Chinese Drywall Detection May Get a New Weapon

Man’s best friend has been used to find illegal drugs, missing persons, fugitives, even bed bugs. Now, a Florida Atlantic University professor wants to put dogs to work in detecting the defective drywall that’s been destroying homes in Florida and around the country.
The Chinese drywall that’s so adversely impacted the construction industry since 2000 emits sulfuric fumes that corrode electronic equipment and metal components in the home. However, the fumes can be difficult to detect and pinpoint.
“It seems to me that here is a way to detect the presence of reactive drywall in a non-destructive and more cost-effective way,” said Gene Ouellette, associate director of FAU’s Institute for Design and Construction, who came up with the idea to investigate whether dogs could be trained to spot bad drywall.
Why not try it? It’s probably cheaper and more effective than ripping apart homes to find the defective drywall. It’s also quite possible a trained canine could detect the defective drywall before the signs of its damage begin manifesting themselves. Once the signs of defective Chinese drywall are present (corroded electrical components, etc) the damage has been done and thorough remediation is most likely the only solution.
At least one company involved in canine training is eager to pitch in. American K-9 Detection Services of Lake Mary, Florida is looking into training canines for the task.
“The more I read about Chinese drywall, the more I’m committed to getting some dogs trained and get them out there to help,” said Mark Mahler, American K-9’s president. He said that training of the dogs could begin in a matter of weeks.