New standards in place for homes with pyrite

A mineral that causes cracks in walls and floors, pyrite is believed to be present in about 12,000 homes. The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has outlined four risk categories which, it is hoped, will provide comfort for those thinking of buying an affected property.

Owners of properties where any pyrite is present may find it difficult to sell their homes, despite the risk of structural damage being negligible.

The new building categories of A, B, C, D set out the severity of pyrite-related manage and potential of future damage.

Buildings classed under category A are considered to have a negligible risk of damage in the future. In B, there is a risk of minor damage which can be easily treated by filling cracks or repointing external masonry. Category C is considered to have a medium risk, while D references significant or progressive damage.

With a “minor damage” designation, it is not envisaged that the hardcore in these buildings would need to be replaced.

However, it may need to be replaced in category C. If repairs are completed in buildings classed as B, engineers and other technical experts will sign off on the repairs, stating that the building is structurally sound.

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