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Old 01-17-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
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My house is falling apart...literally.


Hey everyone. I was trying to come up with a good place to post this...not sure if this is a good place or not. Searched the internet galore and came to the conclusion that I need to call my insurance company.

I live on a small hill in Northern Virginia near a large public works sized construction project (Woodrow Wilson Bridge). Much of the land directly behind my house has been moved and used as fill dirt for the project. In the last two days I've noticed a great deal of noise (louder than normal) coming from the site. I believe they are driving large iron pylons into the ground.

Today I went into the back two rooms of my house and saw that the door frames on both rooms was split up the middle, the close doors had cracked and the walls were cracked as well. I know older houses shift, but this was a VERY drastic shift for it to splinter door frames and even split my closet door up the middle.

My question is - Should I assume this is just normal ground shifting or could the removal of dirt and pounding of pylons (vibrations) done anything to cause this? My house is the only one on a small piece of land that sits atop a hill.

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Old 01-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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My house is falling apart...literally.


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Originally Posted by valdeztke View Post
Hey everyone. I was trying to come up with a good place to post this...not sure if this is a good place or not. Searched the internet galore and came to the conclusion that I need to call my insurance company.

I live on a small hill in Northern Virginia near a large public works sized construction project (Woodrow Wilson Bridge). Much of the land directly behind my house has been moved and used as fill dirt for the project. In the last two days I've noticed a great deal of noise (louder than normal) coming from the site. I believe they are driving large iron pylons into the ground.

Today I went into the back two rooms of my house and saw that the door frames on both rooms was split up the middle, the close doors had cracked and the walls were cracked as well. I know older houses shift, but this was a VERY drastic shift for it to splinter door frames and even split my closet door up the middle.

My question is - Should I assume this is just normal ground shifting or could the removal of dirt and pounding of pylons (vibrations) done anything to cause this? My house is the only one on a small piece of land that sits atop a hill.
You should call the building dept immediately. If they don't answer, call the fire dept. There's a good chance the houses structure is being compromised.
And by now, I mean now.
Ron

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Old 01-17-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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My house is falling apart...literally.


I think I'd be standing at City Hall when it opened in the morning an have a chat with the Mayor.

You have what sounds like a complaint that can't be ignored.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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My house is falling apart...literally.


I agree. My biggest concern is the safety aspect of it. I plan on getting someone out here first thing in the morning. Just need to know in what order I should make my calls:

Country Inspector
Insurance Company
Fire Inspector


Before I even consider the blame game - I'd like to know if the house could collapse on me while in it. I haven't heard any sounds, but it is a two story home. I just can't think all this pounding has had no impact on the home.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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My house is falling apart...literally.


The attached photo is where my house is located. Its hard to see from an aerial view, but my house sits on the highest point and the ground is sort of sandwiched by a county retaining wall.

As you can see - its a big project. http://www.wilsonbridge.com/index.php/home-page
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:10 PM   #6
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My house is falling apart...literally.


'Settling' occurs over time. What you have isn't normal. I would sleep somewhere else tonight if I were you. Get your important things out while you can. Here in Florida I know someone who had a small sinkhole develop under their living room. The house was immediately condemned, and they were not allowed back in it for any reason. The ins. co. paid for a total loss, but they lost all their belongings with it. They weren't even allowed to get the car out of the garage.
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #7
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My house is falling apart...literally.


We had a water main bust in the road in front of my house earlier in the year. It created a sink hole about the size of dump truck. Now I'm thinking that sitting up here on the second floor typing isn't very smart at all. I'll take some photos and post them of the cracks.
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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My house is falling apart...literally.


I would call 911 and have the police come over and look at it. They can contact city personnel to come over and look at it if they deem it dangerous.
To wait until tomorrow is ill advised.
Have you spoken to your neighbors about any damage to their properties?
Ron
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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My house is falling apart...literally.


Ron - Looks like my house is the only one.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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My house is falling apart...literally.


Ouch - that is pricey. Then again if the city says this ground ain't no longer fit for building on...thats a whole new story.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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My house is falling apart...literally.


The city may just be better off buying you out. And you may be better off selling. Hopefully, the will give you a fair price. An lawyer with experience in Eminant Domain Law would probably be your best bet if it comes to that although I admit I do not know much about it. Daniel Holzman is a civil engineer. He would probably be the guy on here to ask about such matters.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:24 PM   #12
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My house is falling apart...literally.


There used to be a house behind me when this whole project started. The county of Fairfax purchased that property to allow this project to go forward.

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