Update - CT Foundation Problems3/6/2019
New program from the state
In June of 2016 we provided our clients with information about foundation problems in Connecticut. Since this information has come forward we have been monitoring the proposed actions from the state of Connecticut that would offer financial assistance to those homeowners that have been impacted. We have also been in contact with our inspectors and engineers in Connecticut so that we could be aware of any new developments that may impact our clients and their relocating employees.
We have now learned that the State of Connecticut has created the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, LLC that will offer financial assistance to those homeowners who have been, or may be, impacted by a failed foundation due to the presence of pyrrhotite used in the cement aggregate for foundations. This program will be voluntary program administered by Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, LLC and will have very specific requirements for eligibility. Information regarding this program can be found at https://crumblingfoundations.org.
This past week we were also made aware of homes in southern Massachusetts that have experienced similar foundation failures. While we are awaiting additional information regarding this problem, we are in the process of notifying our inspectors and engineers to be diligent in reporting visible cracks in foundations so that we can make the appropriate recommendations.
This program will become effective for home sales beginning on 2-1-19.
To be eligible for this program the home must have been built, or have had additions to the home, in 1983 or after.
To become eligible the home will need to have a visual inspection by a licensed structural engineer that is familiar with the problem of pyrrhotite and its adverse effects. This inspection can be conducted anytime after 2-1-19 or when the home is sold and title is transferred. Failure to complete the engineering inspection will render the home ineligible for acceptance in the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company assistance program at anytime in the future abased on the guidelines that have been established
That engineer needs to provide a written report that will describe his findings relative to the home’s foundation. Specifically, that engineer will be looking at cracks that would be consistent with having pyrrhotite in the aggregate, similar to the example below:
The engineer’s report may also recommend core samples to determine if pyrrhotite is present in the cement foundation.
Core sampling is a process where the contractor will use a special drill to extract a four-inch diameter sample of the concrete. This sample will be for the full thickness of the foundation wall. Upon completion the contractor will seal the wall opening.
The sample will then be sent to a qualified laboratory for analysis to determine if pyrrhotite is present in the cement foundation. It will take approximately 30 days, or longer, to obtain lab results.
Cost of this sampling will vary and is estimated to be $3,000.00 to $5,000.00.
If pyrrhotite is present in the foundation the homeowner will then need to contact the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, LLC and apply for financial assistance.
- Where and how many are core samples taken?
Two samples will be taken at the inside of the basement on opposite walls.
- What if the homeowners have finished the basement and the concrete foundation is not visible?
The contractor who takes the core sample will, with the owner’s approval, remove a portion of the wall finish at 2 locations to expose the foundation.
- Will the contractor repair or replace the walls that need to be removed?
Repair or replacement of the finished wall will be the responsibility of the homeowner. However, the contractor will seal all the openings that were made to obtain the core samples.
- Does GlobeSpec suggest that homes with pyrrhotite in the cement foundation be excluded from the home sale program?
Whether to exclude a home from the clients benefit program is not a decision we can make. It should be noted that if the home’s foundation does qualify for the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, LLC program complete resolution can take several months, so it may be more practical to exclude these homes until all repairs have been completed.
- Is there a dollar cap?
Our understanding is that the maximum reimbursement will be $175,000.00.
- Can a homeowner be reimbursed for residual damage to the home if the foundation needs to be replaced?
Any costs to correct grading, landscaping, interior finishes, mechanicals, electrical etc. will be the responsibility of the homeowner.
- Will a homeowner’s insurance policy cover any of the costs?
Typically, the cost of inspections, testing and repairs would not be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, but it would be advisable for a homeowner to contact their carrier for additional information.
The above information is intended to provide a general overview of the program offered by Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, LLC. As we gather additional information about this program we will pass it along. In the interim, we would strongly encourage that you review all of the details of this program and include your legal counsel for guidance.