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Should Floridians worry about where their drywall came from?

You have finally signed the closing papers on your dream home and are looking forward to you and your family relaxing. The last thing you would want after purchasing your home is to find out substandard building materials are lowering your house’s value and possibly making your family sick. Unfortunately for many Florida residents, this has been the case after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons led to the damage and reconstruction of thousands of homes.

Domestic suppliers could not keep up with the massive influx of drywall demand, and contractors had to obtain drywall manufactured in China and other countries. You may be interested to learn that Chinese drywall contains hydrogen sulfide, which leaches into the air and is being blamed for numerous health and property issues.

Florida is most impacted by American drywall shortage

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that Florida tops the list of states affected by Chinese drywall, comprising 56 percent of consumer claims against the substandard product – 2,265 claims out of about 4,051 in several southern states impacted by hurricane damage, as well as other areas affected by the drywall shortage. If your home underwent renovations between 2001 and 2009, it may contain drywall outsourced from China.

Damages can involve property and health

How would you know if your home is one of those affected? The first and most noticeable effect would be a persistent, unexplainable smell of rotten eggs throughout the home. You might notice your refrigerator and air conditioner always malfunctioning, as well as corroded wires and pipes.

These are all effects of the hydrogen sulfide breaking down, and the associated costs can be vexing. However, the most concerning result of having Chinese drywall in your home may be your own health. You and your family members might have noticed symptoms such as sore throats, dry eyes, persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, nosebleeds and asthma flare-ups. You might feel better when you go out, only to start feeling worse again when you return home.

If you suspect you have Chinese drywall or other substandard materials in your home, it may help to seek professional advice.

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