Chinese drywall mystery solved!

Chinese drywall mystery? Sulfur smell and corrosion tests negative for Chinese Drywall.

I received a call from a realtor that stated a house that was on the market had been flagged during the routine home inspection after the buyers offer had been accepted. The inspector had found black corrosion on copper water lines and there was a strong smell of sulphur in the house is what caused him write “Possible Chinese drywall” in his inspection report. So until this home was inspected by a chinese drywall expert this sale was on hold if not lost.

So I proceeded to ask all the usual questions when I get contacted about Chinese drywall.

  • What year was the house built? Realtor say’s: 2001

  • Have there been any renovations or any type of drywall repairs or ceiling repairs? Realtor: Yes a kitchen remodel

  • Is there any visible corrosion? Realtor: Yes

  • Is there a sulphur smell in the home? Realtor: Yes

  • After answering my Chinese drywall questions, I told the Realtor that based on his answers I thought the only possibility for there to be Chinese drywall would have been from a renovation or drywall repairs had been done after 2004. But, based on the corrosion and the sulphur smell I thought Chinese drywall at the home could be a possibility. So the realtor wanted to make an appointment for me to come to the home in question and do a Visual Chinese Drywall Evaluation as soon as possible.

    Chinese Drywall Mystery Inspection Day!

    Upon entering this Palm Bay, FL home a very strong odor of sulfur was apparent.

    I started the chinese drywall inspection in the kitchen and saw that the kitchen sink had yellow staining and underneath the kitchen cabinets the hot and cold water lines corrosion on them.

    Chinese drywall mystery- Kitchen sink

    Yellow stains in the kitchen sink

    Chinese drywall- Kitchen sink supply line corrosion

    Kitchen sink supply line corrosion

    The dishwasher water supply line also had corrosion and was black.

    Chinese drywall mystery- Dishwasher pulled out

    Dishwasher pulled out

    Chinese drywall mystery- Dishwasher supply line corrosion

    Dishwasher supply line corrosion

    I next went into the guest bathroom and saw corrosion on the water lines and some of the faucets minimal corrosion in the tub of the guest bathroom.

    Next, I checked the Guest bedrooms and living room and saw no corrosion whatsoever.

    The dining room had corrosion on the copper ground wire on the chandelier

    Moving onto the master bedroom I saw a really no corrosion in
    the bedroom but a lot of corrosion in the master bathroom from the water line to
    the toilet, faucets and major corrosion at the Jacuzzi tub drain.

    Chinese drywall- Toilet supply line corrosion

    Toilet supply line corrosion

    Chinese drywall mystery- Master bathroom sink supply line corrosion

    Master bathroom sink supply line corrosion

    Chinese drywall- Master bath jacuzzi tub drain

    Master bath jacuzzi tub drain

    Chinese drywall- Jacuzzi tub drain corrosion

    Jacuzzi tub drain corrosion

    Then into the garage and laundry room, there was no corrosion on the 7 year
    old AC coils and no corrosion on the 4 year old water heater.

    Water heater was  manufactured in 2011

    Water heater was manufactured in 2011

    Water heater has no corrosion

    Water heater has no corrosion

    While in the garage I went into the attic to see if I could see any manufacturing dates on the back of the ceiling drywall. All of the drywall that I could see up there was dated 08/24/2000.

    Chinese drywall tests negative mfg date 2000

    Chinese drywall tests negative mfg date 2000

    The Chinese drywall mystery is starting to unravel…

    One of my first questions was if this home was connected to city water or well water inside?

    I had asked the real estate agent that was there at the home for the
    Chinese drywall inspection, if the owner had lived alone or if there was other people that lived
    with her? Simply because there was no corrosion in the guest bathroom tub and
    major corrosion in the master bathroom tub. Which made me curious as to why it
    would be so bad in the master and nothing in the guest tub.

    The real estate agent responded that he thought the woman lived alone. That kind of got my
    curiosity going about the well water, which a lot of times has a sulfur smell
    which would explain why the home smells like sulfur from the water sprinklers
    being on.

    Once back at the office I called the city of Palm Bay to ask if city water had
    always been at the Chinese drywall mystery home since 2001?

    The next day I received a call from a City of Palm Bay employee stating that there were three different phases in the Port Malabar Unit 7 area where the water had been switched over well water to city water. At this particular address it was switched over to city water during the (Phase 3) portion. Which was completed in July of 2005.

    In conclusion of the visual Chinese drywall inspection and a phone call to the
    city of Palm Bay:

    I have found this Palm bay home to not contain Chinese drywall due to the fact

    1) The home was built in 2001

    2) After looking at the back of the drywall in the
    attic, the drywall was from August 2000.

    3) AC coils that were seven years old had no corrosion.

    4) Water heater that was two years old had no corrosion.

    5) Guest bathroom tub had no corrosion because the lady that was selling the home lived by herself and didn’t use this shower or tub.

    6) Master bathroom tub master sink, kitchen sink had corrosion on the hot and cold water supply line and yellow staining from the sulphur gases and well water.

    7) Sulfur smell in the home was coming from the water sprinkler shallow well
    system. Along with the standing sprinkler water in multiple flower pots including decaying plants at the front entrance of the home, which can also put off a strong sulfur gas.

    8) After talking to the city of Palm Bay and finding out that the home had
    been on well water for over four years before switching over to city water told me that this was not Chinese drywall but well water and the sulfur within it causing the corrosion to mimic the symptoms of Chinese drywall.

    Chinese Drywall Mystery Solved!

    Paul Peck
    Chinese Drywall inspections by a Florida Drywall Contractor- Lic.#RX11066969