CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS IN CONNECTICUT
In having recently gone through my own purchase of a home in a highly affected area of Connecticut, I could not help but become familiar with the issue of crumbling foundations in Connecticut. This resulted in us doing a ton of research prior to settling on a home, especially in light of initially having interest in a home that had a potential problem with its foundation. The crumbling foundation issue is pretty much on everyone’s mind in Northeastern Connecticut, as a number of homes have been affected in that area of the state. If you live anywhere in the vicinity of Northeastern Connecticut, you are almost certain to know one or more persons affected by a crumbling foundation.
These crumbling foundation issues could encompass homes built anytime between the early to mid 1980’s until approximately 2015 and could cost homeowners well in excess of $150,000 to make repairs should their homes be affected, with the most effective repair being the complete replacement of the foundation. These issues originated from a company that poured concrete with stone from a quarry located in Willington, which contained pyrrhotite, which is a mineral that can cause cracking in the foundation when exposed to water and oxygen. The quarry associated with these issues was the Becker Quarry in Willington, with the company known as J. J. Mottes & Company being the company that seemingly poured these foundations. Since it can take years for these horizontal and/or web like cracks to develop, many homeowners remained in the dark for years until these issues began to come to light. It has been estimated that perhaps 35,000 homes have crumbling foundations in this state, and the only way to affirmatively determine the existence of a crumbling foundation is through core testing.
Insurers have consistently denied insurance claims on this issue, and more recently a Connecticut Foundation Assistance Fund was being formed in order to provide some funding to those homeowners that qualify. A more recent bill aimed at making insurance companies cover the costs of crumbling foundations was voted down by the judiciary committee earlier this month. The home inspection reports are crucial, particularly in the event of visible cracks, as there is always the potential risk that someone selling a home may not be completely forthcoming with these issues. If there is any doubt as to whether a home might have a foundation issue, then the best practice is to have a good and reputable home inspector and to either request a core test and/or obtain your own core test to put yourself at ease on this issue prior to making a decision on purchasing a home. It is simply too risky to purchase a home that could have a crumbling foundation, which is a decision that could have a devastating and costly impact on a homeowner.