HUD updates Chinese drywall remediation guidance
Two government organizations said it is not necessary to remove all electrical wiring in homes with Chinese drywall during the remediation process. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released an updated version of their guidance on Chinese drywall remediation. The change comes after a study by Sandia National Laboratories found there were no correlating hazardous effects. "After simulating more than 40 years of corrosive conditions that could exist in problem drywall homes, Sandia staff did not observe any acute or long-term electrical safety events, such as smoking or fire," HUD said. "Accordingly, it is the belief of CPSC staff and Sandia that even simulated long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gases does not indicate a safety hazard to the home’s electrical systems," the Sandia report said. The National Association of Home Builders released guidance last week, advising members to remove and replace all low-voltage, signal or data wiring, as well as to remove and replace the coils in all air-handling units and all duct work and sheet metal in the property. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, electrical receptacles, electrical switches, circuit breakers, gas service piping and fire suppression sprinklers must still be replaced under the new HUD/CPSC guidance. This is in addition to removing the problem drywall. HUD hopes the new change will reduce the cost of remediation for many homes. As of Jan. 7, there were 3,770 incidents reported of defective drywall, according to the CPSC. Florida has the most with 2,137 cases, followed by Louisiana with 704 cases and Alabama with 215. Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin is one of the largest makers of Chinese drywall and began a pilot remediation program in early February. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.