At this time, standardized sampling protocals have yet to be established in the United States. Accredited Building Consultants, Inc. currently provides inspections following the case definition criteria outlined by the Florida Department of Health.[DOH Site
STEP ONE: Chinese Drywall Threshold Inspection.
First; we determine the year the home was built and/or remodeled from between the years of 2001 and 2008. Second; we perform a visual and invasive yet nondestructive evaluation of the electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures, mirrors, air-conditioning evaporator coils and any and all other metallic materials in the home. These metallic components exposed to Chinese drywall out gassing will tarnish or turn black. Third; we perform a visual inspection of the drywall by measuring the thickness of the drywall because subject Chinese drywall is ½” thick. Fourth; we look for identifying markings of whom the manufacturer of drywall. Our methodologies include inspection of unfinished drywall between walls and in the ceiling area using our specialized techniques. Fifth; we visually identify small samples for color differences. Chinese drywall is usually off-white from American made drywall. The off white color is caused by known contaminates that are found in Chinese drywall. Sixth; we note of any unusual odor characteristics of the drywall; odor is most prevalent at electrical opening and is most prevalent in the summer. This is an excellent indicator of problematic Chinese drywall.
NOTE: these six steps follow the protocal of the Florida Department of Health's, "Self Assesment Guide" that can be viewed at the [DOH Site
]. You certainly can perform this inspection yourself however it would be highly recommended that a trained professional familiar with working around high-voltage components like service panels and air-conditioning equipment be hired so that you avoid serious injury.
STEP TWO: Edge Tape Identification.
Step two is to corroborate the findings in step number one. There is no or very little damage done to the structure by this method. In this method the removal and replacement of baseboard is done to find the type of edge tape markings used on the drywall. First the question is is there edge tape or not if there is edge tape what type is been found. Chinese drywall is been known to be manufactured with no edge tape, plain white paper edge tape, or clear plastic edge tape. It is known that Knauf Tianjin drywall edge tape is blue and yellow as shown below.
STEP THREE: Laboratory Testing
There is no or very little damage done to the structure by this method. Additional charge for laboratory testing and shipping, turnaround time 5 to 6 day. Laboratory testing reliability requires the collection of many samples from the homes walls and ceilings. These samples after being taken are relatively low cost on a per sample basis due to the method in which they are taken. In our laboratory testing 25 samples will be taken per job not one or two like most others. Walls or ceiling will not be left open as this may lead the occupant irritation as done with larger samples. Assessment procedures will leave absolutely no evidence of the inspection; no holes to patch and walls or ceilings to patch; nor finish and or paint touchup. Our laboratory tests, test for fiber, type and amount , reactivity to acid testing for the presence of calcium carbonate, the amount of dark particles in the gypsum, and air void size or density test. Our method is not a chamber or headspace testing for we feel that these tests are not accurate and are destructive in nature with larger 6”X6” coupons being needed.
STEP ONE Chinese drywall inspections with a home inspection up to 1700 sq.ft. are no charge, for larger homes ask for quote. STEP ONE standalone Chinese drywall inspections up to 1700 sq ft. are $250 add $50.00 for every 500 sq. ft.. To Add STEP TWO to any inspection up to 1700 sq.ft Add $ 250. Larger homes and commercial buildings call for a quote. Laboratory tests for homes of the 1700 sq ft. With 25 samples minimum are $1800. For larger homes and commercial buildings call for quote.
X-RAY DEVICES: If you have heard about the portable X-ray equipment, PX-Ray Fluoroscopy Device’s (“XRF”) used to detect individual sheets of Chinese drywall, evidence found in federal court shows that this X-ray equipment has been ruled not reliable
for detection of Chinese drywall by the courts. See this web site for more information: [Judge-Rules-XRF-Testing-for-CDW-Not-Reliable