Homeowners in Takoma Park believe Pepco construction could be damaging their homes.
For more than two years, Takoma Park resident Charlotte Schoeneman has watched her 90-year-old home slowly fall apart.
Get D.C. area news, weather forecasts and lifestyle content to your inbox. Signup for NBC Washington newsletters.
First, it started with gas line issues. Then the cracks started to show outside and inside of her home.
“Every day, every week, noticing new cracks. Lying on the sofa, looking at the corner, and you’re like, ‘Holy cow!’” Schoeneman said.
She’s not the only homeowner with issues.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
Danielle Reiff, who lives down the street on the D.C. side of Eastern Avenue, said her home is also deteriorating.
“Everybody up and down Eastern Avenue feels the shaking,” Reiff said.
Neighbors believe a Pepco construction project is to blame. Since 2018, Pepco has been digging up portions of Eastern Avenue NW to install new utility lines.
Schoeneman said her house was shaking like an earthquake every day for two weeks.
One neighbor who’s an engineer installed a vibration monitor to make the connection with data Schoeneman used when she filed a damage claim with one of Pepco’s contractors.
It was denied.
“They just have given us the runaround in every possible way,” Schoeneman said.
She’s since filed a new claim directly with Pepco.
The utility company released a statement to News4 that said:
“We are aware of the claims submitted by a Takoma Park, MD property owner related to work performed by a Pepco contractor along Eastern Avenue in 2018 and 2019. While the contractor that performed this work would be responsible for addressing any claims alleging damage associated with the work they performed, Pepco will continue to monitor the status and progress of the claim and to work closely with its contractors to confirm that they fully comply with all terms and conditions contained within our contracts regarding claims management, insurance, and workmanship."
Schoeneman said that does little to ease her concerns, but as an architect, she said she’s ready to start fixing things.
“I like to keep it nice,” Schoeneman said. “Because we have this, kind of, outstanding claim situation I haven’t wanted to repair it all.”
But if the damage continues, she fears she won’t have the time or money to save her home.