Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has hired a concrete expert witness in the investigation of failing concrete residential foundations in the state. Over 200 complaints have been filed with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection over substandard materials used by J.J. Mottes Company and Becker Construction. The concrete companies have agreed to stop selling concrete products containing pyrrhotite although they assert that foundations are failing as the result of improper installation.
With analysis from a concrete expert, the AG’s office has determined that pyrrhotite is partially at fault. Water and air oxidize the pyrrhotite resulting in the concrete expanding. As a result, homeowners are finding not only alarming cracks but some of the homes are rising from the foundations. Insurance companies have denied claims.
The DCT website states:
In July of 2015, Governor Malloy called on the Department of Consumer Protection and the Office of the Attorney General to conduct an investigation into deteriorating foundations…. The state has hired a civil engineer whose area of expertise is concrete. Our expert and his team have started taking core samples from crumbling foundations in Eastern Connecticut and are testing and analyzing them to determine the cause of the deterioration and help determine how many homeowners are impacted. We have determined through our investigation that pyrrhotite is a factor in crumbling foundations, and our investigation continues to search for other conditions that contribute to deteriorating foundations. We expect our investigation to conclude in the fall of 2016.
The concrete expert witness is experienced in failure analysis and evaluating construction defects. They have expertise in construction materials and standard practices for using concrete in residential building. Concrete admixtures are designed to improve concrete quality and manageability. In this case, the concrete expert determined that deteriorating concrete foundations are the result of the additive pyrrhotite.