The best advice I can give you after 4 years of dealing with Contaminated American Drywall is the following.
There is no license required anywhere for this kind of problem. All kind of so called experts will come out of the woodwork. The last person to call is a so called “Home Inspector”, as most of them were the first to put on their business cards, “Chinese Drywall Inspections”. I have paid out my share of $$$ in trial and error, with many of these rip offs.
There are a few standards at least for Chinese Drywall Inspections. For the American, no protocol has been established as of yet. ** Check out the section on Chinese Drywall vs American Drywall, and I think that you will get a better understanding of how both of these are similar, yet travel different paths. But with both the end results are the same. The Chinese is just quicker.
Check the A/C if having problems. Remove the cover on the air handler inside to check wiring for tarnish or if it is blackened. Look at the coil also for the same things. Are lights flickering, or are you using too many light bulbs quickly?
Do you smell a sweet, sickly, chemical-metallic smell in your home? It is especially easier to do this after being gone from the home for a while, and when you come back inside, it will be easier to detect the odor.
Do you find that plants will not grow inside, or also outside if they are placed under your over-hang (also called soffit)?
Are your light switches (*if white) changing to a beige color, or even to a yellow-yellow/gold color? The cover plates will stay white. Other words they will look like a smoker’s house after 20 years smoking. If you have the older spindle white light switches, the tips will darken.
The receptacles may also change color. Keep in mind that those cover plates will not change color and will remain white.
The only exception from the above, are your cable and phone jacks. These are a single plate and they will change color usually even faster. Have you lost any small appliances, or even larger appliances? Anything electrical stop working, especially if it is new or you have not had it very long?
Take the cover off of a light switch or a receptacle, and look at the copper ground wire. If your home was built since 2000 and on, the wire should be bright and shiny. Also if anything was remodeled since 2000, the wiring should be the same. You can check this in every room. If you remove a light switch cover and unscrew the switch, (make sure that you turn off the circuit breaker first) check the wire where it meets the rubber coating. Rub your finger across to see if any black soot comes off.
Check your inside door hinges and run your finger down to see if any black soot comes off. Also look at the strip of wood where the door meets when you close it, as soot will collect there also. In your kitchen and bathrooms, check all the copper pipes to see if they are corroded or blackened. Look at your faucets to see if they are also corroded or pitted. Look at the edges of your mirror to see if it is blackened.
Look at all your jewelry to see if any of it has become tarnished. Sterling Silver will definitely turn black, and your gold and also diamonds might lose some of their luster. If you have anything that is gold or silver plated, it might start to become pitted. I had a very nice gold plated silverware set, in a cherry wood box, that I had for a few years. It became all pitted and was destroyed.
Have your smoke detectors beeped or went off for no reason at all? Remember that the batteries need to be changed yearly, so don’t mix up the beeping for this cause, with something else. You can also take off the cover to your electrical panel (usually located in the garage)(please be careful doing this, or get a licensed Electrician to do this) and check all the wires to see if they have tarnished or turned black.
The thing to remember about all the wiring or anything else I have suggested that you check, is that the Contaminated American Drywall, will be changing constantly. I looked about every 3-4 months in my house and I could observe the differences since the last time I would inspect. It took my 3000 square foot home about 2-3 years to be what I would call “Totally Evolved”.
Most of all don’t spend any money hiring people without speaking to someone that will advise you properly. There are only certain tests that will work for your situation, and certain tests that the Courts will recognize. Many of these so called experts only provide the testing that is obsolete, or will do you no good in the long term.
The biggest issue that you must face if you have problems with your house, is to discover what brand or brands of drywall, is located in your walls. Hopefully you only have 1 brand, and not multiple, as this only creates a bigger problem.
This website I created, for the purpose to inform people, and to assist anyone who may think that they have drywall problems in their home. I am not a scientist, nor an engineer, but I have become one of a handful of experts, dealing with Chinese and American Drywall. There are only a couple of additional individuals that I feel are as qualified as I am. We became experts, not for money or greed, but because we have lived it, and it became a matter of survival for us.
This website is not a Chinese Drywall site, but a Contaminated American Drywall website. Yet, I will try and help anyone or give guidance if you need help. We do not promote any business, or make any money from anyone. If you ask I will provide a list of Laboratories that handle special testing. I will also gladly tell you any businesses that have ripped off any of us “Victims”, or ones that talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. Remember this is a no holds barred website, and I tell it like it is!