Updated: Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009, 6:27 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009, 7:14 PM EDT
CHESAPEAKE, Va. - There are some concerns over defective drywall put up in homes built in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.
A prominent local developer is inspecting to see if they contain Chinese-made drywall that appears to emit a sulfur-based gas.
WAVY.com peeled back the insulation in one home that has the suspect drywall and found the name Venture Supply Inc. We then tracked down the Norfolk Company owner Sam Porter.
Porter told us, "I feel terrible about the whole situation. At the time when I bought the drywall in 2006, I didn't see there was a problem, and only found out about it recently."
The defective drywall that has sulfur compounds enters the air, gets sucked through air conditioning units, moves across the copper coils and destroys them. Many of the residents who complain of the rotten egg smell also must have their air conditioning coils replaced.
Porter claims he's a victim too, and showed us all the chinese drywall he'll never sell. Stacks and stacks of drywall sitting in his 80,000 square foot warehouse. So much Chinese drywall you can't begin to measure how much there is.
With all that drywall there was no rotten egg smell, which some residents claim to smell in their homes. We even put our nose in the drywall and smelled nothing.
Porter claims during the housing boom he couldn't get enough drywall in America, so he paid 15-20 percent more to ship it in from China.
"You are selling drywall considered to be faulty." WAVY.com reminded Porter.
"I didn't know that at the time. I really didn't know," Porter replied.
Porter sold tons of drywall to the Dragas Companies during construction of the Hampshires At Greenbrier in Chesapeake, and Cromwell Park in Virginia Beach.
Dragas Chief Operating Officer John Buckley says no one in his company knew anything about sulfur based drywall.
"We're paying to relocate people removing the drywall then fixing the home to a good condition."
Owners have already been moved out of many townhomes - a great inconvenience to some who now claim to have health problems related to the drywall.
WAVY.com asked Dr. Nancy Welch with the Chesapeake Health Department whether there are any known health risks due to this drywall. She said, "No, we know of no risks at this time," Welch says.
"I feel I was scammed. I was supposed to buy board and thought board is board... but here I am," Porter says. "It was a matter of need not greed. I needed the product...I paid more to get it, so there was no maximizing profits."
Porter's emailed his Chinese Supplier, but hasn't gotten a response.
The drywall is in states all across the country, sold by other suppliers. Lawsuits are pending.
Share your opinions responsibly