Insurers Agree to Help Connecticut Homeowners With Crumbling Foundations

July 1, 2016

Homeowners in Connecticut are getting some help for crumbling foundations.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said Wednesday the state has reached a deal with a handful of insurance companies to finance a program meant to compensate affected homeowners.

The program is still being finalized, but it could provide homeowners up to 90-percent of the cost of replacing the damaged foundations.

Jepsen said just four of the 29 insurance companies working in impacted communities in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties have so far agreed to take part.

Over 200 homeowners have filed complaints with the state about failing foundations.

Officials have traced the problem to concrete mix from a quarry in Willington that may contain high levels of pyrrhotite, a mineral believed to be a major factor in the crumbling foundations.

In May the State reached a voluntary agreement with two companies, Joseph J. Mottes Company and Becker Construction Company, to stop selling material or product containing aggregate from Becker’s Quarry in Willington for use in residential concrete foundations in Connecticut until June 2017.

The state investigation into deteriorating foundations in eastern Connecticut continues.

Becker will provide its customers with notice stating that it has agreed not to sell aggregate from Becker’s Quarry for use in the installation of residential concrete foundations and will post notice at its business locations and provide notice to customers that purchase stone aggregate.

Concrete aggregate is essentially crushed stone, sand and/or gravel that is combined with cement, water and sometimes other additives to produce concrete.

“My office and DCP have dedicated significant resources to this investigation, and we are moving as quickly as we responsibly can to complete our work,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “Although that investigation will continue into the fall, we believe there is now sufficient evidence to conclude that significant levels of the mineral pyrrhotite in stone aggregate used in the production of concrete is a substantial contributing factor to the crumbling foundations experienced by some homeowners in eastern Connecticut. This conclusion is based on the analysis and input of our consulting scientific expert as well as other information obtained in the investigation. Further efforts are necessary to understand the full range of contributing factors and the manner that all factors interact to produce concrete deterioration.”

Once the investigation is completed, the state will assess legal remedies to address the problem and lawmakers will have additional information on which to determine if public policy changes are warranted in the next legislative session, Jepsen said.

While this agreement only applies to use of products in residential construction, the Attorney General and Commissioner Harris urge commercial and public project managers to continue to exercise strict control and scrutiny over the quality of concrete products used in their projects. To date, the state’s investigation has documented concrete deterioration of a comparable nature in a number of residential foundations but has not revealed similar evidence of failures of commercial or public building foundations.

To date, the DCP has received 220 complaints of deteriorating concrete foundations in eastern Connecticut.

The Associated Press contributed to this content.

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