New Hanover County, NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an interesting article written by By Stephani L. Miller with CUSTOM HOME Magazine on how to detect problem drywall.

Following up on months of research into complaints of imported drywall causing corrosion in homes, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released a set of guidelines to help contractors and builders identify problem drywall in homes. Developed by the Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall, the two-step guidance requires a visual inspection to detect the presence of metal corrosion followed by collection of corroborating evidence.

 “This guidance offers homeowners, contractors, and state and local authorities a course of action for knowing if they’re dealing with problem drywall or not,” said Jon Gant, director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, in an announcement about the guidelines.

 To determine whether a house has been negatively impacted by problem drywall, the initial Threshold (visual) Inspection, performed by a trained inspector, must show a) blackening of copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils; and b) the installation of new drywall (for new construction or renovations) between 2001 and 2008.

 After establishing both of these conditions, individuals evaluating affected homes should move forward in gathering evidence of conditions in the home that confirm the presence of problem drywall. The task force notes that collecting this evidence may require contracting with professional assessors and possibly analytical laboratories for testing.

 Homes that display the characteristic metal corrosion and had new drywall installed between 2005 and 2008 must also show at least two of the following corroborating conditions; homes that had new drywall installed between 2001 and 2004 must show at least four of the corroborating conditions:

  • Proof of corrosive conditions in the home by the formation of copper sulfide on copper test strips that have been placed in the home for two weeks to 30 days, or by confirming the presence of sulfur by the blackening of the grounding wires and/or air conditioning coils.
  •  Confirmation of drywall bearing Chinese origin markings in the home.
  • Drywall core samples containing strontium levels that exceed 1200 parts per million.
  • Drywall core samples containing levels of elemental sulfur exceeding 10 parts per million.
  • Elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and/or carbon disulfide emissions from drywall samples tested according to ASTM chamber tests.
  • The formation of copper sulfide on copper metal during chamber testing using drywall samples from the home.

 CPSC is continuing its testing and studies and will refine and update this preliminary identification guidance as necessary. Full details and rationale for the identification methods is available at, the task force’s Drywall Information Center website.

 CUSTOM HOME previously reported on the task force’s research findings that linked Chinese-manufactured drywall to metal corrosion in homes in December.

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