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Army Corps of Engineers presents findings to state on crumbling foundations

HARTFORD -- More help is on the way for homeowners crippled by the crisis of crumbling foundations.

The Army Corps of Engineers presented its findings on Friday. At the request of Gov. Malloy, the Army Corps of Engineers examined the problem.

They came back with recommendations for how to help homeowners and make sure the problem doesn’t get worse.

It’s already bad. Hundreds of homeowners have already notified the state they have the problem – and the governor’s office estimates the crisis could affect thousands more.

The problems stems from the mineral Pyrrhotite which, when exposed to air and water, becomes brittle and cracks.

The problem was traced back to Becker’s Quarry in Wilmington and the now defunct J.J. Mottes Construction Company, but the mineral is thought to be everywhere in Connecticut. The Army Corps of Engineers recommended regulations on quarries including testing the minerals used.

They recommended home foundation tests be standardized, and construction standards be the same for both commercial and residents structures. And they admit more needs to be done on examining other ways to fix homes that already have cracked foundations.

"The recommendations they outline represent important steps for a widespread problem that is prevalent in Northeastern Connecticut but is by no means contained to just our state," said Gov. Dan Malloy.

Chris Moore of the Army Corps of Engineers said, "There’s nobody directly looking at how we would go about repairing some of these homes right now and we’ve got to get a grasp on that."

Short-term measures to slow down deterioration include installing French drains, dehumidifiers and waterproofing.

The regulations were modeled after Canada and other European nations who already have regulations in place.

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