IMS releases biochemical drywall remediation
Integrated Mortgage Solutions is bringing a new method for fixing defective drywall to market that cuts the process timeline for remediation substantially. The Houston-based company said Monday it will begin using a water-based, non-toxic biochemical spray to neutralize corrosive compounds in problematic Chinese drywall. The product has been tested for two and a half years, which gives Cheryl Lang, president and chief executive officer of IMS, more than enough confidence to start distributing it to the public. "You used to need major surgery to have your appendix removed. Now your surgeon uses technology to do it far less invasively. It's the same idea with this method of neutralizing Chinese drywall vapors," Lang commented. "There's a safe, well-tested alternative available, and we wanted to make it available as quickly as possible to our clients." The biochemical product is sprayed on the front surface of defective drywall, as well as inside the building material. Remediators drill holes in the side of the drywall and use a foam form of the substance to fill wall cavities. Living areas are sprayed down too, IMS said. The firm replaces all corroded hardware such as electrical switches and wiring during the process. IMS said effects from this type of remediation are experienced "almost immediately." There are no health risks associated with the biochemical spray, as far as IMS testing found. Homeowners are required to leave the property during remediation, however, and IMS boasts its method substantially reduces the timeline for the process, as well as the price. "For a good sized family home, the old method can cost up to $100,000 and take 10 weeks or more,” Lang said. “The new method for the same home would be roughly $60,000 and take three weeks or less." As of Jan. 7, there were 3,770 incidents reported of defective drywall, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Florida leads the ranks with 2,137 cases, followed Louisiana with 704 cases and Alabama with 215 cases. Chinese drywall was a primary resource used to build homes in the South during the housing boom and rebuild after several hurricanes. The CSPC recently found American-made drywall may also be defective. The new IMS remediation method uses patented technology developed by Sandia National Laboratories for the Department of Energy and National Security Administration for their chemical and biological programs. IMS offers a three-year warranty against the reoccurrence of corrosion with this product. Sandia worked in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to release guidelines for drywall remediation in late March. Integrated Mortgage Solutions provides collateral protection resources for the mortgage servicing sector. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.