bought homes without knowing the danger that lurks behind their walls and are just now discovering the problem.  Here are some telling signs that your home was built with Chinese drywall.

Chinese labels on the drywall

If you have unpainted drywall in your house like in a garage, basement, or utility room, examine the markings on the drywall panels.  You are looking for any reference to China or Chinese cities including Tianjin, Taihe, Knauf, Taishan, and Beijing.  To recover damages from the settlement, you have to provide pictures of these markings on your wall.  

A rotten eggs smell

Chinese drywall contains high levels of sulfur, and will cause your home to smell like rotten eggs on a fairly consistent basis if you have it.

Electric failures

A big warning sign is the frequency of electric failures in your home.  If you have Chinese drywall, chances are your air conditioning unit will work on and off and copper pipes will be blackened and corroded all around the house.  Stoves and refrigerators are also affected by the drywall and will start to fail and then completely shut down after a while.  

Poor health of you and your family members

The tainted drywall causes headaches, sinus problems, nosebleeds, rashes and asthma attacks.  Children are especially susceptible to developing health problems after living in a home with Chinese drywall.  The lawsuit details that many kids experienced respiratory issues and required hospital stays.

Hire a professional and contact the parties responsible

If you suspect that the tainted drywall was installed in your home, please contact a building inspector right away.  Don't try to remove the sheetrock on your own.  If the inspector determines that your home was built with the shoddy drywall, evacuate the premises as soon as you can to be on the safe side.   

The drywall needs to be completely removed and a contractor needs to perform extensive remediation.  This includes replacing all the electrical wiring, copper pipes, tiles, carpeting, and bathroom fixtures.  This can cost upwards of $100,000.  

If you think you have Chinese drywall in your home, contact the lender that sold you the home, the builder of your home, and your homeowner's insurance.  The condition of the drywall should have been disclosed to you and many lenders and builders hid this fact from potential homebuyers and continued to sell homes with the toxic drywall. For more information about removing this harmful material, visit Mustang Builders Inc.