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John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25... More
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  • 100,000 Homes Worthless? 10 comments
    Oct 10, 2009 12:07 PM

    There are reports that imported Chinese drywall may be causing health problems.  This could cause up to 100,000 homes to be demolished because of contamination, according to a post on (here), reporting on a New York Times article by Leslie Wayne.

    I have one question.  Couldn't these houses be gutted and rebuilt from the frame up?  Are the cabinets and appliances contaminated?  Bathroom fixtures?  Plumbing, wiring and lighting fixtures?  Maybe total demolition isn't needed.

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  • sleepless_on_wall_street
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
    Some of these homes may be so far below original cost that the economics are not supportive of extensive renovation. It mat be better to write them off and move on, rather than throw good money after bad.
    10 Oct 2009, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5202) | Send Message
    Plumbing, wiring, AC, anything with metal has to be replaced. The chemicals deteriorate those systems, even after the drywall is removed. I went into one, the smell of sulfuric acid is unbelievable, and I felt sick within 10 minutes of entering the house-sore throat, headache, and could taste the chemicals I had inhaled for the rest of the day! My realtor had a headache for two days. I wouldn't enter one again, even in a hazmut suit! They have to be razed. Perhaps a home that was just repaired with the drywall can have a rip out, but one that is made entirely of Chinese drywall needs to come down.
    10 Oct 2009, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Leftfield
    , contributor
    Comments (4070) | Send Message
    If I put a toilet in my house, the authorities will descend upon me to micromanage the event and to tax it after their official blessing is bestowed. This process and cost spiral upwards ever more insanely.
    I look around at square miles of developments, and consider that the environmental havoc there, why am I so important? And, on Cape Cod, my mother was forced to wait 1-1/2 years and several petitions to repave her driveway after a pipe was replaced under it, for "environmental" reasons. Yet, a huge house on the seaward edge of the dunes was recently built nearby, an amazing feat if permits for that was proportional in difficulty to my mother's driveway. Of course, it wasn't.
    How about that Chinese drywall? $billions worth shipped for many years, and our government held their noses until now? Where were they?
    10 Oct 2009, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5202) | Send Message
    Leftfield, are you talking about in the town of Wellfleet?
    10 Oct 2009, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • SAS70
    , contributor
    Comments (74) | Send Message
    Its not just Chinese drywall that sucks. We have purchased Chinese products and occasionally a customer will supply us with Chinese components. Its always a crap shoot as to what you'll get.


    We were having a lot of problems getting castings last year. So one of our suppliers offered us cheaper and readily available alternative to the domestic castings we were using. Once all the engineers were satisfied we would not be compromising quality and again they were a lot cheaper we gave our supplier a po.


    Our welders had a terrible time with just about everything that was Chinese. We had a lot of repair work due to extreme porosity in our welds. We do not have that problem with domestic castings. In addition we had to return many because of tolerance issues. That's not to say we have never had problems with domestic suppliers but nothing even close to the problems we have had with Chinese products.


    We do not spec in Chinese components anymore. If a customer specs them we make sure we address it in the warranty or we will get the customer to sign off especially on any high pressure components that maybe used.


    Bottom line you get what you pay for!!
    10 Oct 2009, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
    John: On the Gulf Coast, thousands of homes were gutted and rebuilt after Katrina. The irony is they used Chinese dry wall.
    10 Oct 2009, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Leftfield
    , contributor
    Comments (4070) | Send Message
    OG: Sandwich.
    10 Oct 2009, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • modern pragmatist
    , contributor
    Comments (19) | Send Message
    After reading this string, ever think they may be selling us crap just to mess with us. It damages the reputations of the companies producing the goods and look at the expense to fix or replace the stuff?
    10 Oct 2009, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5202) | Send Message
    No, I don't believe that. Please don't take this the wrong way. It isn't meant to be a condemnation of the Chinese. It is an observation about developing countries. In developing countries, they don't clean up after themselves so well. For instance, when Great Britain was developing in the 19th century, London was filthy. In the USA, we polluted our own waterways and lands while developing, too. It wasn't until much later that we realized we had to clean up the mess we made. It is the same thing with the Chinese. I wouldn't want to be the head of a company that deliberately endangered the people. They still will kill a CEO for that- remember the tainted milk/baby formula that was fed to their own children and killed some? In Japan, after WW 2, Japan was noted for it's crappy exports. Made in Japan= junk. In fact, that's why Suzuki started that violin program to teach the youth how to be exacting, and how to perform and execute music well, it was to build up the esteem of the children. Now, Japan= fine merchandise, Toyota and Sony come to mind immediately.
    I believe it is the same with China. Look how far they've come since Nixon's first visit. They still have a long way to go, though. The drywall shortage was so huge after Katrina, they saw an opportunity to fill in the void, but did it in an irresponsible and potentially lethal way.
    I believe it will get better. In order for them to be global players, they will have to prove their worth consistently.


    On Oct 10 06:57 PM modern pragmatist wrote:


    > After reading this string, ever think they may be selling us crap
    > just to mess with us. It damages the reputations of the companies
    > producing the goods and look at the expense to fix or replace the
    > stuff?
    10 Oct 2009, 10:42 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5202) | Send Message
    Just tonight a news blurb came on about a company named Abshield that may have a cure for Chinese Drywall. Here is their link:


    I am still amazed at the innovations capable by American businesses!
    10 Oct 2009, 11:58 PM Reply Like
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