2010, HUD suggests removal to ensure remediation
involves removal of
Wiring and fixtures
Entire A/C system including ducts
Metal plumbing system components
Fire suppressions systems
Gas lines, components and appliances using gas
The remediation is basically untried at this
time, the extent of material removal and the 'washing' or 'neutralizing'
of the Hydrogen Sulfide is yet to be completely effective.
Interim Remediation Guidance for Homes with Corrosion from Problem
Drywall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Department
of Housing and Urban Development, April 2, 2010
Interim Remediation Guidance summarizes what the Federal Interagency
Task Force on Problem Drywall ("Task Force") believes
is a sufficiently stringent approach for the remediation of houses
affected by problem drywall, given the information now available.
Initial studies found a strong association between the presence
of problem drywall and corrosion of metal in homes. Based on those
findings, the Task Force has developed this interim guidance that
focuses on the replacement of problem drywall and building components
for which drywall-induced corrosion might cause a safety problem.
Interim Remediation Guidance is provided at this time and before
the completion of all ongoing scientific studies of this matter,
because the Task Force recognizes that many homeowners want to begin
the process of repairing their homes. The Task Force recognizes
that less extensive or costly remediation methods may have merit,
but at present the Task Force lacks a scientific basis to evaluate
This guidance is designed as a conservative, common sense approach
to the challenges facing homeowners, and is offered in advance of
a complete understanding of certain scientific matters at issue.
The Task Force will continue its efforts to develop and refine procedures
or standards related to the remediation of drywall homes and this
guidance issued today will be modified as necessary.
Interim Remediation Guidance for homes with problem drywall calls
for the replacement of:
1. all possible problem drywall;
2. all fire safety alarm devices (including smoke alarms and carbon
3. all electrical components and wiring (including outlets, switches
and circuit breakers); and
4. all gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems.
includes all metal and cooling/heating systems.
All testing and remediation work should be
conducted in compliance with applicable building codes, occupational
safety and health standards, and environmental regulations.
Interim Remediation Guidance intends to address possible safety
hazards related to corrosion in drywall homes by: (1) eliminating
the source of the corrosion, the problem drywall, and (2) replacing
building components for which drywall-induced corrosion might cause
a safety problem, such as fire safety alarm devices, electrical
components and wiring, gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler
As a threshold matter, before remediation, care should be taken
to determine whether the house has problem drywall. The Task Force
recently released Interim Guidance - Identification of Homes with
Corrosion from Problem Drywall,2 to assist in such determinations.
a house has been identified as having problem drywall, the scientific
and practical challenges to finding individual problem sheets of
drywall remain. Until such challenges are overcome, this Interim
Remediation Guidance calls for the general replacement of drywall
in an identified home. If a portion of the drywall in a home can
be reasonably identified not to be problem drywall, because it is
known to have been installed prior to the relevant time period (i.e.,
before 2001) and there are no other corroborating conditions, as
provided in the Task Force's interim guidance on identification,
indicating that the drywall is problem drywall, one option is to
leave that drywall in place.
of all fire safety alarm systems, electrical components and wiring,
gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems should
address the metal components in the home at greatest risk of being
affected by drywall-induced corrosion in a way that may affect the
Task Force is aware that some remediation efforts have included
the replacement of copper water service plumbing, and HVAC (heating,
ventilation and air conditioning) evaporator coils. Homeowners may
seek to replace such items, but their replacement is not included
in this interim guidance because of the absence of a direct connection
Task Force recognizes that other remediation approaches could ultimately
prove more cost-effective and/or less invasive, such as the preservation
of insulated wiring, but additional study is required on such approaches.
Ongoing CPSC studies on long-term corrosion, due later in 2010,
should provide relevant scientific information.
should recognize that homes can suffer from corrosion unrelated
to drywall, and that such other corrosion problems may not be resolved
by addressing the drywall.
Building Materials and Contents:
the Task Force's recommendations is its view that removal of the
source material, i.e., the problem drywall, will eliminate the cause
of the corrosive environment. The Task Force does not have a scientific
basis to believe that emissions from the problem drywall require
replacement of nonproblem drywall, wood studs, flooring, cabinetry,
or other household components and fixtures that may have been exposed
to the drywall emissions.
The Task Force understands, however, that certain other building
materials and contents could be affected or require replacement
in the course of the practical construction or engineering steps
required to undertake the remediation described in this interim
guidance. The Task Force does not offer any view on the replacement
of other affected metals, home electronics, or personal property.
the remediation, it is important to ensure that the home be cleaned
to remove any visible drywall dust and debris.
The Task Force is aware that some parties who are remediating homes
with problem drywall take certain actions aimed at cleaning the
structure during remediation such as the use of HEPA (high efficiency
particulate air) vacuums and the ventilation of the home for a period
between removal and replacement of drywall. The Task Force does
not have a scientific basis for evaluating the need for such steps,
but homeowners should consider these options as they seek to make
an informed decision in their particular situation.
The Task Force is aware that some parties
offer remediation approaches other than the replacement of problem
drywall and affected metal components. The Task Force does not have
a scientific basis to provide an opinion or evaluation of such approaches.
should exercise caution in contracting for testing and remediation,
and should be diligent in confirming the references, qualifications,
and background of individuals and firms that offer such services.3
Consumers should request that individuals and firms that offer remediation
strategies that differ significantly from this interim guidance
explain those strategies to the consumer's satisfaction before the
consumer's purchase of those services or products.
Development of this Guidance
investigations are moving as quickly as possible to understand the
complex problems presented by the issue of problem drywall. The
scientific work completed to date by the Federal Interagency Task
Force has been essential to building the foundation for decision-making
by homeowners and local, state and federal authorities.4 The investigation
continues to expand our understanding of this issue - but the Task
Force believes that current information is sufficient to provide
this Interim Remediation Guidance for homes with corrosion from
More information on problem drywall is available at the Federal
Drywall Information Center website,
to Testing and Remediation Specialist