How to tell if the drywall in your home is safe
Knauf International was connected with allegedly harmful Chinese drywall. The company settled out of court in 2011.
Toxic drywall can be a dangerous health hazard for anyone living near it. There are several ways you can determine if your drywall is safe, but the most comprehensive way is to contact an Atlanta drywall contractor to assess the material in your home. A professional will have the right equipment and access to proper testing facilities to ensure your family’s safety.
There are two basic ways for determining if the drywall in your home is safe. One is by examining the drywall itself, and the other is by examining secondary evidence found on your copper wires, silverware and jewelry.
If the drywall is toxic, examination of the drywall and electrical fittings might show:
- An installation date between 2001 and 2009
- Chinese markings may be an indicator. All drywall made in China is not toxic, but it’s a good indicator for suspicious material.
- The copper wiring in electrical outlets or on appliances as well as the evaporator coils of an air conditioner have turned black
If you find any of the above, then you should look for secondary evidence. This is where a professional drywall contractor can help because outside testing in a laboratory is required for:
- Corrosion that is caused by drywall seen in test chambers
- High sulfide gas emissions that come from the drywall
- Sulfur present in the core of the drywall
- Copper sulfide formed on grounding wires, air conditioning coils and coupons
Though a drywall contractor can professionally inspect your home's drywall and give you an official diagnosis, there are some indications that your drywall may not be safe. Signs to watch out for include:
- Light bulbs burning out faster than hey should
- Information displays failing on DVD players, radios, TVs and microwaves
- Silverware and jewelry tarnishing
- Satellite TV receivers failing
- Air conditioners beginning to fail
- HVAC systems failing and copper wires appearing to be coated in black
- Electric stoves and ovens as well as refrigerator coils failing
There are also health issues that you need to recognize that might be attributed to potentially toxic drywall. If the drywall can corrode wire and tarnish silver, it can irritate the mucus membranes of humans and pets. Some indications include: nose bleeds, frequent respiratory problems including coughing and sinus problems, headaches and rashes. Be on the lookout for a rotten egg odor which comes from the gasses released by the sulfur inside the drywall.
According to the Associated Press, Knauf International reached a settlement in November 2011 and agreed to payback contractors for using the allegedly tainted Chinese drywall, which was primarily used in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi homes. Some of this drywall may be marked with the Knauf name.
Toxic drywall can be very dangerous to the health of you and your family, pets and expensive appliances. The safest course to take if you suspect any of the symptoms or indications is to contact a professional drywall contractor as soon as possible and have your walls inspected.
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