Optimism Eroding For Connecticut Homeowners With Crumbling Foundations

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As many as 400 property owners will not receive financial assistance from the state, FEMA, or insurance providers

November 14, 2016

Photo: Monik Markus/Creative Commons

Hundreds of Connecticut homeowners are stuck between a rock and a crumbling hard place.

The New York Times reports that even though a report released this month by the state attorney general’s office found that an iron sulfide mineral called pyrrhotite was a “contributing factor” in the deterioration of many homes’ foundations, the state will not provide any broad monetary relief. State codes never expressly prohibited the use of pyrrhotite in residential construction.

Worse yet, both insurance companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are not offering assistance.

James Mahoney and his wife, who live in Ellington, noticed the telltale cracking in their foundation in March. Further testing confirmed that their concrete was failing. The cost to fix their home: $230,000. … Mr. Mahoney, a director at an engineering research center, has an expertise in transportation construction materials, including concrete. During his free time, Mr. Mahoney gathered data from building permits and census information to estimate the number of houses potentially affected by the bad concrete, and the economic impact to Connecticut. Mr. Mahoney’s analysis led him to believe that as many as 10,000 homes may be involved at a cost of $1 billion.

All of the foundation issues can be traced to the Becker Construction Company’s quarry in Willington, Conn. Pyrrhotite can react with oxygen and water to cause swelling and cracking.

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