Recently our Insurance Assessors at Claims Assist have received a significant number of calls from homeowners with serious structural defects, cracking, leaks, mould and water damage affecting their homes in the North Munster area particularly in counties Limerick and Clare.
Pyrite Problems Ireland
Some Engineers suspected at first that the damage was caused by settlement or subsidence, however our Limerick based Consultant Engineers who are renowned specialists both in Ireland and the UK, recently confirmed that the damage was in fact Pyrite Damage.
Initially subsidence was thought to be the main cause, but further site inspections by our retained specialist firm of Consultant Engineers, who are experts in pyrite testing Ireland and pyrite damage to homes, have identified the cause of the problem as Pyrite.
When Pyrite is identified as the cause of the problem, whether present in concrete blocks or concrete foundations, the result is that it will cause the blockwork or concrete to be classified as a “defective material” and “not fit for purpose”.
This means that your home insurance company will not provide cover for the cost of repairs necessary as a result of Pyrite damage.
However all is not lost, there are other alternatives for seeking compensation for loss and damage suffered.
If you think your house may have pyrite damage or pyrite cracks or you would like more information on pyrite affected estates, call us now on 1890 929 555
Pyrite damage claims will not be covered by a normal home insurance policy because your policy excludes specifically, any damage caused by defective materials. If your concrete floors, foundations, filling or blockwork contain pyrite then they are classified as defective and excluded from cover.
If you experience this problem, there may be other cost recovery and repair options available through Claims Assist Ireland and our specialist engineering and legal consultants with vast experience in this area.
The necessity for taking immediate action is both urgent and critical as many homeowners fall outside the legal limit and end up being excluded from taking action against the contractors or product suppliers responsible for the damage to their property. Pyrite Action Groups & Pyrite Testing Ireland
What is Pyrite Damage?
From about 1997 onwards, pyrite (known more commonly as fool’s gold) was used in building materials across Ireland. We are now seeing significant damage to homes across the country due to Pyrite problems.
It is estimated that some 20,000 homes, principally in Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Offaly and Wicklow are affected by the pyrite problem, but lately we are now dealing with more pyrite claims particularly in South West areas of Limerick and Clare.
In the longer term, it is possible that as many as 60,000 homes could be affected. Extensions constructed within the last 10 years could also be affected.
Pyrite is a very common mineral that is present in many sedimentary rocks. These type of rocks are often used in the manufacture in blocks and also to make crushed stone for backfill and underfloor filling in construction. Subject to certain conditions a chemical reaction can cause this pyrite to expand and crack (Commonly known as Pyrite Heave)
How to identify Pyrite Heave?
Pyrite heave is caused when pyrite swells and causes upward pressure on the floor slabs resulting in;
- Cracks in external walls
- Cracks on internal walls
- Cracks in floors
- Cracks in tiles
- Cracks over doors
- Lifting of first floor joists
- Lifting of ceiling joists
- Internal doors sticking or jammed in an open or shut position
- kitchen worktops or other internal surfaces sloping
Where pyrite damage is suspected, we can carry out a more detailed investigation to assess whether the damage is, in fact, indicative of a pyrite problem. If pyrite damage is thought likely after the initial visual inspection, the next step is to arrange to have a core sample taken from under the floor for testing of the fill to confirm the analysis.
How to repair a Pyrite damaged home
The pyrite repair process is disruptive and likely to be costly, possibly in the region of €50,000
The work essentially involves taking up the concrete ground floor of the property, removing all the fill from under the floor, replacing it with new fill, and reinstating the floor, complete with damp proof membranes, radon barriers and below ground services.
These remedial works will almost certainly require the home or property to be vacated, unless only a new extension is affected.
Back in 2014 a €10 million State-funded remediation programme was brought in for homeowners whose properties had been severely damaged by pyrite but this has proved to be wholly inadequate.
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