Want to know if your property has the infamous Chinese Drywall?
Follow these instructions and you will know if you have Chinese drywall in your property in a matter of days and at a very low cost.
1. Two mason jars with their lids (cost about $1 ea)
2. Two brand new and shiny pennies, alternatively you can use two small copper elbows or couplings, both must be equally shiny (found in the plumbing section at Home Depot)
3. Two pieces of wire about 2-4 inches long (costs few cents at home depot)
4. One reptile heating pad or mat (cost less than $20)
5. Distilled water (cost a few dollars)
6. One piece of American made drywall of 4×4 inches (get a piece from the scrap section at Home Depot, shouldn’t be more than $1)
7. One piece of your suspect drywall of 4×4 inches
8. A digital camera set with a date and time stamp (hopefully you have one already, if not borrow one)
Step by step process:
1. Find a location to set the heating pad and jars where they won’t be disturbed near an electrical outlet.
2. Rinse jars to remove any residue with plain tap water, then rinse again with some distilled water.
3. Drill a small hole in the center of the lid to hang the wire with the penny or cooper piece you choose.
4. Drill a whole in the penny to tie the wire or use a plumbing coupling or copper elbow to avoid drilling in this step.
5. Place the 2 jars on top of the heating pad.
6. Fill both jars with 1/3 distilled water.
7. Label both jars to avoid confusion; the one you’ll place the American drywall you can label “Control” and the other one “Suspect”.
8. Crush both pieces of drywall and place the crushed material respectively inside each jar.
9. Put the lid back with the pennies hanging a few inches above the water.
10. Plug the heating pad to the wall.
Besides possibly confirming or ruling out your suspicions, if well documented this Chinese drywall corrosion test experiment may also help you in many other ways, even possibly with legal matters. Your chances of using this experiment to your benefit will depend our how well you perform the process and how well you document it. From the beginning you should document every step of the way, until completion. Make sure you have the date and stamp correctly set of your digital camera (old film cameras work better in court because images have negatives and cannot be modified or altered). But if all you have is a digital camera is much better than nothing.
1. Before you start take a picture of the items you are using, the jars, wires, pennies, distilled water bottle label, heating pad and drywall sizes. (be sure to place a ruler next to the drywall pieces to give prospective to its sizes).
2. Once you set everything up also take a few pictures and document the start date and time (this will be at the time you turn the heating pad on).
3. Take a daily closeup picture of the pennies and make sure you know what pictures belong to what sample.
4. Take a final set of pictures once the process is completed and document the completion time and date.
5. You can print out and include this post for you records and attach it with the rest of the documents.
6. Lastly write an overview of what you’ve done and the outcome, including all the images (see example below).
Sample report text:
This corrosion test experiment was started on [date-time] using two mason jars, distilled water and two brand new and shiny copper pieces. A heating pad was used to elevate temperature inside the jars and promote the release of the corrosive compounds. This process lasted a total of [x days]. After the first [48 hrs] of beginning the experiment, blackening was already noticeable on the copper of the “Suspect” sample. The control sample did not show any signs blackening or corrosion as expected. The images attached show the day by day progression of the corrosion/blackening and the difference between the control and suspect sample at completion.
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Chinese drywall jar test. Image courtesy of Columbia Analytical