U.S. homeowners confront a smelly problem

Chinese drywall is causing health issues and housing nightmares

Homeowners in the U.S. have had it bad over the past year as the housing bubble has burst. Now, to add to their woes, comes a new threat: potentially hazardous Chinese drywall. As many as 100,000 homeowners are struggling with imported drywall, installed either in 2006 and 2007, that is emitting ‘rotten egg’ smells, making them sick and corroding plumbing and electrical components. Several U.S. agencies are investigating the drywall and will begin reporting their findings next month. But some home builders have already started replacing the drywall. Fixing the problem is no small task. Redoing the drywall in a home can cost upwards of $100,000. As one homeowner, whose family has suffered health problems, tells the Wall Street Journal: “We will have to either ruin our son’s life by staying, or ruin our credit by walking away from the home.”

The Wall Street Journal

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.