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Chinese Drywall: About, Settlements, Testing, Remediation

Chinese Drywall

**Update: Check out this sample home inspection report where evidence of Chinese drywall was found**

What is Chinese Drywall?

Chinese, or Toxic drywall, was installed between 2001 and 2009 when there was a drywall shortage in the U.S.. This was caused by the housing bubble burst in 2008, as well as, several hurricanes in the southeast. Homes could have been remodeled with toxic drywall or built with it.

Toxic drywall releases sulfur gases that are particularly emitted during high humidity. The sulfur gases can create health concerns in both the short term and long term.

Health Concerns

With short term exposure, a person may experience:

  • sore throat
  • eye irritation
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • nausea

With long term exposure, individuals may experience the following:

  • chronic fatigue
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • dizziness
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • memory loss

How to tell if you have Chinese Drywall

The sulfur gases released by toxic drywall creates clues that allow us to determine the probability of having Chinese drywall. Here are some of the signs to look for:

  • black residue on copper plumbing, air handler coils, and copper wiring (check outlets)
  • rotten egg smell inside the home
  • health symptoms listed above experienced by the home’s occupants
  • Chinese lettering or “Made in China” inked on backside of drywall panels (check the attic for this)

It is important to note that some homes may only include some portions of problem drywall depending on remodeling, or how the shipments of drywall came in during construction.

If you meet the above criteria it is recommended to test by a laboratory, or have a qualified home inspector evaluate the home for a professional opinion. We can complete contaminated drywall tests for you in West Central Florida and Southwest Florida.

Check out our gallery of images for Chinese Drywall

Remediation Process

The repair process for Chinese drywall can be very extensive depending on the amount of the drywall installed in the home. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has guidelines for remediation that should be followed.

It is important to hire a qualified contractor that has an extensive background in contaminated drywall remediation.

All items below will most likely need to be replaced:

  • all drywall
  • electronics like: smoke detectors, appliances, and household items
  • gas piping
  • plumbing
  • electrical panels and wiring
  • air handler and air conditioning


The CPSC and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did complete investigations in 2009 on contaminated drywall. This was led by Senator Bill Nelson in Florida to find out the validity of toxic drywall concerns. Their investigation concluded that sulfur gases were released in homes built with Chinese drywall.

There have been many lawsuits and settlements and a lot of them vary by state.

Insurance Coverage

For insurance coverage, it depends on the insurance company and also your state. The best thing to do is to check with your insurance company to evaluate what your options are.

Furthermore, you should understand that contaminated drywall affects property value greatly.

If you have more questions on contaminated drywall, comment below.

Big thanks to Chuck Stewart for supplying us with those pictures to use on this blog.