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Chinese Drywall believed to be used in Williamsburg VA homes.

One of the first cases of Chinese drywall has been confirmed in the Wellington subdivision in James City County VA, according to James City County officials. 

Code Compliance director Doug Murrow indicated that Wellington  homeowners were finding corrosion in electrical devices and a sulfurous, rotten-egg smell, but they had no health complaints. It is the first documented case reported in the Williamsburg/ James City County area of VA.

The Chinese Produced drywall emits sulfur gas, which corrodes nearby metal wiring and tarnishes jewelry, buckles, picture frames and other metal decor. Although Code Compliance responds to complaints and can send samples out for testing, in Wellington the agency is limited in its ability to help residents. The state building code allows inspectors to issue violation notices to builders for problems identified within two years of the certificate of occupancy or the final inspection, with another year available to prosecute. The statute of limitations has run out for Wellington construction, according to county development manager Steven Hicks. In response to the discovery, Hicks said that the county planned to provide information on its website.

The  discoveries of Chinese drywall in Virginia have so far been localized to Tidewater and linked Venture Supply Inc. in Norfolk VA.

to a particular distributor on the Southside. It is believed that fewer than ten homes in Wellington are affected.

The Virginia Department of Health is taking the lead throughout the state. Health officials have said that the corrosion associated with the drywall poses more of an immediate health threat than the fumes themselves. The corrosion can cause leaks in gas pipes, air-conditioning systems and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, according to an epidemiology fact sheet. The Health Department recommends calling in a building or environmental contractor or home inspector. Then they should call the Consumers Product Safety Commission if a problem is found.

James City’s Code Compliance inspectors recently confirmed another case nearby. Sadly most homeowners insurance won’t cover the damage, as it’s caused by a pollutant or contaminant. Standard builders insurance doesn’t cover faulty or defective materials. . Ashe said this week that he is working with homeowners, but he doesn’t have a ready solution either.

FAQ About Chinese Drywall from VA Dept of Health
 Does Chinese drywall pose health risks? Preliminary data indicates that some Chinese drywall emits gases that contain sulfur and other chemicals. The gases that are emitted can smell like “rotten eggs” and may irritate some individuals. Individuals that feel they may be affected should consult with their family physician. Current data does not suggest any immediate or chronic health problems associated with Chinese drywall. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) continues to work with other federal, state, and local agencies and to assess data as it is made available. Some of the gases emitted from Chinese drywall can corrode metals, in particular, copper. Corroded metals such as brass fittings, copper coils, and electrical wires may pose an immediate health risk. Leaking gas pipes and air conditioning units may expose you to Freon and natural gas. Corroded electrical wires may affect the normal functioning of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If a natural gas leak is suspected you should contact your local gas company immediately.

How do I know if I have Chinese drywall? Most drywall from China will be labeled on the back of the drywall with “made in China,” however, it is possible that drywall from China may not have any markings. It is also possible that a home could contain both drywall made in the U.S. and drywall made in China. Homes considered to potentially be affected by Chinese drywall would have been built after 2003 and meet two or more of the following:
1) The presence of sulfur-like or other unusual odors
2) Drywall labeled “made in China”
3) Observed copper corrosion, indicated by black, sooty coating of un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air conditioning unit
4) Documented failure of air conditioner evaporator coil (located inside the air conditioning unit)  Confirmation by an outside expert or professional of the presence of premature copper corrosion on un-insulated copper wires and/or air conditioner evaporator coils (inside the air conditioning unit)

Who can I contact to inspect my home? If you think that your home has been affected by Chinese drywall you should contact a licensed professional. Plumbers, electricians, building contractors, home inspectors, environmental contractors, heating and air conditioning contractors, and other licensed professionals may be able to assist with evaluating damage to your home.

Will the Health Department sample and test my home? At this time the Virginia Department of Health can not collect air or material samples for analysis. Several homes in Virginia have been inspected by federal agencies. When results are made available they will posted on this website.

How can I treat my home if it is affected by Chinese Drywall? VDH is not aware of any effective treatment method other than complete removal and replacement of the drywall and affected metal. Painting the drywall, or the use of ozone generators have not been proven effective.

If I have a problem, who should I contact for help? You should first start by contacting the builder and then filing a complaint with the Consumers Product Safety Commission (toll-free consumer hotline: 800-638-2772). VDH continues to monitor the evolving Chinese drywall issue and any potential impacts on public health. We encourage you to visit Consumer Product Safety Commission for more information and to check back often for updates and any new developments. If you need further information regarding the health effects of Chinese drywall, please contact the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, 109 Governor Street, 4th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, or call (804)-864-8182. Health Care providers FAQ provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry can be found by clicking here. Prepared by: Dwight D. Flammia, Ph.D. Public Health Toxicologist April 1, 2009 Revised: June 18, 2009

A List of Homes in the Wellington Neighborhood built by American- Eastern and Wellington LLC since 2005.

Street Address   Year Built
8409 Camellia 2005
4009 Penzance Place 2005
3986 Bournemouth Bend 2005
3979 Bournemouth Bend 2005
8401 Camelia 2005
4015 Penzance Place 2005
8405 Camellia 2005
8404 Camellia 2005
8405 Camellia 2005
8409 Westberry Ct 2005
3947 Bournemouth Bend 2005
3940 Bournemouth Bend 2005
3943 Guildford 2005
8459 Ashington 2006
8504 Ashington 2006
4095 Dunbarton 2006
4035 Dunbarton 2006
4091 Dunbarton 2006
3978 Bournemouth Bend 2006
8451 Ashington 2005
4063 Dunbarton 2005
8108 Helmsdale 2005
8512 Ashington 2005
250 Loch Haven 2005
8101 Helmsdale 2005
4083 Dunbarton 2006
4020 Dunbarton 2006
4016 Dunbarton 2006
254 Loch Haven 2006
8487 Ashington 2007
4012 Dunbarton 2007

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