Waseca homeowners coping with sinking houses

Published On: Dec 13 2012 08:10:16 AM CST
WASECA, Minn. (AP) -

Homeowners in the Waseca area say their houses seem to be sinking, and they blame this year's drought.

Pat and Howard Edwards say they started noticing problems this spring -- doors and windows that wouldn't close properly and cracks in the walls and foundation. They had contractors return the structure to level footing, at a cost of $40,000.

Victor Barke owns Complete Basement Systems of Mankato. He says soil shrinks as it dries, and areas that don't have enough moisture-retaining clay to stabilize things can see houses begin to tilt. Contractors say the problem hit at least 20 homes in the Waseca area.

A Free Press of Mankato report says insurance rarely covers the repairs, which involve driving steel piers into the ground until they reach load-bearing soil.