PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - From outside the Palsgraf home on Fears Avenue in Port St. Lucie, you can't hear a sound. Step into the foyer though and it's a different story. A workman with a Chinese drywall screening company is using a mallet to smash holes in every room of the house.
Like a sick patient, a videoscope is sent up one of the bedroom walls. The culprit is eventually found, identified by its marking. The lettering from a company called Knauf.
Knauf was one of a number of manufacturers whose drywall was emitting high levels of toxic gasses in homes across the country. Normal US drywall emits carbon disulfide at .01 parts per million.
"The board that came in my house were at 40.09 parts per million," said Bill Palsgraf.
Inside the Palsgraf home, you can see the damage done by the bad drywall. Copper wiring turned black, outlets and appliances stopped working. Bill and his wife would get sick.
"We both get itchy, irritated eyes," said Palsgraf.
A house Palsgraf bought for 231-thousand dollars is now appraised at just 29-thousand.
But Palsgraf has some reasons to be optimistic. A letter from his attorney last week indicated he could get his home included in a pilot program that's remediating 300 homes nationwide. It would be torn down to the studs and rebuilt exactly like it was, down to the small lion statues that guard the front door.
That's not the only good news Bill is getting. He just heard from his lender that they're suspending his mortgage for six months.
If his house is chosen for this program, Palsgraf would get 22-thousand dollars to pack up and move for three months.
"The hard thing is... who's going to rent you a home for 3 months?"
But that problem seems small compared to rebuilding his entire foundation.
"I'm looking forward to having this home completely livable again."
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List