The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday released the findings of a year-long study making short and long-term recommendations on the crumbling foundations issue that has affected hundreds of homeowners in Connecticut.
The issue was brought to light by NBC Connecticut Investigates several years ago.
Gov. Dannel Malloy asked the US Army Corps Of Engineers to study low-cost testing options for homeowners, creating standards for quarry testing and recommendations for homeowners with crumbling basements.
They recommend the legislature implement regulations that more than one percent of sulfur be rejected from any concrete aggregate. They also advise regulating our state quarries, and creating standardized testing so data is consistent from labs across the board.
A state investigation found a quarry in Willington contained pyrrhotite, which experts believe can cause concrete basements to crack when exposed to air and water. The agency also suggested newer tests for homeowners too.
“There’s nobody looking at how we’d go about repairing these homes and we’ve got to get a grasp on that,” said Christopher M. Moore of the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers. “What we’d like to say is for every 25,000 tons of material that leave the quarry it should be tested.”
“Without standards people could test all kinds of things or doing tests in different ways that might drive the costs up," Malloy said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal also attended the meeting Friday and threw his support behind homeowners.
"These national standards will give us evidence-based, science-supported standards we need to make our case in Washington to show these homeowners in Connecticut need relief now, either from FEMA or other federal agencies or insurance companies that have still left homeowners in lurch," he said.
Homeowners were pleased to hear the recommendations but are looking for more immediate solutions to their crumbling foundations.
“This will help people down the road in the future, but I don’t understand the immediate fix for those of us in the midst of the problem,” said Cynthia Estancia, whose Manchester home has a crumbling basement.
These recommendations would still have to be adopted by lawmakers.