Mermin inspections Blog

Project Monitoring & Documentation

AFFECTED BY CHINESE DRYWALL

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

PLUMBING AFFECTED BY CHINESE DRYWALL

You can see how the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall can affect chrome plumbing fixtures. Here you can see the black corrosion and pitting of chrome faucets. Also here are examples of how copper plumbing tubing turns black when exposed to the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall.

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Part of the purpose of this inspection is to remove examples of the damage to items in the home from the Chinese drywall. These pictures show where the blackened copper tubing was removed. These sections of tubing are in storage for future use.

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ELECTRICAL AFFECTED BY CHINESE DRYWALL

I have several electrical outlets with the black wire still attached in storage for any future testing or litigation.
Note: More pictures of affected wiring are available upon request.

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I found numerous examples how the copper wiring in this home has turned black because of the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall. A combination of noticeable copper wire and the contrast of copper wire that has turned black.

HVAC AFFECTED BY CHINESE DRYWALL

Here are pictures of the air handler that is located in an attic area accessed from the second floor. The copper tubing of the evaporator coil have turned from the normal shinny copper color to a flat black color. You can also see a picture of the solid bare copper ground wire running to the air handler’s ground lug. It is obvious that this normally shinny copper wire has turned black. These changes were caused by the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall.

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FRAMING SCREWS
The majority of the framing on this home was done with metal studs. Each screw that was used to hang the sheet rock was put up with screws into the metal studs. All of these screws were removed and thrown away. None of these screws are to be re-used when the new sheet rock is hung through out the home.

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WHAT WAS BEHIND THE WALLS

Not only did we have to deal with the Chinese Drywall project in this home but when removing the drywall we found that we also had a moisture problem which led to a mold issue. The issue was very manageable as we just removed the rotted wood with its mold and rebuilt the structure good as new.

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GARAGE STORAGE

In the beginning the garage was used to store kitchen cabinets and personal items. Now the garage is also being used to store building materials that will be used to restore this home to its original beauty so long ago.

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The garage is also storing a box of door knobs. The door knobs and door hinges have turned black because of the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall.
Hinges on cabinet doors are also affected by the chemicals that are associated with Chinese drywall.

PROJECT MONITORING AND DOCUMENTATION

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Jacob Mermin Inspections has done thousands of Chinese drywall and mold inspections. We have performed them from Marco Island in the south to St. Petersburg and Tampa to the north. We have traveled from Sanibel Island in the west to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami to the east. We have always done what ever our clients needed to protect their families’ health and their major investment of a dream home. We have found all types of molds, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and small to large amounts of Chinese drywall.

Now we have been asked to monitor and document a major Chinese drywall remediation project. This is the third such project and by far the largest. Prior to this we have done a 1700 square foot house in Cape Coral Florida and a 2000 square foot house in south Lee County Florida. This latest project is a very large house in a very upscale development in south Lee County Florida. It is my policy that the development name and client name will not be mentioned. We feel that it is not necessary to invade the privacy of our clients. In the case of this home we have determined that a majority of the drywall in this home was imported from China. It is common knowledge now what Chinese drywall can do to items in a home. I am not going to take the time in this posting to explain what Chinese drywall is and how it affects the building materials in the home. For all those who do not know what Chinese drywall is, all you need to do is Google Chinese Drywall and you will have all the definitions that you need.

I have become very good friends with the owner of this home, just like we do with most of our clients. As I have previously stated I will not disclose the development or the client’s name. For the purpose of this posting lets just call him Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones has given me permission to use his remediation project as a series of blog postings at www.jminspector.com. He feels very obligated to show the millions of homeowners who access the World Wide Web what he has been going through in hopes that it may make it a bit easier for those who may have to experience the same tragedy. I am not going to get into the politics of this Chinese Drywall issue. Both Mr. Jones and I believe that President Obama and the United States Congress should step in and do the right thing and help the American Home Owner. General Motors received a bailout because they were too big to fail. I believe the American Homeowner is too big to fail. I guess we will see.

This is going to be a series of postings covering the remediation of this home. We will call it the Jones Project.My first visit with Mr. Jones was January 6th 2011. I am planning to post about once per week or so to give everyone a chance to experience this remarkable remediation. There will be many trades on this project that I will be working closely with. Again I do not plan to reveal their names either. I am not doing this series as a way to advertise for these trades. I can say that Mr. Jones picked the best sub contractors possible and did not make decisions based solely on price alone. Mr. Jones hired a project manager but also acted as his own General Contractor. This is a very common practice by homeowners who know what they want and what they are doing.

THE HOUSE

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In the next posting I will show the start of the demolition and show the different Chinese drywall labels and stencils. I will explain how the documentation of each sheet of drywall was done. I will post pictures of items of the home that were affected by the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall.

In future postings I will show the completed demolition and how the house was treated with a special chemical that is used against Chinese drywall. I will show plumbing, electrical, insulation, HVAC, better known as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. In future posting I will show some of the surprises I found after the demolition.

Every time I go to this home I feel like I am in an episode of This Old House. I am very surprised that there hasn’t been any programming on the so called home improvement shows on such net works as TLC, House and Garden Television, or the Discovery Channel. This project has just as much drama if not more than any episode on all of these Home Improvement Shows combined. My client the homeowner has gone through a major life changing experience. He has told me on several occasions that sometimes he can’t even go into the home because it makes him sick to his stomach. I believe that most people would feel this way, I know I would. This is Mr. and Mrs. Jones dream home. People work very hard all their lives to save up enough money to purchase a home that they can both grow old in. My job in all this is to make sure every thing in this  hole process is documented and the work monitored for the future. This home now has Chinese drywall attached to it. I am here to show all those interested that Mr. Jones removed that tag line, to prove that the remediation was done and it was done properly.

I value all those readers that may have questions and comments. I will post those and answer those that pertain to the Jones Project. Remember your comments and or questions that do not pertain to the Jones Project will not be posted. So it is my suggestion to not waste your time. My blog posts including THE INSPECTORS CORNER and other guest posts have generated 12,000 comments. I believe that this is a serious subject and I would like to hear from serious people. I believe that we are not only helping Mr. and Mrs. Jones but we could be helping thousands of people not only in the state of Florida but all over the United States. Remember the time period generally associated with Chinese drywall is 2003 to 2007. It is in direct response to the housing boom and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. No one is to blame but the Chinese. All the distributors and small drywall companies in all the states where Chinese drywall was found did not know what they were distributing and what they were using. They know now and should honestly help all those they sold to.

Until the next posting remember you can not expect what you don’t inspect

Thank You,
Jacob Mermin FLHI/FLMA/IE