Chinese Drywall Ordered Removed from Chesapeake, Virginia Hotel

<"">Chinese drywall is creating a huge headache for the developer of a Chesapeake, Virginia hotel. According to The Virginian-Pilot, the developer of the Comfort Inn & Suites near the corner of South Military Highway and North George Washington Highway has been ordered to remove Chinese drywall from the hotel before it will be able to open.

As we’ve been reporting for months now, homeowners living with Chinese drywall have reported that it fills homes with a putrid, “rotten-eggs” odor and cause metals to corrode. Some have complained of sinus and respiratory problems that occur while they are in their homes. Many families have had to leave their homes, and in most instances, buildings must be gutted and the drywall replaced to fix the problem.

According to tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ) Chinese drywall samples were found to contain sulfur and two organic compounds associated with acrylic paint in that were not present in the American wallboard. Recently, new concerns were raised that some Chinese drywall could also be radioactive. According to an LA Times investigation, some Chinese drywall manufacturers use phosphogypsum – a radioactive phosphorous substance – to make wallboard. At least four firms told the Times that drywall made with phosphogypsum was shipped to the U.S. in 2006.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, about 50 homes in Chesapeake are thought to have been built with defective drywall. This past spring, we reported that two other Virginia communities – Norfolk and Virginia Beach – had passed ordinances banning the use of Chinese drywall in construction there.

We first reported on the problems at the new Comfort Inn & Suites in Chesapeake early last month. At the time, developer Dilip Patel had been served with a criminal summons for using Chinese-made drywall in the construction of two floors of the hotel. Patel had been served in May with a formal notice of violation that said the Chinese drywall was not approved for use. While Chesapeake has no official ordinance in place that bans use of the material, the city cited a letter from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development that informed officials they have the authority to disallow the use of non listed or non certified drywall products in its bid to force the material’s removal.

Patel was given either 30 days to remove the material, or have an architect provide product testing information showing the drywall to be safe. The notice of violation was followed by a criminal summons for a building code violation on May 14.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, the Chesapeake Board of Building Code Appeals on Tuesday ordered Patel to remove the drywall from the development. The decision by the five member board was unanimous.

Patel’s lawyer told the Virginian-Pilot that only about 100-200 sheets of Chinese-made drywall had been used in the hotel’s construction. It was supplied by Venture Supply of Norfolk, Virginia. Patel said that removing the drywall would push back the opening date of the hotel by at least six months.

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