Tag Archives: October 16

Foundation Cracks From NH Earthquake: How I Plan To Tackle Them


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ NH (Lakes Region) Earthquake Of October 16: Foundation Cracks & Earthquake Insurance?Oct. 17, 2012.
2/ Did We Just Have An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH at 7:12pm?post at 7:25pm, Oct. 16, 2012 (about 13 minutes AFTER the trembler).
3/ Yes, It Was Indeed An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH; 4.5 Off Portland MaineOct. 16, 2012.


Click to access the product Website. It is available at Home Depot.


As I stated in my last post, I have lived in NH for 27 years and have owned 6 houses in NH — all of them with poured concrete foundations.

So I am somewhat au fait with foundations, settling and hair line cracks thereof as they relate to houses in NH. Kind of got a crash course when I bought my first house, in New Ispwich, NH, in 1986. I learned some very helpful wisdom such as: ‘if your basement is going to leak, it will happen in the first five years. After that you should be safe‘. Yes, the New Ipswich house, a colonial very similar to what we have in Alton now; both houses were also purchased new, i.e., within a few months of them having been completed. Yes, settling cracks appeared in the New Ipswich house foundation. It was all new to me. ‘Experts’ came. They epoxyed glass slides over the crack, the theory being that the slide would break if the crack separated further. Somewhere along the line I heard that waterproofing might do the trick. I discovered Thompson’s Water Seal.

I am a great believer that if ‘2’ of something fixes a problem, then ’16’ of the same thing should really take care of it.

So over the months I applied many, many, many, many, many liberal coats of Thompson’s to the cracks — yes, probably 16 times more than was stated as the requirement. Must have worked. Never had a leak.

So, Thompson’s and I became inseparable. I would buy it in large quantities. Anytime I thought I might have a potential problem, I applied too many coats of Thompson’s.

This house in Alton had a few leaks. One was in the utility room. Water was coming through the chimney. Applied gallons of Thompson’s didn’t work. Then an ‘expert’ told me that Thompson’s is for kids! Very poor product. That is when I stumbled upon Drylock. I have used it in various form. Liquid, dry and mixing the powder to various consistencies.

So, that is what I am going to try, after I finish up the 12 gallons or so of Thompson’s I still have. I will first coat everything in Thompson’s, then go back with Drylock (and it always amazes me that Drylock makes a water sealant that is water ‘clean-up’. That seems like an oxymoron). If you are lucky I will keep you posted on my progress.

NH (Lakes Region) Earthquake Of October 16: Foundation Cracks & Earthquake Insurance?


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Did We Just Have An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH at 7:12pm?post at 7:25pm, Oct. 16, 2012 (about 13 minutes AFTER the trembler).
2/ Yes, It Was Indeed An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH; 4.5 Off Portland MaineOct. 16, 2012.


This, per my neighbor who knows construction stuff, is a fresh crack in my foundation post last night’s earthquake! Click to ENLARGE.

Never even occurred to me to check anything (though Teischan (6) had cutely asked me to put on the outside lights, open the front door and check outside to see if all was copacetic.

Ours is a new (2006), fairly well constructed house, albeit with large expanses of concrete foundation because it is built on the grade.

Today was Teischan’s ‘bring a loved one to lunch’ day at Alton Central School (ACS). So, of course, I attended. One of her classmates insisted, thrice, that their house fell down from the earthquake and that they were staying at a hotel! I could not get that story confirmed.

I got home around 2:15 pm. My neighbor across the road was waiting for me and had this greeting: ‘did you suffer any damage last night?’ For a second I wasn’t even sure what he was talking about!

He takes me for a tour of my foundation and finds all these fresh, hair line cracks.

Now, having lived in NH for 27 years I had always thought that small foundation cracks are a way of life in NH, like the black flies. I have owned 6 houses in NH and never had any foundation leaks. Now, my neighbor is getting me worried.

Yes, I am a great believer in liberal applications of water proofing liquids and compounds. So, I now have NO CHOICE. I will have to go patch all of those pesky cracks.

I called up my insurance agents: Wainwright Insurance in Alton (603-875-1211). They are a part of Cross from Maine. I have had coverage with them for about 15 months, but never had to make a claim. They are friendly friendly, but I really don’t know how good or bad they are.

I was surprised to hear that they had not received a single call re. the earthquake.

Then, they shocked me, by saying I did NOT have earthquake insurance.

I, quite correctly, told them that that was their fault. I am NOT joking. I am thinking that I might have a case against them. I had never even heard of earthquake insurance. It was incumbent upon them to tell me about it. So, if I don’t have coverage it has to be their fault. Right? This is America. [UPDATE: They tell me that they told me in writing that I don’t have earthquake or flood insurance. I haven’t looked hard, but I haven’t found the letter as yet. They say they have a copy. That doesn’t mean that they ever mailed it!]

So, please feel free to use this as a forum for discussing earthquake related damage and earthquake insurance. Hope it helps.

Yes, It Was Indeed An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH; 4.5 Off Portland Maine.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
by Anura Guruge


First post:
>> Did We Just Have An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH at 7:12pm?post at 7:25pm, Oct. 16, 2012 (about 13 minutes AFTER the trembler).


Yes, now confirmed. Was on WMUR around 7:30pm, just after my first post.

It was impressive. We were watching MythBusters and they were flipping over a Jaguar car using explosives JUST as the trembler. So it took me a second to work out what was what. Knew immediately, though it was only the 2nd I have experienced. Tesichan (6), who was with us, was quite literally shaken bit. Made me go outside and check. No damage. I didn’t expect any. Well, that was fun. Wouldn’t any bigger than that.

Click image to access WMUR coverage.

Did We Just Have An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH at 7:12pm?


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
by Anura Guruge


Definitely felt like a huge freight train rumbling by at high speeds.

Lasted about a second and a half.

Second one I have felt in the Lakes Region in the last 24 months. This one was much bigger.