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HomeBuilding condition assessment reports for pyrite damage

Building condition assessment reports for pyrite damage

We undertake building surveys for claimants of the PRB scheme and for Premier OSG Homebond insurance policy holders for Pyrite related damage.

The Building Condition Assessment Report (BCAR) is an Engineering Report that must be carried out in accordance with IS398-Part 1 and must be undertaken by a “competent person” (i.e. a Chartered Engineer. The report gives a damage category rating to a property that has suffered damage due to the presence of Pyrite in the stone infill under the floors in the property.

The survey is undertaken in order to determine the cause of cracking or damage in a property. Cracking etc. may not always be caused by pyrite heave as cracking to a property can occur for a number of non-pyrite related reasons. It is for this reason that it is essential that a competent person with experience in this area of expertise carries out the report. All cracks on external & internal walls, ceilings and where visible floors on the ground floor will be recorded and categorised according to IS398-Part 1. The Engineer will then categorize the property according to IS398-Part 1 giving it a category 1 or Category 2 rating. A ground floor level survey will also be carried out and this forms an important part of the report. Every elevation and ceiling/floor of every room on the ground floor of the house will also be inspected. The same procedure will be completed for the external elevations and cracks. In cases where a Category rating of 2 is determined, the homeowner can lodge the (BCAR) as part of their application to the PRB.

I am a registered engineer for the PRB scheme.

Premier OSG Homebond insurance policy holders
If you are concerned about the presence of Pyrite in your home and are planning to submit a claim under your Premier OSG Homebond insurance policy we can undertake the required structural survey inspection and provide you with a fully detailed written report. The survey includes a detailed inspection of the whole property and a full level survey of the ground floor. The reports are completed to the specific requirements of Premier OSG protocols. We have an excellent track record in providing these reports and undertaking an engineering investigation to assess if the cracking is severe. We can then recommend if sampling and testing should occur.

Pyrite: What it is and its effect on buildings
Pyrite is a mineral, occasionally present in stone, but when exposed to the earth’s atmosphere and or water becomes unstable and produces sulphuric acid which in turn reacts with calcite formations in the rock. This creates Gypsum Crystals within the rock leading to gradual expansion and bulging over a prolonged period of years. The sulphuric acid can also unravel the structural integrity of the concrete and attack reinforcing steel. Because of the volatile nature of this mineral, its presence is usually banned from construction materials; in particular clause 804 infill material which is commonly specified to be used as infill material under the floors of buildings, specifically requires stone that is inert and therefore free from pyrite.

The unstable nature of the mineral causes expansion in the stone infill under the building; such infill is already very well compacted in order to give stability to the building. This rogue mineral thus causes outward and upward heave putting upward pressure on the floor slab and outward pressure on the external wall, resulting in bulging of the floor slab and cracking and buckling of the external supporting structural walls; it is usual for internal stud partition walls also to be crushed and cracked and for doors to be jammed by the pushed up floor slab.

Damage is progressive over many years and what is initially thought to be normal minor settlement or drying out of plaster can turn out to be a major pyrite problem which will lead to serious damage to the building. The speed at which this happens seems to be related to the percentage of active mineral in the stone, the atmosphere and dampness of the local climate and perhaps the exposure of actual stone used in a specific building to rain etc.

Typical signs of Pyrite related damage in a property are:
The symptoms of Pyrite in the stone infill under a building are typically indicated by some of the following issues: Externally a high level of structural cracking present on walls than would normally be visible or expected in a recently built property. Internally typical indicators are uneven flooring, cracks on walls, distorted doorways, sticking doors, cracked floor tiles, warped plasterboard walls, displaced fireplaces and worktops.

Pyrite does not have any known direct adverse effect on human health.

Survey Prices:
Depending on the size and location of the property our fees vary. We offer two levels of service. A preliminary inspection to see if you have issues in the property and are likely to be successful in your claim. From this we can then advise if it is prudent to proceed with the full survey of the property. The full survey can be undertaken on the day or a call back can be arranged at the time of the first inspection. The callout fee is included in the full survey fee. The call out fee is payable on the day of the first visit.

We are confident than when you call us for a quote our fee levels will offer very significant value for money when compared to other consultant engineer’s fees for the equivalent service. A sample report is also available upon request so you may see what you are receiving for your money. All reports are produced to the required standards.

Below are references from satisfied customers who have used our services for Pyrite issues and who we have assisted in obtaining a successful outcome in regard getting their homes repaired.

Client testimonials

I hired the services of Rory O Connor to undertake the Building condition survey and the floor level survey required by OSG at my property for pyrite related damage. Rory was very efficient and submitted the required report to OSG who in turn were able to move our claim to the next stage with no queries. I have no hesitation in recommending his services
Aoife Jordan. Hollystown , Co Dublin

We hired Rory O’Connor to carry out a building condition survey for Pyrite damage on our home which had to meet OSG protocols and standards. We found Rory to be very professional in every way and our detailed report was approved by OSG for the next stage of our claim. Rory also gave us great advice and kept in contact until our claim was approved by OSG. We would recommend Rory without hesitation.
Damien & Samantha Elliott, Ryebridge, Kilcock, Co Meath

I used Rory O’Connor to carry out the initial survey on our property when we suspected we had pyrite. The appointment was set up and the survey was carried out within that same week, we had a full detailed report back within 10 days with photographic evidence of all the problems clearly outlined. He also explained to us in detail how the process works and answered all our questions. Soon after the report was submitted to OSG they advised us to move on to the next stage of our claim. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services.
Linda O Reilly, Belmayne, Co Dublin

I hired the services of Rory O Connor to carry out the pyrite visual survey required at my property to the OSG protocols. Rory turned up on time, carried out the survey in prompt fashion and delivered the report on time. Once submitted to OSG they had no questions on the report and were able to move onto next stage of our claim. I have no hesitation in recommending his services
George Farquhar, Hollystown, Co Dublin

On a recommendation, I contacted Rory in respect of conducting my Building Condition Report, as required by OSG Homebond in pursuit of my pyrite claim.

Rory conducted the survey, in an efficient and friendly manner. The report was delivered as promised, both in a hard copy and electronic format, which was extremely useful in completing my claim with OSG Homebond.

The report followed the correct protocols which helped ensure a speedy conclusion of my successful claim.

I have recommended Rory to my neighbours.
Annette Atkinson Chapel Farm, Lusk, Co Dublin

We hired the services of Rory O Connor to carry out the Building condition survey for Pyrite damage in our property. Rory turned up on time, carried out the survey in prompt fashion and delivered the report on time. Once submitted to OSG Homebond they had no questions on the report and were able to move onto the next stage of our claim. We have no hesitation in recommending his services.
John and Martina Kelly, Ryebridge, KIlcock, Co Meath