How To Document Blasting Damage


1. Get a professional pre-blast survey before mining begins.  If blasting has already started, get a pre-blast survey as soon as possible.  This serves as a reference for  subsequent damage and as evidence in court.  

2. Get a professional damage survey done as soon as possible if damage has already begun.  
3. Try to be home to witness as many blasts as possible.  Radio scanners can help determine when and where the mine will be blasting.
4. Keep a log of the date, time and severity of every blast you witness. Describe the sounds of the blasts and the extent of shaking in your blast log.  
5. Inspect your house carefully after blasts.  Document new damage immediately.  File a complaint with the DEP, OSMRE, and notify your lawyer if you have one.   
6. Tips for inspecting your house:
  • Date and mark off the ends of all cracks and crack extensions.  Note time of damaging blast, if known.
  • Take photographs.  Keep extra copies and negatives of all photos.  If cracks are too fine to show up in photos, draw a line following the shape of the crack.  Put something in photos (ruler, hand, person, etc.) to give a sense of scale.  
  • Check for hairline cracks.  New damage to the inside of your house is likely to occur as hairline cracks.  These often occur around doorways, windows, corners, or ceilings.  
  • Note doors and windows that do not open or close properly.  This indicates the house has shifted.  
  • Inspect plumbing.  
  • Document damage in your basement.  Note cracks in foundation walls.
  • Inspect exposed wood beams for cracks and splintering.  
  • Check for gas leaks after severe blasts.
  • Inspect house exterior.  Note new cracks in brick or stone and signs of unusual "settling."