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Virginia Family Takes Congressman of Tour of Chinese Drywall Home

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U.S. Representative Glenn Nye, D-Virginia, promised to push for action in Congress on behalf of homeowners plagued with defective Chinese drywall.  Nye made the promise after touring one Virginia home recently abandoned because of  Chinese drywall problems, and following a meeting with about two dozen other people who said their homes are infested with the material.

According to WVEC.com, the homeowners urged him to pass legislation to roll back taxes on their possibly contaminated homes, put their mortgages on hold, and stop the importation of Chinese drywall.

Pilotonline.com reported that Nye promised the homeowners action.  “Obviously it’s a serious problem when you can’t live in your home,” Nye said. “This is a problem we’ve got to get on top of.”

The home Nye toured  on Saturday belonged to the  Nguyen family.  The family of five has been living in a trailer parked in the driveway of their  home for the past month.  According to pilotonline.com, the family abandoned the home on the advice of their doctor after experiencing health problems that they blame on  tainted Chinese drywall.  Like many homeowners, the Nguyens  filed a lawsuit last week over the tainted drywall, but know it could be years before it is resolved.  According to pilotonline.com, the Nguyens told Nye that they simply can’t wait that long.

The Nguyen’s experience is similar to many families living in homes built with Chinese drywall.  The material reportedly emits sulfur fumes that produce a “rotten eggs” odor and cause metals, such as air conditioning coils, to corrode. The fumes have also been associated with respiratory and sinus problems in some residents.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the U.S. imported roughly 309 million square feet of drywall from China during the housing boom from 2004 to 2007. While the first Chinese drywall complaints came from homeowners in Florida, it has become clear that the problem is a national one. Reports of defective Chinese drywall have now been recorded in Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

In Virginia, the construction supply firm Venture Supply has said it imported 100,000 sheets of China-made drywall between March 2006 and December 2008.   According to a lawsuit filed by a group of Hampton Roads homeowners, some of that drywall made it into the 240-unit Harbor Walk condo complex in Norfolk.

One  builder in Virginia, The Dragas Companies, has acknowledged some of the homes it built have been the subject of drywall complaints. As we’ve reported previously, the firm is inspecting nearly every home it built in The Hampshires at Greenbrier in Chesapeake and in Cromwell Park in Virginia Beach. Dragas is also paying to fix homes with imported drywall and helping residents relocate for a few months while the work is being done.

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