• 22 August 2011

Waterman Moylan provides advice on Iron Pyrites Contamination to a number of Clients

The use of stone fill containing the mineral iron pyrites has been a significant issue that the construction industry in Ireland has had to address over the last three years.

Iron pyrites contained in the crushed stone used in the formation of foundations and ground floor slabs for buildings, or under roads and footpaths, can undergo a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with water, causing it to swell. This in turn creates upward pressure on the structure over the stone, causing uplift and cracking, and leading to other difficulties such as doors jamming. The chemical reaction also leads to the formation of sulphate. This substance can cause deterioration of concrete, if it comes into contact with the foundations or rising walls of buildings, and may result in structural damage in the medium to longer term.

We have been at the forefront of identifying and addressing iron pyrite-related problems since the first emergence of this phenomenon in 2008. We know exactly what is required to identify if there is a potential iron pyrite issue at a property, and what surveys and tests need to be undertaken to confirm this. We have overseen numerous remedial works projects to remove and replace the contaminated stone fill and repair the properties affected. We can prepare the technical reports necessary to support claims to insurers and litigation, where this is necessary.

For further details on any of the above services, contact Paul O’Connell or Richard Osborne.

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