Homeowners blame crumbling foundations on concrete company - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Homeowners blame crumbling foundations on concrete company

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Homeowners said a mineral called Pyrrhotite, an iron-sulfide possibly mined from a local quarry and mixed to make cement, is to blame for the crumbling foundations. (WFSB) Homeowners said a mineral called Pyrrhotite, an iron-sulfide possibly mined from a local quarry and mixed to make cement, is to blame for the crumbling foundations. (WFSB)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of homeowners in the northeastern part of the state said they are trapped with crumbling foundations in houses that they can’t sell.

A colonial that Tim Heim and his wife bought eight years ago is not as healthy as it looks. They said it is falling apart, and the 10-inch thick foundation is literally crumbling, and has been for months.

"This is growing bigger and it’s starting to lip. The lipping is causing pressure to bow out...or bow in you can even start to see it,” Heim said.

The Heims aren’t alone. As many as 10 to 15 neighbors in the same development built in the early 1990s are living the same nightmare, and can’t sell their homes.

The common denominator is the local concrete supplier identified as J.J. Mottes. Heim said there may be hundreds of families facing the same dilemma, and now the state of Connecticut is investigating.

"They're saying it’s the same supplier, concrete supplier. I'm more focused on the future. We're getting a financial resolution for the victims versus the cause of the problem,” Heims said.

Professors in the engineering school at the University of Connecticut said they want to figure out why the foundations are crumbling.

In December, the scientists took core samples from the foundations to test.

Homeowners said a mineral called Pyrrhotite, an iron-sulfide possibly mined from a local quarry and mixed to make cement, is to blame.

Over time, the minerals oxidize and weaken the foundation.

Homeowner Nancy Smith and her husband saw their foundation coming apart four years ago and they hired a contractor to replace it for $150,000.

"This is like a living thing. This just keeps getting worse until the house will eventually collapse,” Smith said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy met with homeowners on Wednesday night. There was a meeting on Thursday in Manchester, and on Saturday U.S. Senator Chris Murphy will inspect the problem.

In the meantime, the state legislature is working on new legislation, forcing insurance carriers to cover the problems.

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