Donate |

Feds: Homes with tainted drywall should be gutted

Consumer Reports News: April 02, 2010 04:06 PM

Homes with tainted Chinese drywall should be stripped down to the studs, according to today's recommendation from two federal agencies. The corroded electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, gas pipes and other systems should also be removed, said the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in a joint statement.

"We want families to tear it all out and rebuild the interior of their homes, and they need to start this to get their lives started all over again," said Inez Tenenbaum, chairwoman of the CPSC.

Left unresolved was how the extensive work would be paid for. But the declaration opens the door to funding options. “Our investigations now show a clear path forward,” said Tenenbaum. “We have shared with affected families that hydrogen sulfide is causing the corrosion. Based on the scientific work to date, removing the problem drywall is the best solution currently available to homeowners. Our scientific investigation now provides a strong foundation for Congress as they consider their policy options and explore relief for affected homeowners.”

In other words, Congress, the ball is now in your court.

According to a report in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the agencies moved up their announcement after being criticized for "plodding" scientific investigations. Homeowners in Louisiana and several other Gulf states have been most affected by the tainted drywall, much of which was installed after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"The CPSC repair protocols are a victory for homeowners who want to make sure that home repairs are extensive enough that properties retain their values and could be re-sold," the newspaper reported. "But they compound the potential financial losses for those who end up paying the bills, such as Louisiana's many small builders, who fear that the situation could bankrupt them."

Information on the remediation as well as the results of ongoing scientific studies is featured in the CPSC's Drywall Information Center. The CPSC site also features photos and other information to help homeowners identify tainted drywall. The Times-Picayune has also written extensively about the drywall problem including coverage of ongoing lawsuits and insurance issues.
   

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

TIRE REVIEWS
Chinese tire brands are no bargain in the long runVideo Learn more from our tests of Geostar, Pegasus, and Sunny tires.
COMPUTER REVIEWS
5 questions to ask before buying a 2-in-1 computer Are these laptop/tablet hybrids the perfect combination for your needs?
KITCHEN PLANNING GUIDE
Remodeling: Big design ideas for your small kitchen Maximize your space with the right floor plan and smart storage.
SEDAN REVIEWS
Time to buy: Get the best deal on your new carVideo We'll help you save big on a car that shines in our road tests.
GAS GRILL REVIEWS
5 easy ways to trick out your tailgate partyVideo Impress fans in the parking lot with your gear and grilling skills.
MONEY NEWS
Reviews of Google Wallet, Softcard, and Loop Wallet Can digital wallets make your life easier, more convenient, and more secure?

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more