Posted by Paul Francis on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 7:03pm.
Chinese Drywall debate is about to heat up
There are not many documented reports of Chinese Drywall in Las Vegas except for this lawsuit that alleges the use of Chinese Drywall brought on by four homeowners. I’ve also heard of a particular Las Vegas Condominium development plagued with construction defect litigation that also used Chinese Drywall but I’ve been unable to verify the accuracy so far. Regardless.. I’m pretty certain that the Chinese Drywall issue is going to be the next big concern after this latest guideline was just released from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Thousands of U.S. homes tainted by Chinese drywall should be gutted, according to new guidelines released Friday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The guidelines say electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, gas pipes and drywall need to be removed.
“We want families to tear it all out and rebuild the interior of their homes, and they need to start this to get their lives started all over again,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chairwoman of the commission, the federal agency charged with making sure consumer products are safe.
About 3,000 homeowners, mostly in Florida, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, have reported problems with the Chinese-made drywall, which was imported in large quantities during the housing boom and after a string of Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Here is the actual Report released today: HUD & the CPSC concerning Chinese Drywall
Certainly sounds expensive.
Chinese Drywall in Las Vegas?
I’m not aware of any specific neighborhoods in Las Vegas where the builders used Chinese Drywall that have been well documented / verified but there have been complaints reported out of Nevada and the lawsuit filed so it’s certainly an issue I’m not going to ignore for my clients. Ok.. so it’s only 3 reported complaints as of right now but it’s important to keep an eye out for some warning signs provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Drywall Information Center. Especially since every major real estate brokerage in Las Vegas (Prudential Americana Group – Realtors® included) pretty much has some kind of disclosure for buyers and sellers to sign off on. I like to explain to sellers and buyers what they are actually signing off on so there is no confusion / panic, etc.
Before everybody gets into panic mode lets take a closer look at this Chinese Drywall syndrome.
While there is no definitive test that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is aware of… here are some things to look out for: (Click the link right above for Pictures)
- Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell in the home.
- Blackened and or corroded metal components in the home. (Certainly tough to explain that in a Las Vegas home built in the past decade.
- States “Made in China” right on the back of the drywall. See 1 and 2 above before ripping out something to get access to the back of the drywall to read where it came from.
Ok… certainly does not sound too complicated. You can Take a look at this EPA analysis of Chinese Drywall in comparison to domestically manufactured drywall.
There are gypsum mines all throughout the Southwest and in fact.. an old one just west of Rhodes Ranch. Manufacturing companies tend to not be too far away so it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of drywall suppliers in the Las Vegas area stayed close to home in their drywall orders. Hurricanes in Florida and the building boom created a strong demand for drywall so suppliers in the Southeast met this demand by importing their drywall from China.
In other words… it’s fairly safe to say that Las Vegas homebuilders were not going to save too much money using imported Chinese Drywall. (I’m certainly not guaranteeing this though so keep reading.)
When strong language such as what was used in the Consumer Product Safety Commission stating that homes with Chinese drywall must be gutted… opportunity arises and services will probably be popping up to make some money on all of this. Kind of like the Toxic Mold syndrome that popped up in the mid 2000’s…
I already mentioned above that most of the major brokerages in Las Vegas already have disclosures to sign off on concerning Chinese Drywall which probably has more to do with the four homeowners lawsuit filed then a widespread problem. HOWEVER…
From Chinese Drywall to Toxic Drywall
Some further research on the subject and I came across this article from the Legal Experts Directory:
Notice that Chinese has been replaced with Toxic?
From the article:
Although the Chinese are currently receiving all the blame for the defective drywall, U.S.-manufactured drywall might have similar issues. In the U.S. more than 60 million tons of fly ash are generated from power plants each year. Approximately two-thirds of this fly ash is disposed in landfills, but the other one-third is used as recycled or “green” products. About 20% of recycled fly ash is used as a concrete ingredient, with the remaining 80% or approximate 16 million tons annually used as filler for U.S. manufactured drywall.
So much for going green..
In the same article:
America’s Watchdog, a private, for profit entity that acts as a consultant to law firms in class-action suits claims to have located Chinese drywall in California, Arizona, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia. In the Western region, this group says it has discovered Chinese drywall in homes built between 2003 and 2007 throughout Arizona and California, specifically in Phoenix, Tucson, Riverside County, Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, and extreme northern California. However the claims in the west have not yet been as numerous as in Florida, primarily because these sulfur-based chemical reactions are accelerated with higher moisture levels. According to the Homeowners Consumer Center:
“We always expected to find very heavy concentrations of the Chinese drywall in California, Arizona, Las Vegas, the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain West, because most of the product was shipped through the ports of Long Beach, Oakland, and/or Seattle/Tacoma.”
Catch that? “the claims in the west have not yet been as numerous as in Florida, primarily because these sulfur-based chemical reactions are accelerated with higher moisture levels.”
Obviously the climate in the Southwest is much, much dryer then Florida so according to America’s Watchdog… they state they know it has been shipped into Las Vegas and used by Las Vegas New Home Builders and say it’s only a matter of time for the obvious syndromes to start appearing.
Keep an eye out for corroded metal components… and Erin Brockovich..
If any Las Vegas neighborhoods pop up where the builders used Chinese Drywall… it’s pretty safe to say that with this new national attention and expensive remedy for repairing it.. the news will spread fast. If you know about documented cases in Las Vegas Homes.. please comment below and let us all know.
Prudential Americana Group – Realtors
Las Vegas Home Search
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