Skip to comments.With Connecticut Foundations Crumbling, ‘Your Home Is Now Worthless’
Posted on 06/07/2016 4:27:57 PM PDT by Theoria
Sandra Miller was at work in January when her daughter called from their home here on Oakridge Drive with alarming news. The house was making loud noises, as if someone had jumped off the counter and landed with a bang. For seconds afterward, the house shook.
A while later, it happened again, and again. Over the next several hours, terrifying bangs rattled the house. The next morning, Ms. Miller called Bill Neal, a structural engineer, who delivered the same stunning news to her that he has now told hundreds of homeowners: The concrete foundation was crumbling and, as a result, her house was gradually collapsing.
Across nearly 20 towns in northeastern Connecticut, a slow-motion disaster is unfolding, as local officials and homeowners wrestle with an extraordinary phenomenon. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of home foundations that have been poured since the 1980s are cracking, with fissures so large you can slip a hand inside.
This is such an emotional roller coaster, said Tim Heim, a homeowner who started the group Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements. You cant eat, you cant sleep. When youre told your home is now worthless and your biggest investment is now worthless, its devastating.
The scope of the problem is so vast that state officials have begun an investigation, and they recently announced that the crumbling foundations had been traced to a quarry business and a related concrete maker, which have agreed to stop selling their products for residential use. The stone aggregate used in the concrete mixture has high levels of pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral that can react with oxygen and water to cause swelling and cracking. Over the past 30 years, the quarry has provided concrete for as many as 20,000 houses.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Obviously, this is a summary of what’s happening, but it doesn’t appear the homeowners have much recourse, The quarry and concrete maker don’t appear to have engaged in fraudulent behavior, or tried to deceive people. WHen a problem like this crops up after 30 years, it seems hard to find fault.
Yeah, but don't worry... they're still selling it for use in bridges, tunnels, dams, and skyscraper foundations.
Everyone’s worst nightmare.
Those local governments approved the building of those houses and should stop taking property taxes from all residents who have houses with that particular aggregate under them.
Can we assume the owners names are USHER?
So, rebuild the foundations. The houses, unless they have collapsed, should be sound enough to withstand the house being jacked up and for the foundation to be rebuilt in place of the old one.
Property taxes should be illegal, anyway.
Thinking of buying a home in Ct., better get an extensive inspection before you buy .... owners will be trying to unload and will go to great extents to hide the defect.
By the way, those houses should now have negative values (demolition costs). Property taxes in CT should be adjusted far downward to compensate.
Why would a replacement foundation cost $100,000 to $200,000? Houses are moved all the time here and put on new foundations, if it cost that there wouldn’t be any reason to do it. Older houses on basements routinely have basement walls replaced because the clay soil here expands and contracts, over decades eventually cracking and pushing the basement walls in below grade, requiring steel reinforcement or replacement. That’s in the range of $20,000, not $200,000.
Oh dear.... that is really a happy making thought.
It is not cheap, but I lived in a place where they moved houses to build freeways. You can move a whole house and set it on a new foundation, a lot cheaper than buying a new house. You can fix the problem.
Where I live now they move houses to get away from Lava flows. Post and pier foundations work great.
Class Action lawsuit against the concrete supplier, and any other businesses related to it. Proper cement mixture would not have this problem. Their business liability insurance should be able to award enough to at least help.
We live on a steep hill in a sub-division. Lots of houses here after 40 years, have some cracks here and there. The builders have come and done some repairs and blamed the drought etc. for settlement problems.
We hired an engineer to come an investigate. He said all the houses are gradually sliding down the hill. None of the codes, state, county, or federal required supports to go down to bed rock, or some such.
Homes could be retro-fitted with some support from the down -hill side, but only guaranteed for 20 years. Since the cracks didn’t appear for 15 years, and weren’t bad, nor progressing rapidly, most people just shrugged, slapped something over the foundation to make it look good, and went on living there.
Feel sorry for these people.
Agreed. Planning and building offices should also be shut down, because they’re useless and very expensive (high salaries for directors). Buyers without building experience hire private inspectors to look at the houses anyway. Many COs have been issued for many bad builds under local cronyism. I’ve seen proof of several such builds near me. Others local favorites have been allowed to occupy and resell without COs.
Repairing the homes requires replacing the entire foundation at costs that typically range from $100,000 to over $200,000.
foundations to improper installation, specifically the tendency of some contractors to add water to wet concrete to make it pour faster.
other ready mix providers in the area used the same aggregate from the same source,
Sounds to me like the Builder was cutting corners to finish on time.
Why would a replacement foundation cost $100,000 to $200,000?
Because the First rule in Insurance Work is to add a ZERO on the end.
Back in the day my grandfather and I jacked up the house and repaired the foundation.
He was a boilermaker :-)
I was astounded that we could actually lift the whole house with those jacks and beams...didn’t even crack the drywall :-)
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