Scientific Reports Find Pyrrhotite a ‘Contributing Factor' to Crumbling Concrete Issue

What to Know

  • Hundreds of homeowners across Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties have discovered they have crumbling foundations.
  • Contractors said the problem cannot be fixed, forcing homeowners to replace the entire foundation at a cost of $100,000 and up.
  • The governor has asked FEMA to get involved and help solve the problem.

The attorney general has been looking into the issue of crumbling home foundations that is plaguing hundreds of homeowners in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties and released a scientific report Friday that says the mineral pyrrhotite is a “contributing factor in the deterioration of the concrete.” 

Preliminary results from the state's investigation in August showed pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral, was present in each of the crumbling foundations. Pyrrhotite oxidizes or rusts when exposed to air and water, which causes the foundation to deteriorate.  

Contractors have said the crumbling foundation problem cannot be fixed and homeowners are forced to instead replace the entire foundation at a cost of $100,000 and up. Insurers to this point have denied most of the claims. 

Attorney General George Jepsen said in a letter Friday to Gov. Dannel Malloy that consumer protection laws don’t provide broad-based relief for homeowners and state law has never prohibited using pyrrhotite in residential foundations. 

Jepsen went on to say that the report released today is limited to the investigation scientific experts did into the crumbling concrete and does not address or resolve questions, including the precise amount of pyrrhotite in concrete that leads to deterioration, other factors that might lead to some foundations deteriorating and not others or the number of homes that could be affected.

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