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The FHA issued guidance connected to problem drywall, recommending complete removal of all contaminated drywall manufactured in date ranges and by companies specified by the FHA and/or Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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News and Updates for Homeowners

New FHA Recommendations for Homes With Problem Drywall

March 31, 2011 - In May 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a press release, "CPSC Identifies Manufacturers of Problem Drywall Made in China" that identified manufacturers, "whose drywall emitted high levels of hydrogen sulfide in testing conducted for the agency by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). There is a strong association between hydrogen sulfide and metal corrosion" according to the CPSC press release.

The FHA issued guidance connected to problem drywall, recommending complete removal of all contaminated drywall manufactured in date ranges and by companies specified by the FHA and/or CPSC, plus major alterations to the electrical systems in homes built with problem drywall.

The reason? Concerns over corrosion damage hydrogen sulfide could potentially do to the wiring and associated electrical systems. Many questions surround the drywall issue, and in the absence of an appropriate, conclusive study at the time, FHA issued remediation guidelines for the properties that included the removal of all electrical wiring that could be damaged by the hydrogen sulfide.

In a recent FHA press release, there is updated information and new recommendations by the FHA and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission-that extensive wiring replacement may no longer be required thanks to the results of a study by Sandia National Laboratories.

According to a press release from the FHA, "A study conducted on behalf of CPSC...finds no evidence of a safety hazard to home electrical systems."

According to the FHA press release, the study included simulations of "long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gas, which is associated with problem drywall."

"Based on this study, CPSC and HUD staff, representing the Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall, are no longer recommending the removal of all electrical wiring in homes with problem drywall. This change in the government's protocol may reduce the cost of remediation for many homes."

The study simulated four decades of "corrosive conditions that could exist in problem drywall homes." and concluded that there is no safety issue connected to problem drywall and electrical systems.

Even though the new guidelines don't require complete wiring replacement, the contaminated drywall issue is still an important issue which must be addressed. Any affected home to be purchased with an FHA loan could require the replacement of all problem drywall, plus "fire safety alarm devices, including smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; electrical distribution components, including receptacles, switches and circuit breakers; and gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems."

Contact the nearest FHA Regional Loan Center to get specific advice on contaminated drywall issues that might affect your current or future FHA home loan.