Chinese drywall

Gassing the Chinese drywall problem

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Oct. 9, 2009 – According to Sabre Technical Services, the Chlorine dioxide gas used to eliminate anthrax from government buildings also can be used to eliminate the sulfur gases and organisms in Chinese drywall. The gas can penetrate drywall, studs, insulation and other materials to oxidize sulfur compounds and deactivate them into inert sulfate.

The basic chemical reaction is not new. Chlorine dioxide has been used for 50 years to deactivate sulfur compounds. The question, however, was whether the gas could penetrate deep enough to fix the problem. Sabre says it conducted tests on houses in Fort Myers, however, and by using spore strips (biological indicators), it found that the gas did indeed penetrate deep enough to fix the problem.

While the gas dissipates without residue, it has bleaching effects, and residents are urged to remove their belongings from infected houses. Firms can charge between $10 and $15 per square foot for the procedure, but it takes as little as a few days compared to removing sections of drywall and replacing them.

However, the gas solution is still premature for homeowners. It will not become an effective method for resolving the Chinese drywall problem unless government officials approve its effectiveness and insurance companies are convinced that it’s viable.

(Source: Builder (10/09) Burney, Teresa)
© Copyright 2009 INFORMATION, INC.
(Used with permission)

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