Tech Today

Chinese gypsum wallboard concerns

Earlier this year, media reports of problems with gypsum wallboard imported from China caused concern for construction industry professionals and owners of newly constructed or remodeled homes. You should be aware of this issue and how it could affect roof system installations.

The problems

Between 2005 and 2007—when the U.S. housing boom was at its peak and domestic gypsum wallboard production could not meet demand—gypsum wallboard was imported from China. According to the Gypsum Association, about 320 million square feet of Chinese gypsum wallboard was imported into North America during that time period; this figure represents about 0.5 percent of the total amount of gypsum wallboard sold during that period.

Most of the Chinese gypsum wallboard reportedly was used in Gulf and Atlantic coast regions of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for post-hurricane repairs and rebuilding. Problems being reported include the wallboard emitting a sulfur or rotten egg odor and, in some instances, corrosion of metal components such as wiring, air-conditioning coils and fasteners.