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October 18. 2012 8:33PM

Quake shakes owners into concern for their homes

Christy Woods of Derry felt the 4.0 earthquake at her house Tuesday night, but wasn't too shaken up.

“I didn't really think of it as a big deal,” said Woods, marketing director for Basement Systems of New Hampshire in Plaistow.

But when she showed up for work Wednesday morning, the phone began to ring.

The company took numerous calls from homeowners who discovered cracks in their foundations and were looking for repair estimates following the quake that rocked New Hampshire and other parts of New England for nearly 10 seconds.

While state and local officials have reported no major damage, the quake was unusually strong by New England standards and has prompted many people to inspect their foundations.

Some have discovered new cracks because of the quake while others said they had cracks that existed before but worsened after Tuesday's temblor.

Others found cracks and weren't sure if they were caused by the quake because they had never checked their foundation before.

“Usually they're only hairline cracks, but they could cause more damage in the future if they get worse and water gets in,” Woods said.

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair Inc. received calls as well.

“One man joked, 'That's the first time I looked carefully at my foundation,'” said Rich Comeras, president of the foundation repair company that serves New Hampshire and other New England states.

Most of the cracks the company has seen are considered non-structural, Comeras said.

“If it's a straight crack, it's more than likely just from settlement or shrinkage,” he said.

If the crack is at an angle or there's some deflection, Comeras said, it may be a good idea to have it inspected by a structural engineer because it could eventually leak.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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