Cities in nearly every state in the U.S. are dealing with what some consumer watchdog groups are calling the most devastating home construction problems in U.S. history. Possibly hundreds of thousands of homes and condos throughout the country have been built using toxic Chinese drywall, and a score of problems are currently hindering any attempt at tracking, recognizing and removing the affected drywall.
The affected Chinese drywall is most susceptible to heat and humidity and will be most toxic in conditions of warmer states like Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, and parts of Texas. Unfortunately for people living in these seven states, symptoms and illness will be more prevalent, which at least means that the problem can be recognized. Houses in warmer states will experience toxic off-gassing, which means not only potentially serious health risks, but also severe damage to copper pipes, AC coils, and electrical wiring.
For the other 43 states, it’s a much more difficult task. In colder climates, the drywall is far less likely to expose its toxicity immediately, and it could take years for homeowners or investigators to determine which houses were built using the toxic Chinese drywall. Additionally, many homes were also improperly constructed using “blank” drywall, meaning that drywall sheets weren’t marked with identification numbers. In order to pass inspection, homes must be built using only marked drywall, which raises an entirely different issue in itself. Many other homes were also built using inter-mixed drywall, which means they could have both unaffected American dry wall and Chinese drywall, making it incredibly difficult to determine the difference.
In response to this serious health issue, some insurance companies and developers throughout the country are refusing to compensate homeowners living in houses constructed with Chinese drywall. State and city governments are beginning preparations for what could result in a serious financial mess. For instance, the city council of Norfolk, Virginia, is currently contemplating asking Governor Bob McDonnell to declare a state of emergency for affected homeowners in order to free up necessary relief funds.
The Louisiana Attorney General’s office is the first state to take the matter to court. In mid-January, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell filed a lawsuit against multiple companies associated with Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin for manufacturing, distributing and constructing homes with the toxic Chinese drywall. Caldwell maintains that the use and sale of this drywall will have a seriously negative impact on the Louisiana economy, a sentiment shared by city and state leaders throughout the country.
As far as illness symptoms, the aforementioned seven Southern states have been easier to identify as of yet. People suffering from constant upper respiratory problems, headaches and migraines, nose bleeds, and allergic skin reactions should contact a physician or medical professional. Houses in the South will also experience electrical problems, such as lights dimming or flickering and repeated air conditioning failure. Homeowners in all states should examine newly-built houses thoroughly, including checking drywall in the attic for identification markings, and examining any copper wiring or pipes for corrosion.
If you or a loved one have experienced health issues or home problems caused by toxic Chinese drywall, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with Chinese drywall. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.