Chinese Drywall Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Due to the housing boom of the mid to late 2000’s, and the hurricanes that ravaged the Gulf Coast, domestic supplies of drywall became scare and home builders and contractors began to import drywall from China in order to meet demand. Not long after, homeowners began to complain of sulfurous smells in the home and malfunctioning HVAC systems.

Signs and Symptoms of the Chinese Drywall Syndrome

Many home owners first notice something is amiss when they began to notice strong sulfurous smells inside the home, often described as reminiscent of rotten eggs or matches but much stronger. This is due to the offgassing of the drywall.

Chinese drywall has been shown to offgas hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide. These sulfurous compounds are what also corrode the copper components in the home including the HVAC system but also affecting plumbing and wiring.

Hydrogen sulfide will result in a black, ash-like corrosion on copper lines rather than the usual blue/green or red corrosion you would expect to find. In a very short time this corrosion becomes sufficient enough to eat through the lines of the AC evaporator coil, causing it to leak out the refrigerant and the system to malfunction.

The issue is most prevalent in Florida, Louisiana and the southeast is not confined to that region. Homes across the US have reported the issue, too. Affected states will have information available on the timeframes for possible contamination and help confirm if your home is affected.

In order to diagnose that your home does indeed have this issue it will need to be inspected by qualified personnel. However, your HVAC technician will tell you if he suspects you have the issue. The corrosion will be plainly visible and often times they are able to see the backside of the drywall which could have identifying markings such as, “Made in China” on it.

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Here’s What You Should Know about Carbon Monoxide

Are you up-to-date on carbon monoxide leak prevention? If leaks do occur in your home or where you work, are you and everyone else prepared to take immediate action?

If not you should read on. Carbon monoxide leaks—and the dangerous poisoning they can cause—are not a threat to be taken lightly.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Wherever gas, oil or propane are used as fuel, the odorless, colorless gas known as carbon monoxide will be produced. Its presence in the environment around you is not necessary dangerous, unless it becomes concentrated above a certain level—which can happen if carbon monoxide collects indoors, where existing ventilation may not be able to dilute it effectively.

HVAC equipment such as furnaces and boilers fueled by gas or oil produce a significant amount of carbon monoxide, as do gas stoves and gas water heaters. All have built-in venting that is supposed to eliminate any health threat, but if the venting system leaks or otherwise malfunctions, cases of carbon monoxide poisoning could occur relatively quickly.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

The symptoms of excessive carbon monoxide exposure are a little different than other types of poisoning. Because it interferes with oxygen absorption carbon monoxide essentially smothers or chokes you into unconsciousness, so slowly you may not be aware of what is happening until it is too late.

As you gradually succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, you may feel dizzy or drowsy, suffer from nausea, develop a headache, start to struggle with your breathing or find it increasingly difficult to focus. Death can result from continued exposure, so when these symptoms are experienced—and no other obvious cause is evident—you should leave the building immediately.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If carbon monoxide is around you absolutely have to purchase and install one or more carbon monoxide detectors. A detector should be placed near every indoor appliance that could potentially develop a carbon monoxide leak, and each detector should be tested often to make sure it’s batteries are still providing adequate power.

It is important to recognize that carbon monoxide detectors occasionally miss small, steady leaks, so having them around does not offer 100 percent protection in every circumstance.

Regular maintenance of your HVAC equipment, gas stove or other appliances that use fossil fuels can help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning substantially. HVAC technicians who specialize in repair and maintenance should be aware of the carbon monoxide risk and should be able to catch any signs that might indicate a leakage is imminent.

Carbon Monoxide Leak Plan of Action

Should a carbon monoxide detector go off in your home or business, or if people are showing clear signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, take the following steps:

  • Evacuate the building in an orderly fashion, using pre-planned routes of escape.
  • Instruct everyone to leave doors open and to open any windows they pass by on the way out.
  • If you can gain access to gas or oil lines without coming too close to the suspected source of the leak, shut them off before leaving.
  • If electric power is also being supplied to your gas- or oil-burning appliances cut it off at the circuit breaker.
  • Call your HVAC contractor and/or your gas company to let them know you have a carbon monoxide emergency. They will know what to do.
  • Call 911 if anyone is showing signs of grave illness.
  • Steps three and four should only be attempted if you are certain it is safe to proceed. If you fear the situation is already out of hand just go and let the gas company take care of everything later.

Let Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning Help Keep You Safe

If you live in Bartlett or any other nearby community, please contact Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning about your HVAC system and its maintenance needs. Our trained technicians understand the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and for your convenience we offer generous HVAC maintenance agreements that deliver thorough inspections, cleanings and tune-ups on a regular basis. This is your best antidote to the risk of carbon monoxide leakage, along with any other kind of breakdown that could cost you big money or big trouble if not caught in the early stages.

Please, call Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning today to find out more about our top-notch professional HVAC maintenance services.

Exclusive HVAC Coupons for the Residents in St. Charles, IL

 

Calling all St. Charles Residents…does anyone need a new A/C unit or Heating System? Do you just need to have your HVAC System service? Well your in luck, we have a amazing special during this Spring! It’s only available to residents in St. Charles, so take advantage to these special offers today!

$100 Off the Installation of a Brand New A/C Unit or Heating System

$100 off HVAC Unit

 

That right, you read it correctly. We’re giving everyone in St. Charles $100 off the installation of a new A/C or Heating System this spring. Have you been putting off replacing your unit? A well maintain system should last up to 10+ years. But if your needing a new unit, take advantage of this amazing deal we have exclusively for you!

$35 Off and Heating or Air Conditioning Repair Service Call

$35 off HVAC Services

When was the last time you had your system checked? Did you know you should have your A/C unit or Heating system serviced at least once a year to make sure they are running in pristine condition. Having it service yearly can prevent very expensive repairs down the road. So take advantage of this special offer, and make sure your system is ready for the summer months ahead.

Calling all St. Charles Residents

With these two amazing coupons you can put money back into your pocket, buying a new HVAC Unit is a huge investment to your home. Having your system checked is something most of us look past or forget. Don’t let something small, become a huge issue and cost hundreds of dollars later. Taking care of your HVAC system is one of the most important things you can do for your home.

Bartlett Heating and Air Conditioning techs are highly trained, skilled and certified . Our techs will give you the piece of mind at the end of the day that your new investment or service call was done responsibly and correctly. Call us today and one of our employees will be happy to take your call and set up an appointment today.

 

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