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Thousands of Florida homes have defective drywall, primarily in homes built in 2005-2006. Building was still fast and furious then, and some of the drywall from China gives off a sulfur-like gas. Some people can smell it; most can’t. The bigger issue, though, is that the odor corrodes metal and in some homes has eaten away the electrical wiring, air conditioning systems, and sometimes the plumbing pipes. Some homes have had their wiring and A/C replaced more than once. This has been a significant problem in Manatee County, but Pinellas is not exempt. In Manatee County 23 homes in the Heritage Harbour subdivision has been documented with this drywall, according to the St Petersburg Times. Lennar Corp discovered a drywall problem by tracking home repair requests. It has since relocated some home buyers and replaced the drywall in some homes.

Some homes and condos built from the late 1970s up to the mid 1990s had polybutylene pipe which was also defective. In those cases, all the pipes and fittings have to be replaced.

To a lesser degree, there have been some issues here with synthetic stucco, or EIFS composite siding, which traps moisture in the walls.

It seems there’s something to be said for the homes built a long time ago, before all the synthetics came into vogue. This shouldn’t deter you from buying a newer home in a newer subdivision, but you should definitely have the home inspected by a qualified home inspector – and be sure to tell the inspector you’re concerned about these things.

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  1. John Griffith

    As you mentioned polybutylene is a major issue when considering a home or condo built from 1975 through 1997. As you likely know there was a major class action settlement approved in 1995 which offered a free replacement of polybutylene plumbing systems, however the window for homeowners to qualify for a free replacement is rapidly coming to a close. Through this settlement you had to experience a leak in order to be considered for a free replacement. The deadline for having such a leak expired on 1/31/09 and the deadline to file a claim is 5/1/09. For more information about the class action you can call the claims administrator at 800-392-7591 or visit http://www.pbpipe.com and or http://www.polybutylene.com. Although my company, Plumbing Express only provides turnkey replacements to multi family structures in Florida, we’ve completed over 45,000 single family replacements in other states and I’ll be happy to answer and single family related questions I can. If you have any polybutylene related questions feel free to email me directly at jgriffith@plumbing911.com.

  2. Defective drywall fears bring scams

    […] Defective drywall in some newer homes was an issue I discussed in mid-February. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, some homeowners are now being contacted to have bogus tests done to see if your drywall is defective. If you want to report a scam, contact the Florida attorney general’s fraud hotline at 866-966-7226 or file a complaint online. […]

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