Houses with Chinese drywall beginning repairs

The first houses damaged by Chinese drywall are beginning the repair process after a federal judge gave preliminary approval of a settlement that calls for Chinese manufacture Knauf to pay millions to those affected.{}

The drywall, which was installed in many houses built during the housing construction boom, contains elements that release gases blamed for respiratory illnesses and several other health concerns. Homeowners said the gases have also corroded wiring.{}

"I figured I'd be standing on the beach in South Alabama and not standing here talking about tainted drywall," said Calera homeowner David Ezekial of his retirement.{}Ezekial is one of the first homeowners who has begun the 90-day repair process. He's one of hundreds across Alabama affected."The fix involves stripping the home on the interior and taking out all the sheet rock, wiring, insulation and plumbing," said Attorney Eric Hoaglund of McCallum, Hoagland, Cook & Irby, LLP.{}Hoaglund said the settlement should be finalized in the fall.{}