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Old 08-28-2007, 10:56 PM   #16
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Drywall problems in new house


http://alcor.concordia.ca/~raojw/crd...say000262.html

whats in your attic?

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Old 09-10-2007, 08:52 PM   #17
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Drywall problems in new house


BettyCv,

Thank you for your post. I've been out of town for the past week so I haven't been able to respond.

I've reread your recent posts and will respond in order.

We had an electronic air cleaner installed because the folks who sell the add-on's said it was a good idea. I wouldn't have done it if I had know that they created ozone. Lennox makes a comprehensive unit that I would have installed instead including UV lights that will kill mold particles in the air.

I've definately researched multiple chemical sensitivity. I would say that I have had sensitivity to it in the past but I could always leave. Now my home seems to be the problem causing me headaches (the kind that hurt one's head) and a teensy bit of respiratory irritation. Watery eyes as well.

I smell glue on occasion when I come into my home. None of my neighbors seem to have this problem. I'm male and I have a very strong sense of smell. The manufacturers tested the paint and the drywall. The builder wouldn't give me the results but said there were no problems.

Does the closet that smelled the worst backup to a bathroom? Just wondering if the concrete drywall in the bathroom might be permeating from the back.

You mentioned that the air quality expert suggested you seal the sump pump which is below the room that's below the smell room. Does the room below the smelly room have hardwood floors? Perhaps the smell is going up through a wall cavity and escaping?

You mentioned you had your carpets cleaned, we replaced our carpets and sealed the floors with safe seal before we had them put down. Still headaches.

We don't have yellowing of the drywall.

Let me give a complete review of the situation for everyone reading and for any one else in the world that may have this problem.

In July of 2006, we moved into a brand newly constructed home. I had checked on the home many times during construction.

After about 2 weeks, I noticed a strange smell coming from my oldest son's bedroom. We moved him out of the room and called the gas company. The gas company came in with their tester and reported no gas. The smell was like sulphur. My wife said it smelled like bleach. The flue runs right next to that room so we had the HVAC installer come back and double check everything. He said it all looked good.

The very interesting thing about all this is that the smell got worse on sunny days. I'm still not sure if it's just the sunlight or the heat associated with the sunlight but I almost think that there is a direct correlation with the sun.

I went online and found this interesting article:
http://web.bsu.edu/ien/archives/2002/092602.htm
(For those who don't want to read the whole thing, it discusses bad paint and a smell it emits. The suggested remedy is repainting.)

I sent this article to the builder. The builder had the painter and the paint manufacturer come to the home. They smelled the smell and insisted that it wasn't the paint. I gave them a copy of the article and sent them on their way. They interestingly paid to have 2 rooms (the smell was now going on in 2 rooms) painted with a low-voc primer and low-voc paint. The sulfur smell was gone. That was probably in September when they repainted. (Periodically however, I smell a plastic smell in the rooms on sunny/hot days.)

Prior to painting, the builder opened up the drywall and looked inside the walls. They looked and smelled fine. The drywall had an almost sweet smell to it. (?)

The builder had some air quality tests done. Sulfur compounds, VOC, mold, formaldehyde. All came back negative. I performed a Radon test which came back negative.

That sulfur smell from the drywall got me thinking. A little research shows that when drywall breaks down, it gives off a sulfury smell. Interesting correlation.

We had the ducts cleaned - no improvement.

So I have headaches. There seems to be a direct correlation between hot days and the level of my headaches.

We have powerlines and a cell tower near our back yard. We have the electric company coming later in the month to test our levels of EMF near our home.

It seems to me that I get headaches sometimes when I'm standing outside in my front yard where there would be plenty of ventilation. I should mention that my exterior paint has a latexy smell. (Paint doesn't use real latex, so you can't get an latex reaction to paint.) Exterior paint could be the culprit. The soil could be the culprit. I seem to smell strong crawl space odors coming out of the vents.

One of the closets had a chemically smell. I repainted the closet and haven't had a chemical smell since then.

I think I mentioned that I can smell the glue from the wood products on occasion. The headaches don't seem to be related.

I almost think that it could be a gas from the earth if it wasn't for those rooms smelling. Is it possible that a gas is the catalyst causing the drywall and other products to smell?

The bathroom/shower that everyone uses has a strange smell in it. Not a moldy smell but something obvious. Almost smells like plastic. I'm half tempted to rip out the drywall and see if replacing it makes a difference.

I also found this technology interesting:
http://www.thermapure.com/index.php
(Heat your house to 140 degrees to burn off the VOC's, kill mold and other pests.) Not yet available in my area.

So I'm at a crossroads. I'm emotionally done with this issue. I'm about ready to move. I will lose some (a lot) of money if I do this because of market conditions. What I want to do, is to remediate the problem and stay here until the market get better.

I could repaint, I could redrywall, I could reroof (one lady I ready about got headaches during the day because of a gas coming off the roofing material), I could redo the siding. I could put in different cabinets. I could put in one of those radon systems in the basement. I could do a thermapure treatment. I could replace the insulation behind the drywall and in the attic. I could easily spend lot's of money that I don't have and still not fix the problem.

It seems reasonable that an air quality test should be able to determine what substance is in significant quantities is causing me headaches. I just don't think the experts involved have taken as analytical approach as necessary. I need someone who can really diagnose this problem correctly and someone who really cares about my health.

I would like to have a list of everything that could be off gassing (mold and VOC). Then do the tests to look for all that stuff and the connect the dot's with the result. I can't believe that this is that complicated.

I've had the HVAC guy here today. Perhaps the best solution is to just exchange the air often enough to alleviate the problem. I want to fix the problem - not just remediate.

It seems reasonable that someone else on this planet has had a similar experience to mine, but my web searches have proved unable to find anyone.

If anyone can provide me with some direction, please let me know.

Thanks for listening.

Last edited by earlofpeatrig; 09-11-2007 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:54 AM   #18
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Drywall problems in new house


I have it from a reliable source, a new home builder, that the problems people have been experienceing with odor from drywall in new homes are due to one single source. It is drwall that was imported from China. During the building boom of years ago, 2002-2005 building materials of all sorts were in short supply ie lumber cement & drywall. In order to fill the shortfall the US beagn heavily importing these materials from China. Just like the lead tainted toys, caustic baby food etc the unregulated manufacture of drywall is now a big health issue that nations Big Builders will not talk about as the cost to rectify all the homes built with this Chinese "Junk" drywall would be in the ten$ of billion$. I know of one such builder that is now disclosing of a possible health issue on certain homes that are emitting such odors that people in this blog are talking about. I would strongly urge anyone looking at buying a new home built in the last 4 - 5 years not to. When will America begin producing it own products again and put our people back to work?
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:13 AM   #19
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Drywall problems in new house


If you have anything more specific, such as manufacturers or links, please post them.

Thank you!
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:44 AM   #20
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Drywall problems in new house


Haven't heard of Chinese drywall problems.......I do know we import a good bit from Mexico. As far as "producing our own", we do. It takes a long time (couple of yrs.) to get a new plant online or upgrade an old one to produce more. With all of the natural disasters that have happened in recent years, the gypsum industry can't keep up with the demand. I've never come across "smelly" drywall personally, but I'm sure it could happen. I do recall a house years back that had been insulated and the insulation was giving off an odor. Buyer insisted it be replaced (I would have too). As has been stated, there are several reasons drywall can "yellow" including natural aging if it's not painted. One not mentioned could be hydraulic fluid from a leak on the boom truck that delivered and stocked the house. I've seen it many times. Don't know that it would cause a lasting smell though.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:50 AM   #21
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Drywall problems in new house


bj,

Thank you for your thoughts. Was it cellulose insulation? I have wondered if that might be our problem.

Meant to add that the drywall had yellow corners almost from day 1, so it was not an aging issue. Dh visited the building site often, and never noticed the yellowing before it was taped and mudded. So again, I don't think it was something that was "on" the drywall before its installation.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:23 PM   #22
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Drywall problems in new house


No, it was fiberglass........and as I recall some of it may have gotten wet (roof not complete or something like that) and may have been some of the cause. The older fiberglass used to have a lot of formaldehyde in it,I believe, which could have been another cause. I just remember it was a strong odor.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:14 PM   #23
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Drywall problems in new house


Not sure of the manufacturer. The builder is a national one and they refunded the buyers money in the last case. Thye are not replacing the dryway in that home but are rather choosing to disclose that there could be an issue related to the odor. The complaints they are hearing from others are similar to christina's in that they are experiencing respiratory problems so this is a real issue. It may have a tough time gaining national attention as the home building industry is already on the edge and an expose' like this would probably push them right over.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:28 PM   #24
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Drywall problems in new house


I had a problem with new paint 'gassing'!

It was my own fault!

I was unhappy with the shade of some paint that I had tinted! I asked the paint sales person to add more tint.
She was reluctant, as it deviated from the manufacturers formula.
I insisted, adding that i wouldn't hold her responsible.
Much to my chagrin, after I painted, it kept on releasing an odour that was offensive.
Somehow, the driers in the paint failed to work, due to the unbalanced formula.
It took months for the paint to finally quit releasing these fumes. But, eventually it did dry!
I mention this, as it could be possible that improper mixing of paint can have unforeseen effects.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:23 AM   #25
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Drywall problems in new house


what's behind the closet? is it a bathroom ?
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:07 PM   #26
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Drywall problems in new house


Sounds like offgasing from Chinese Drywall. This can be toxic. Check the copper tubing in your A/C. Is it black/tarnished?
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #27
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Really???? Have you had this problem? If so, what state do you live in? Who built the home?

Earlofpeatrig,
Did you ever find out what the smell was coming from? What state do you live in and who is your builder? Have you been able to remedy the situation?

I would have an independent company come in and test for sulfur compounds.

Murf 58,
What is the name of the builder and what state was the home built in?
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:52 PM   #28
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Drywall problems in new house


I had the same problem that you did , and still do...wanted to tell you about it, is yours resolved?
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:58 PM   #29
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Drywall problems in new house


No, I have a class action suit against the builder, manufacturer and distributors.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:44 AM   #30
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Drywall problems in new house


My house is 20 yrs old and I had it built in a development. Last yr I had my son's rm painted for the first time. For some reason a horrible odor came on. It got worse with the heat and windows open, better when the a/c was on. We took everything out of the rm. Cleaned the rug... There was not a reason for it. FINALLY figured out it was the McCormick ceiling paint, not wall paint BUT,my painter used the exact ceiling paint on my parents house with NO odor at all!?!! I had the air checked and it did have mod high VOC's. The paint chemist came to my house. The solution was to repaint with an oil based paint to cover the odor and then the laytex on top. I left on 12'by 12' area unpainted... it STILL smells there! That is on my to do list. Please let me know any findings or experiences you or others have had with this. A mystery. There is not much out there on Ghost Odors.

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