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Since October of 2009, the CPSC has been investigating the many reports from homeowners relating to problems in homes built using drywall imported from China. Homeowners in many states, but most notably in the Southeast, have suffered wire and metal corrosion problems in their homes and many have reported health issues they also believe may be linked to the drywall as well.
On April 2, HUD and the CPSC have announced their new guidelines for homeowners who have Chinese drywall in their homes. To review the Commission's protocol on identifying problem drywall, click here. If your home does have the Chinese drywall in it, the CPSC recommends, "consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms."
This is a very complicated and expensive process. The CPSC further recommends that homeowners be very careful when choosing a contractor to do the repair work. In a December 2009 Consumer Alert, the FTC suggested homeowners check a contractor’s references, qualifications and background before agreeing to hire them.
Financing such massive repairs, especially to a home that has lost value due to the problem drywall, can be daunting. The CPSC has the following financing information:
“Our investigations now show a clear path forward,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We have shared with affected families that hydrogen sulfide is causing the corrosion. Based on the scientific work to date, removing the problem drywall is the best solution currently available to homeowners. Our scientific investigation now provides a strong foundation for Congress as they consider their policy options and explore relief for affected homeowners.”
For the full text of the CPSC announcement, HUD recommendations and investigative history, go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/hud10068.html.