CHESAPEAKE, Va. - There are some concerns over defective drywall put up in homesbuilt in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.
A prominent local developer is inspecting to see if they containChinese-made drywall that appears to emit a sulfur-based gas.
WAVY.com peeled back the insulation in one home that has thesuspect drywall and found the name Venture Supply Inc. We thentracked down the Norfolk Company owner Sam Porter.
Porter told us, "I feel terrible about the whole situation. Atthe time when I bought the drywall in 2006, I didn't see there wasa 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 coppercoils and destroys them. Many of the residents who complain of therotten egg smell also must have their air conditioning coilsreplaced.
Porter claims he's a victim too, and showed us all the chinesedrywall he'll never sell. Stacks and stacks of drywall sitting inhis 80,000 square foot warehouse. So much Chinese drywall you can'tbegin to measure how much there is.
With all that drywall there was no rotten egg smell, which someresidents claim to smell in their homes. We even put our nose inthe drywall and smelled nothing.
Porter claims during the housing boom he couldn't get enoughdrywall in America, so he paid 15-20 percent more to ship it infrom China.
"You are selling drywall considered to be faulty." WAVY.comreminded Porter.
"I didn't know that at the time. I really didn't know," Porterreplied.
Porter sold tons of drywall to the Dragas Companies duringconstruction of the Hampshires At Greenbrier in Chesapeake, andCromwell Park in Virginia Beach.
Dragas Chief Operating Officer John Buckley says no one in hiscompany knew anything about sulfur based drywall.
"We're paying to relocate people removing the drywall thenfixing the home to a good condition."
Owners have already been moved out of many townhomes - a greatinconvenience to some who now claim to have health problems relatedto the drywall.
WAVY.com asked Dr. Nancy Welch with the Chesapeake HealthDepartment whether there are any known health risks due to thisdrywall. She said, "No, we know of no risks at this time," Welchsays.
"I feel I was scammed. I was supposed to buy board and thoughtboard is board... but here I am," Porter says. "It was amatter of need not greed. I needed the product...I paid more to getit, so there was no maximizing profits."
Porter's emailed his Chinese Supplier, but hasn't gotten aresponse.
The drywall is in states all across the country, sold by othersuppliers. Lawsuits are pending.
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