Margate homeowners deal with cracks on houses, ground dips on property

(WSVN) - Your home is typically your largest investment, so imagine seeing it crack and crumble before your eyes. That’s what is happening to one South Florida homeowner. 7’s Kevin Ozebek investigates.

It looks like a home that just survived a California earthquake, but this house is here in South Florida, where seismic activity isn’t to blame.

William Boone, homeowner: “All I want is my home to be fixed. That’s all I want. I don’t want no hassles, no headaches. No more heart attacks. I had one because of this house.”

William Moone bought his Margate home back in 2003. He says a few years later, a friend noticed a hairline crack.

William Boone: “Then it grew into a big crack.”

Now his home is covered in them. Inside, his bathroom floor has separated from the wall.

In his backyard, his patio is caving in from a dip in the ground.

William Boone: “It’s like you are walking in a valley. You go straight, you take a dip, then you come up again.”

His neighbor right behind him feels his pain.

Her yard had a huge dip in it when she bought it in 2019. She had no idea how much work it would take to fix her yard and home.

Margo Ibrahim, homeowner: “It was a disaster. It was a mess, with a hole in the middle of the land here, in the front yard, cracks everywhere, inside and outside.”

She paid thousands to get her foundation fixed and put up on jacks. Now, she says, small cracks are again appearing on her concrete, and the road in front of her driveway is starting to dip.

Margo Ibrahim: “I found cracks again. If I have more cracks, that means what?”

William is desperate for answers, too. Margate has given him a notice saying his home is an “unsafe structure.”

The city tells 7News it “sympathizes with Mr. Boone,” but “…believes the home is no longer safe to occupy and will forward this matter to the Broward County Unsafe Structures Board.”

So what is causing these cracks?

Aryeh Fraser, Fraser Property & Adjusting: “First of all, you’ve got to analyze what kind of cracks you’re seeing.”

We asked Aryeh Fraser of Fraser Property & Adjusting to survey William’s home.

Aryeh Fraser: “This could have happened as a result of flooding.”

Aryeh says just one overly wet rainy season can upset the flow of a property’s drainage. That can lead to some sediment being pushed away and a sinkhole forming in its place.

Aryeh Fraser: “We’re in Florida. Very vibrant Mother Nature, and in a very vibrant dynamic, you can have lots of water coming from different directions.”

In the past, William has tried to get his insurance company to pay for repairs. The claim was denied. His policy specifically excluded sinkhole damage. He would have had to pay an extra premium to get coverage.

William Boone: “I’m trying my best to talk to a lot of people who can help me, and right now, nobody can help me.”

That is, until Aryeh saw the property and offered to help William free of charge.

Aryeh Fraser: “It’s very sad to see the house.”

His team is going to try to file a more effective insurance claim. William has his hands up to the heavens hoping it will work.

As for the dip in the home in front of Margo’s home, the city tells 7 Investigates it will soon be permanently fixed, and they think decomposing organic material is to blame for it.


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