Midwest Radio

Expert panel report into pyrite damage in Mayo homes has been published

The report of the expert panel, set up to investigate pyrite damage in a number of homes in Co Mayo, has been published today by Government.

The problem first emerged in 2013 in areas of West Mayo – in both private and social housing dwellings.

An expert panel was established in April 2016 in light of the problems with concrete blocks used in building a number of houses in both Mayo and Donegal, where cracks emerged in the external render of the houses.

The report concludes that the reason for the widespread cracking  is primarily due to excessive amounts of reactive pyrite in the aggregate used to manufacture the concrete blocks.

The problems appear to have been exacerbated by the extreme weather conditions in the winters of 2009 and 2010 in particular.

In the case of Co Mayo, the expert panel estimates that at least 345 private houses have been affected by the pyrite damage, while Mayo County Council says a total of 17 social housing units across 3 estates are known to be affected.

The report shows the damage was mainly confined to  the Ballina and West Mayo areas, and affects houses built between 1998 and 2008.

In terms of solutions, the options offered to householders affected are to demolish the house entirely and rebuild, or demolish and rebuild the external walls.

The Minister of State for Housing & Urban Renewal Damien English has published the report today.

Mayo Senator Michelle Mulherin says this report should now form the basis for a remediation scheme for Mayo householders affected.

A previous Government scheme was available to residents in the East of the country, where the foundations of their homes were damaged by pyrite.

Senator Mulherin says a similar scheme needs to be put in place for Mayo residents, with funding set aside in the next Budget….

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