Resources for homeowners with pyrrhotite in their concrete foundations

Resources for homeowners with pyrrhotite in their concrete foundations

REGION — One would think there would be no need for a group against crumbling foundations. After all, who would be for it?

But the group — Massachusetts Residents Against Crumbling Concrete — and its Facebook page is just one sign of the growing impact of the foundations contaminated by pyrrhotite, which can cause concrete to degrade and potentially collapse under a house.

With plenty of concerns but few answers, homeowners with aptly named crumbling foundations have gotten together.

They, along with supportive legislators, are working on a solution that could help them fund repairs that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, even as alternatives to lifting a house and replacing its foundation are being explored.

The solution starts with testing, a process that already has some state assistance.

Telltale cracks in the foundation of the home of Rick and Karen Riani were warning signs. Testing showed the Holden home’s foundation was slowly crumbling, leading to a full replacement of the foundation.

The Facebook page has pulled many together, according to Michelle Loglisci, a founding member of the group.

The page was started on July 23, 2018, “with a handful of affected homeowners being the first members of the group. As of today, there are (853) members,” Loglisci said.

“Direct feedback to me is most often someone trying to find out where their concrete came from, how to file for reimbursement of engineer inspections and core testing costs, and who to call to get the work done,” she said.

The page started from a need to advocate for help.

“In the late spring of 2018, a couple of other affected homeowners and I knew if we were to ever get help, we needed to advocate for ourselves and get the word out about this issue in Massachusetts. In the past three years, our group (has grown), we learned more about the issue from Connecticut homeowners and their experiences, and we have learned to use social media to help advocate and spread the word,” she said.

The group effort has united affected homeowners but takes a lot of work.

“It takes a significant amount of my time to help organize the group’s advocacy, keep the Facebook page updated, communicate with legislators, etc.

“I recently retired, and this is a contributing factor to my decision to retire. Advocating was becoming a part-time job leaning toward full time,” Loglisci said. “Even though it is unpaid in dollars, it gives me satisfaction that I am helping others in this situation. If and when we get legislation passed and funding in place to begin helping families replace foundations and make their homes safe again, that will be the payoff.

“I have seen foundations that would make you cringe. It worries me that families are living like this with no way to recover the biggest investment of their lives,” Loglisci said.

Homeowners can find resources, from information to forms for testing reimbursement, but it sometimes takes a bit of work. And that is before possibly having to contract to have a foundation replaced.

About Caroline Vega 89 Articles
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