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Pyrite & Ireland

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  • Registered Users Posts: 206 ✭✭dinnyirwin


    The last house I bought had pyrite.
    The vendor knew but didnt say. My surveyor discovered it and we renegotiated the price. Got it for half nothing. Then got my own builder in to address the issue. It didnt cost that much and is written off tax so in the end will only cost half what it cost.

    The place brings in full rent now. There might be issues with people knowing there used to be pyrite issues and not wanting to buy when it goes up for sale, but by then I will have mad my investment back and a healthy profit.

    Pyrite is not all doom and gloom. It can be sorted out. There is the stigma alright that may last a long time, but if you get the house for a bargain and either wiat for the redress board or get it sorted at your own expense you can get a pretty good deal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭RORY O CONNOR


    Don't expect any swift actions from the redress board-its going to be a slow, long process.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,685 ✭✭✭jd


    Don't expect any swift actions from the redress board-its going to be a slow, long process.
    Have you any indication on how long it could be before actual remediation starts anywhere?


  • Registered Users Posts: 206 ✭✭dinnyirwin


    jd wrote: »
    Have you any indication on how long it could be before actual remediation starts anywhere?

    Years would be my guess from what I was told. And you have to be one of the worst effected to get into the line even.


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭RORY O CONNOR


    jd wrote: »
    Have you any indication on how long it could be before actual remediation starts anywhere?

    Applications can be done via the re-mediation board's website from next Wednesday 26th-supposedly- but you will need to have your damage condition survey report done as it is part of the application process. Pyremco-the company that is supposed to be formed to undertake the sample testing and organise the repairs has not been established yet. So with no sample testing and no one to organise repairs there will be nothing done for a while.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 sugarmonkey


    hi guys, i just posted this on another thread but this looks more relevant.

    i'm looking at a particular house in dunboyne, i have heard rumours that there is pyrite in the estate, how can i establish the extent of the problem? also is there a safe level of pyrite or more to the point what percentage would be a huge flashing light to step away?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 7,223 Mod ✭✭✭✭Michael D Not Higgins


    hi guys, i just posted this on another thread but this looks more relevant.

    i'm looking at a particular house in dunboyne, i have heard rumours that there is pyrite in the estate, how can i establish the extent of the problem? also is there a safe level of pyrite or more to the point what percentage would be a huge flashing light to step away?

    Testing for pyrite is only one part of an analysis of the backfill. It all goes into a report to give an indication of how likely swelling of the material will occur. In other words, there is no hard figure which it needs to be under and depends on more than just the pyrite itself.

    If you are serious about this house, then engage with a testing company to understand any risks.

    Edit: the other thing to consider is how long ago the house was built, if cracks are evident, and if a surveyor's report indicates anything about pyrite.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 sugarmonkey


    thanks Michael, very serious about the house but its already at the top end of our budget and i'm completely ignorant about the potential pitfalls down the road even if nothing is showing up now, basically i guess my question is, if testing is done will it definitely show up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 sugarmonkey


    thanks Michael, very serious about the house but its already at the top end of our budget and i'm completely ignorant about the potential pitfalls down the road even if nothing is showing up now, basically i guess my question is, if testing is done will it definitely show up?

    the house was built in 1998


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 7,223 Mod ✭✭✭✭Michael D Not Higgins


    the house was built in 1998

    I've read it takes about 10 years to show up so you should get a surveyor's report and investigate further if they find anything.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 sugarmonkey


    thank you


  • Registered Users Posts: 372 ✭✭JD1763


    Disclaimer: I am not an expert, an engineer, builder etc.

    The only way to be certain if there are no visual signs of structural damage is to get a core drill test done. This involves an engineering company drilling down through the floor and concrete slab in at least two locations for an average 3/4 bed semi (the number of sample locations required depends on the size of the house) and removing a few kg of infill to take away for analysis. It takes a few weeks for the lab results to come back but it will give you a clear indication if pyrite is present. If the material fails the first chemical analysis a more detailed (x-ray defraction?) test can be performed to determine the exact concentrations (I do not know the test process in detail just what I have been told so please take this information with a pinch of salt).

    There is a scale for pyrite - if the house is clear or has acceptable amounts of pyrite (green) or pyrite present above the threshold but no structural damage visible (amber) or pyrite present with clear signs of structural damage (red). Houses are also graded category 1 is amber and category 2 is red.

    If you are looking to secure a mortgage on the property your bank will require a green cert if there are indications of pyrite contamination in the estate or surrounding area. In fact anyone buying a house built during the boom years and even possibly before should be requesting a green cert from the vendor. The test itself costs upwards of €1700 and the flooring material needs to be replaced where the bore holes are. Many people are unfortunate to not have kept spare tiles.

    In terms of pyrite damage there is no clear time frame - some say at least 10 years but experience varies and others say anything up to 40 years before a judgement could be made that the presence of high levels of pyrite is not likely to damage the property. There is simply no clear rule and every case is different. It is worth looking at the experience of Canada on this front.

    It also depends on the construction of the house whether the ground slab was poured on top of the affected infill or if the house is a suspended slab and is not in contact with the infill. This is possibly why in a pyrite affected estate one house can be severely damaged while a neighboring property is not showing any signs yet is likely to have pyrite present in the infill as well.

    If you are in any way concerned about pyrite the only way to be 100% certain is to retain a proper engineering company to do the test. A visual survey is not sufficient to be certain that a property is unaffected.

    This is just my two cents on this topic, maybe those with professional experience can offer better information than I have. I won't comment on the half arsed approach of the government to addressing victims of cowboy builders or the complete lack of regulation and oversight of the building sector that allowed this to happen in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 sugarmonkey


    JD genuine thanks for your time and insightful post. This is exactly what i needed. I will proceed with the bidding and if it is accepted i will happily spend a couple of thousand for peace of mind.


  • Registered Users Posts: 372 ✭✭JD1763


    No problem - just one more point since you're looking in Dunboyne. Developments in Meath are one of the regions particularly at risk of pyrite issues. It's worth looking at the report of the Pyrite Panel which looks at where infill with pyritic content came from:

    http://www.pyriteboard.ie/Pyrite/media/Pyrite/Updated/Report-of-Pyrite-Panel-June-2012.pdf

    If I were you I would ask the following questions upfront before bidding:

    1) Has the vendor obtained a green cert for the property? If not will they provide one?
    2) Is your estate agent or the vendor aware of pyrite in nearby estates or the estate you are looking to buy in? Get this in writing if possible.
    3) Is the property detached, semi-detached or mid-terrace? This will have implications for any remediation effort if pyrite is found.
    4) Is the house built on a ground or suspended slab?
    5) Is the developer/builder still solvent and operating as a going concern or have they gone into receivership/liquidation? If still operating do they have liability insurance in place that would cover remediation works due to pyrite?
    6) Related to q above - was the house covered by Homebond or another insurer for structural defects?
    7) It could even be worth your while just googling and seeing what comes up - pyrite+the estate name or area or getting in contact with the Pyrite Action Group and seeing if there is anyone from the estate or area working with them or they may know if houses from the estate or general area have been accepted into the PRB scheme for remedial works.

    While this might seem a bit ott and may not be a problem with this house - I would advise you to be very cautious as many vendors with possible pyrite problems will try to conceal this fact from prospective buyers particularly if there is no visible structural damage.

    It is possible to pick up a pyrite affected property at a reduced price and this can work out in your favour even after paying to fix it (again this is case by case and would depend on the level of damage - there are houses which are pyrite affected but with no damage and others with inch wide cracks in the walls).

    Entering into a purchase fully sighted of a pyrite issue and its possible implications is very different to a scenario of paying full price for a property and then uncovering a pyrite problem afterwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 sugarmonkey


    Thanks JD, i have asked the estate agent to inquire as to any uncoverings of Pyrite and I may just do a walk about in Dunboyne and ask the locals. That's some pretty sound advice you've given, greatly appreciated. Thanks again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 christin


    I'm buying an apartment in the Waterville estate in Blanchardstown Dublin 15. Would anyone have heard of a Pyrite issue for this estate in the past?
    Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,167 ✭✭✭✭Hurrache


    Never heard of it being an issue there, but maybe ask in the Dublin 15 forum, there's one or two regulars there that live in Waterville.


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭clunked


    christin wrote: »
    I'm buying an apartment in the Waterville estate in Blanchardstown Dublin 15. Would anyone have heard of a Pyrite issue for this estate in the past?
    Thanks.
    Find out where the infill for the ground floor came from and was it from a quarry associated with pyrite. Waterville is a good sized estate so if there is/was a pyrite issue it should be easily discovered even though there was a court order keeping the issue quiet.
    In addition if there was a pyrite issue and the home was repaired there would be a certificate available to show that the property would be free of pyrite.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 christin


    Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.
    Forgive my ignorance, I'm a first time buyer. What or how is the best way to find out which quarry did the infill come from? Is word of mouth or Internet search the best way? I'd say the builders (Granbrind) won't tell me this kind of information.


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭clunked


    christin wrote: »
    Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.
    Forgive my ignorance, I'm a first time buyer. What or how is the best way to find out which quarry did the infill come from? Is word of mouth or Internet search the best way? I'd say the builders (Granbrind) won't tell me this kind of information.
    Your solicitor can find that out. It’s quite likely that a number of quarries would have been used though. You could check locally if the estate has had pyrite issues. If there is pyrite present, it would have become apparent within a few years of the buildings completion


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 maurodipo


    christin wrote: »
    I'm buying an apartment in the Waterville estate in Blanchardstown Dublin 15. Would anyone have heard of a Pyrite issue for this estate in the past?
    Thanks.
    Hi,

    Not sure if you bought already. I am just looking right now at the legal pack of an apartment currently for sale by REA in Waterville (auction). I just found a small handwritten note on one of the documents mentioning that "pyrite has been found in the development and the process for rectification is now started". Dodgy builders all over.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 christin


    Thanks for highlighting this. Much appreciated


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭The_Conductor


    maurodipo wrote: »
    Hi,

    Not sure if you bought already. I am just looking right now at the legal pack of an apartment currently for sale by REA in Waterville (auction). I just found a small handwritten note on one of the documents mentioning that "pyrite has been found in the development and the process for rectification is now started". Dodgy builders all over.

    Rectification can essentially mean the units are being demolished and rebuilt from scratch- but will almost certainly mean they are uninhabitable for between 3 and 6 months.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 maurodipo


    christin wrote: »
    Thanks for highlighting this. Much appreciated
    No problem hope all went well with your purchase


  • Registered Users Posts: 31 flutterberry


    Hi All

    Just wondering if anybody has any advice. I am considering buying an apartment in Scariff Hall in Waterville. I have seen online that Malin Hall has been discovered to have Pyrite and that remediation process is underway. Does anybody know if the same applies for Scariff and if so would I be mad to buy?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 rdsdublin15


    Hello @christin , did you manage to find this out ? I've gone sale agreed on one of the apartments in Waterville Terrace and my bank is asking me for proof that there are no pyrite issues before I can receive my offer letter. What would be the best way to find this out ?

    Awaiting response.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4 rdsdublin15


    Hello @flutterberry , did you manage to find this out ? I've gone sale agreed on one of the apartments in Waterville Terrace and my bank is asking me for proof that there are no pyrite issues before I can receive my offer letter. What would be the best way to find this out ?

    Awaiting response.



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