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(Updated June 2017) As the government’s 2013 scheme for Pyrite remediation comes under increased criticism as not being “fit for purpose” we take a look at the Pyrite problem in Ireland.

What Is Pyrite?

Pyrite (FES2 – iron sulphide) otherwise known as fool’s gold is a common natural mineral. Traces of this are found in the sedimentary rocks used to make crushed stone for construction backfill. Generally, if the amount of pyrite is under a certain proportion no problems occur however if the pyrite levels are found in larger amounts problems may arise.

Why Does Pyrite Cause a Problem?

The presence of high pyrite levels in the backfill used underneath concrete flooring can cause swelling, cracking and /or crumbling of the floor & walls of the home over time. This is what’s known as pyritic heave.

This is due to the oxidation process which occurs when the pyrite crystals are exposed to air & moisture in a confined space. The ensuing chemical reaction causes these crystals to swell over time which leads to the raising of the backfill & causes considerable damage to the floor above.

What Are The Warning Signs?

There are a number of ways to identify the presence of pyrite and the structural damage caused by pyritic heave within the home. None of these signs taken in isolation can prove that you have a Pyrite problem, however if you have signs of more than one this strongly points to a Pyrite problem. These include:

  • Lifting or heaving of the floor resulting in cracking and uneven surfaces
  • Cracks forming on a concreted floor that gradually spread. These typically form in a spiders web pattern.
  • Cracks in floor tiles & wooden finishes.
  • Doors sticking or catching in an open or closed position
  • Sloping of internal surfaces (kitchen worktop areas etc)
  • The appearance of cracks over doors.
  • External walls showing signs of bulging or cracks below the damp proof course

Areas Affected by Pyrite

Pyrite was first identified in a quarry based in Ballycoolin in 2007. Since then multiple quarries have been identified with the problem largely affecting the North Leinster, particularly North County Dublin, Meath, Offaly and Louth.

I Think I Have Pyrite – What Should I Do?

In accordance with S 398 part 1, a full Building Condition Assessment should be undertaken by a chartered engineer to determine the cause of the damage.

The next step should be to contact the Pyrite Resolution Board to determine whether your home is eligible for the pyrite remediation scheme.

The €10 million government scheme – which was launched in 2013 aims to procure the remediation of certain dwellings with damage caused by pyritic heave of under floor slabs.

How U Store It Can Help

We know how stressful the application process for Pyrite Resolution can be and the disruption caused by having to move both your family and belongings from your home until the necessary works are completed.

Here at U Store It we hope we can alleviate some of the financial burden by offering a genuine half price discount to help with the costs that householders have to initially take on before being reimbursed.

Our fully secure, dry, own door and key storage rooms are designed to be your spare room away from home. Coupled with the professional removal service from our recommended removals team we hope to take away as much of the stress from this difficult process.

Why not contact us today on 01 864 6627 or email charlestown@ustoreit.iefor more information – alternatively you can call in to our Charlestown facility where our dedicated & professional team will be more than happy to assist you.