Is all testing for Chinese drywall accurate? The short answer is “No”. The long answer…
Recently, we have had several customers call the office requesting a Chinese drywall inspection with testing. These customers had previously completed Chinese drywall testing and had been told they had Chinese drywall but wanted yet another and "non partial" inspection with testing. In some cases, upon completion of our inspection and testing, no evidence of Chinese drywall was found. Interestingly enough, in some of these inspections, the very boards in question were clearly manufactured in the USA. Additionally, proper testing by an accredited lab showed no excessive corrosion causing sulfur chemcial present in the questionable drywall.
Why the difference in results? Apparently, some testing companies are using test methods that are not recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Also, some companies are testing strictly for chemicals that are naturally found in USA drywall. In these type tests, the glitch may be that the allowable threshold for the chemical is set so low that some domestic brands may wrongfully be determined to be Chinese drywall.
As we have seen in the last year, the CPSC standards continue to evolve as more is learned about the problems with Chinese drywall. We try to stay abreast of the most current CPSC standards. We keep the lines of communication open with the labs we work with to ensure the most up-to-date testing. While we cannot guarantee our clients their homes do not have any Chinese drywall installed, we can offer some of our clients a level of confidence that will help them rest easier until the CPSC offers final protocol for identifying Chinese drywall.