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Use of Chinese Drywall May Have Started Earlier Than Thought

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A Florida home built in 2002 has raised concerns that defective Chinese drywall was being used in the U.S. earlier than first thought.

Bonita Springs-based WCI Communities, which recently emerged from bankruptcy, has acknowledged  that 200 of its homes have been the subject of Chinese drywall complaints.  Publicly, the builder has said it began using the material in 2004.

But according the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, people living in a home located in WCI Communities’ Waterlefe Golf & River Club have reported corrosion and other problems typically seen in those with defective Chinese drywall.

Earlier this year, the owners of the Manatee County home scheduled an inspection with WCI to ascertain whether or not the building contained Chinese-made drywall.   However WCI canceled the inspection, claiming it had no reason to believe the tainted material had been used in homes built prior to 2004.

An independent inspector hired by the homeowners told the Herald-Tribune his own research has revealed that WCI was the only Florida home builder that purchased Chinese drywall directly, and in bulk, for use in its homes.   But samples of drywall taken from the home have no visible manufacturers’ marks, the inspector said.

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