My career as a home builder began in Houston, Texas in 2000. I started with a large company called Kauffman and Broad as a superintendent. I stayed with that company for many years and eventually, that company became KB Homes, one of the largest home builders in the world.

My tenure with KB allowed me to see the home building boom and bust of the next few years. I learned my trade there and I experienced life from the perspective of a true home builder. This perspective held both good and bad.

During that housing boom, between the years of 2004 and 2007, I experienced the awe of what is referred to as prairie building. We were building homes faster than the utility companies could put in power lines and so we erected power lines throughout the communities and built our homes from generators that were trucked in on semi trucks and dropped off.  

In addition to not being able to depend on Houston Light and Power, was the growing issue of a lack of resources, like drywall. We just could not find enough. At one point, our home office leased a very large storage facility in Houston and filled it with drywall that was imported from China.

At the time we thought, this was great. We were going to keep building and progressing. Now, we know that the drywall we imported was less than our standards warranted.

Overall, builders in America imported 250,000 tons of drywall between 2004 and 2007 used to construct over 100,000 homes. Many believe this had led to serious health and property damage.

Chinese companies used unrefined fly ash in their production of the drywall. Fly ash is a coal residue found in smokestacks in coal fired power plants. Fly ash contains strontium sulfide, a toxic substance commonly found in fireworks, which strangely enough, also come from China.

The bulk of these drywall issues stemmed from the United States South Eastern states including Texas, Florida and Georgia. And although, not believed to be life-threatening, exposure to compounds from this toxic drywall can result in multiple symptoms like sore throats, respiratory infections and headaches among other things.

Cumberland Inspection Services have made it a priority to help our clients identify this issue. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned health symptoms or if you are noticing a strong sulfur smell combined with frequent appliance failures and your home was built between 2004 and 2007, you may also have this drywall in your home and the professionals at Cumberland Inspection Services encourage you to contact us.

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