What I'm Seeing Now

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Update: Chinese Drywall - The Plot Thickens!

There are two interesting developments in the ongoing Chinese Drywall problem, and make no mistake, this is a BIG and growing problem.

The first is a new complaint center that has been started.  The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center wants to hear from homeowners who have had multiple air conditioning coil failures in homes in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in homes with confirmed toxic Chinese drywall. At the same time, the group is saying," we want to talk with ethical, and honest air conditioning industry insiders, or repair technicians, so we can prove the air conditioning industry, and home builders knew about the affects of toxic Chinese drywall as far back as 2005, or even 2004. For these homeowners this is critical information related to their health and the health of their families." Homeowners, or air conditioning industry insiders/AC repair technicians should call the Chinese Drywall Complaint Center anytime at 866-714-6466, or contact the group via its web site at

Http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

This news item has been coming across one of the news links on my website for a couple of weeks now.

The second development regards the insurance companies.  They are taking it on the chin, of course.  But, are they responsible?  They think not.  Homeowners disagree!

From the news article:  "Thousands of homeowners nationwide who bought new houses constructed from the defective building materials are finding their hopes dashed, their lives in limbo. And experts warn that cases like the Ivorys', in which insurers drop policies or send notices of non-renewal based on the presence of Chinese drywall, will become rampant as insurance companies process the hundreds of claims currently in the pipeline. At least three insurers have already canceled or refused to renew policies after homeowners sought their help replacing the bad wallboard. Because mortgage companies require homeowners to insure their properties, they are then at risk of foreclosure, yet no law prevents the cancellations."

One insurance executive said, "If someone were to have bought a new car and there was a defective part, would that person go to their auto insurance to get that fixed or would they go back to the manufacturer?  We provide insurance, not warranty service." 

There is a certain logic to that.

You can read the entire article here, via USA Today: 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-10-15-chinese-drywall-insurers_N.htm?csp=usat.me

I know there are labs who are offering testing services, but I don't know about their proficiency yet.  And I know there are cases of Chinese Drywall in Virginia.  I know what to look for - manufacturer stamps on the back side, for instance - but since I am not "certified" and cannot guarantee anything, Chinese Drywall is already a disclaimer on my signed agreement. 

Until there is more definitive information, to my mind, it is best to warn people but not get involved.

My recommendation:  This is a growing problem, reaching more and more states.  If you are selling a home built in 2004 or later, it is best to warn your clients about this problem.  It could be they are savvy enough to already be informed!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 9 commentsJay Markanich • October 16 2009 07:27AM

Comments

I heard about Chinese drywall a year or two ago.  I don't think it made it to our area thank goodness!

Posted by Bob Haywood, BobHaywood.com (McGraw Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Jay - Unfortunately there is still too much confusion among consumers. Hopefully that will be resolved soon. But for those who may have the problem, there seems to be no easy solution.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 9 years ago

The quote by the insurance agent is true. 

Posted by Dave Edwards (Dave Edwards Realty) almost 9 years ago

Bob - that is still unknown, so keep your eyes peeled!

John - there will never be an easy solution to this one!

Dave - I agree.  This is one of the problems with health insurance.  People want it to cover whatever, shots, etc.  Your car insurance is catastrophic (like health insurance started out being) and does not cover batteries, tires and spark plugs.  This drywall thing is not something any homeowner's insurance policy anticipated.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay it will be interesting to see how this all plays out----none seen in this state yet---knock on my wooden head.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

--Chinese Drywall-- 

 

 Very interesting!!!  Just another reason why us as Americans need to just buy in the U.S.  It gives us builders a bad name when we purchase materials on the cheap, instead of using the quality choice materials to make an extra buck.  You would think that the homeowner would have some sort of recourse against the builder.  After all, as a builder here in California, we are required to carry insurance to operate.  You would think that the builder would be held liable for this instance.  I guess you could consider it taboo for me to talk out against my fellow tradesman.  But we at Thor Design Building & Development, Inc. hold ourselves accountable.  My company was founded on the idea of our customers come first, and it's our clients that make us who we are today, and bless us with the opportunity to provide for our families.  The homeowner should not be liable, nor is it ethical for a company to profit from making a poor decision on the customers behalf to make a profit.  Us as a builder of trade should stand by our work and craftsmanship till the very end.  I have always believed in karma, and everything will come in spades.  Its always important to stand by your work and your word as an oath of being a tradesman.  Be smart and research your products as it is your responsibility to hold yourself in the to the highest standard of being ethical.  Go to your customer and tell them you are going to make right and stand by your work.  As a business owner, I feel that it is our responsibility to know everything about what we do as tradesman, the industry we serve, and the clients that make it possible to live a dream come true, and to provide for your family.  ThorDBD, Inc. will do our part for our clients, to do our homework for there best interest of our clients and provide a safe and sustainable home for their families future. 

 

Curious to see how this plays out in the end!!!!  Stay tuned!!!

Posted by David W. Brown (Thor Design Building & Development, Inc. CL#877779) almost 9 years ago

Charlie - big problem getting bigger.  Every time I see a new report it is in a state previously not thought to have it!  How it plays out is anybody's guess, but I don't think it will be good!

Dave - good to hear.  You can catch up on some of my previous Chinese drywall posts, from earlier this year and last here on AR.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

I hope none of this stuff is in Arkansas.  I can remember other scares, however.  How about asbestos, dryvit, and other things that we've come across.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 9 years ago

They don't know, Barbara.  Asbestos has been around for a long time and Dryvit was discovered almost immediately.  This stuff doesn't become a problem until it has been in the house for a while.  Maybe it didn't make it to Arkansas.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

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