Guidance will help property owners and contractors determine whether home has problem drywall
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued guidance on how to identify the presence of metal corrosion, as well as other indicators of problem drywall in homes. The guidance takes into account visual signs of metal corrosion, evidence of drywall installation in the relevant time period, and the identification of other corroborating evidence or characteristics.
HUD and CPSC’s two-step guidance requires a visual inspection that must show blackening of copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils; and the installation of new drywall (for new construction or renovations) between 2001 and 2008. To view the full text of this guidance, visit HUD’s website or CPSC’s website.
The guidance also describes obtaining additional corroborating evidence of problem drywall, since it is possible that corrosion of metal in homes can occur for other reasons. For example, homes with new drywall installed between 2005 and 2008 (and the significant increase in imported problem drywall due in part to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) must meet at least two additional criteria related to: the chemical analysis of metal corrosion in the home; elemental markers in the drywall; markings on the drywall; or specific chemical emissions from the drywall. Homes with new drywall installed between 2001 and 2004 must meet a total of at least four of those criteria. Collecting evidence of these corroborating conditions may require professional assistance and analysis.
“Families have the right to know if their homes contain problem drywall so they can begin the process of doing needed repairs,” said Jon Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. “This guidance offers homeowners, contractors and state and local authorities a course of action for knowing if they’re dealing with problem drywall or not.”
“We are moving forward to help families who are suffering from problem drywall in their homes. We are committed to helping them, and we will continue to rely on solid science to identify the specific causes and remedies for problem drywall,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
This preliminary identification guidance developed by the Federal Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall is based primarily on the presence of metal corrosion in homes as well as other indicators of problem drywall. Additional analysis will continue to validate these methods and the identification guidance may be modified as necessary.
FHA-insured families experiencing problems associated with problem drywall may be eligible for assistance to help them rehabilitate their properties. HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program may also be a resource to help local communities combat the problem.
Homeowners who believe they may have problem drywall should immediately report to CPSC by calling 800-638-2772 or logging on to www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/drywall.aspx. Hearing- or speech-challenged individuals may access the phone number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.