Update: Chinese Drywall - The Plot Thickens!

There are two interesting developments in the ongoing Chinese Drywall problem, and make no mistake, this is a BIG and growing problem.

The first is a new complaint center that has been started.  The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center wants to hear from homeowners who have had multiple air conditioning coil failures in homes in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in homes with confirmed toxic Chinese drywall. At the same time, the group is saying," we want to talk with ethical, and honest air conditioning industry insiders, or repair technicians, so we can prove the air conditioning industry, and home builders knew about the affects of toxic Chinese drywall as far back as 2005, or even 2004. For these homeowners this is critical information related to their health and the health of their families." Homeowners, or air conditioning industry insiders/AC repair technicians should call the Chinese Drywall Complaint Center anytime at 866-714-6466, or contact the group via its web site at

Http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

This news item has been coming across one of the news links on my website for a couple of weeks now.

The second development regards the insurance companies.  They are taking it on the chin, of course.  But, are they responsible?  They think not.  Homeowners disagree!

From the news article:  "Thousands of homeowners nationwide who bought new houses constructed from the defective building materials are finding their hopes dashed, their lives in limbo. And experts warn that cases like the Ivorys', in which insurers drop policies or send notices of non-renewal based on the presence of Chinese drywall, will become rampant as insurance companies process the hundreds of claims currently in the pipeline. At least three insurers have already canceled or refused to renew policies after homeowners sought their help replacing the bad wallboard. Because mortgage companies require homeowners to insure their properties, they are then at risk of foreclosure, yet no law prevents the cancellations."

One insurance executive said, "If someone were to have bought a new car and there was a defective part, would that person go to their auto insurance to get that fixed or would they go back to the manufacturer?  We provide insurance, not warranty service." 

There is a certain logic to that.

You can read the entire article here, via USA Today: 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-10-15-chinese-drywall-insurers_N.htm?csp=usat.me

I know there are labs who are offering testing services, but I don't know about their proficiency yet.  And I know there are cases of Chinese Drywall in Virginia.  I know what to look for - manufacturer stamps on the back side, for instance - but since I am not "certified" and cannot guarantee anything, Chinese Drywall is already a disclaimer on my signed agreement. 

Until there is more definitive information, to my mind, it is best to warn people but not get involved.

My recommendation:  This is a growing problem, reaching more and more states.  If you are selling a home built in 2004 or later, it is best to warn your clients about this problem.  It could be they are savvy enough to already be informed!

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!