Canada

Pyrite homeowners to be compensated

The Quebec government has launched a program to help homeowners whose houses are affected by the mineral Pyrite.

Total cost of the program is estimated at $70 million.

It is estimated that 5,000 homes are affected by Pyrite, primarily in areas on the south shore of Montreal.

What is pyrite?

It is a molecule of sulfide iron found in landfill used in construction.

What are its effects?

When pyrite is present in certain types of landfill used under concrete slabs and certain chemical conditions are also present, the basement or garage floor may heave and crack.

What are the signs that pyrite may be present?

  • Cracks in the basement or garage floor;
  • White powder or dust around the cracks;
  • Heaving of the basement or garage floor;

What causes pyrite to expand?

Pebbles that are potentially expandable must be in contact with humidity and oxygen.

Other points to remember about pyrite and home construction:

  • Tests must determine whether a house is located in an environment susceptible to expansion.
  • Problems may occur many years after a house is built. Each case is different.
  • In Quebec, the following areas are most affected by pyrite in construction: Boucherville, Brossard, Candiac, La Prairie, Longueuil, Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Saint-Bruno, Saint-Hubert, Sainte-Julie, Varennes and Montreal (mainly Rivire-des-Prairies and Pointes-aux-Trembles). Source: Association des consommateurs pour la qualit dans la construction (ACQC).
  • According to ACQC a laboratory analysis of pyrite presence may cost from $300 to $800.