Radon Testing

Frequently Asked Questions Q: What is radon? A: Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when any Uranium present in natural stone decays. The gas decays into radon progeny, (radioactive metal atoms) that gets caught in our respiratory tracts during inhalation. The trapped radon progeny emit radiation which damages the cells in our respiratory tracts and lungs and thereby […]

Read more

Some basic tips on how to choose a building surveyor

Ask the following about the building surveyor: Does the Building Surveyor specialise in pre-purchase building surveys on new and old properties? Is the surveyor qualified to certify that building works are in compliance with building regulations and compliance with planning permission. Pre-purchase building surveys are predominately visual inspections. It is therefore of paramount importance that the surveyor you choose to […]

Read more

The pros and cons of automatic gate systems

This interview explores the pros and cons of installing and maintaining an automatic gate system in your property. Interview with Eamonn Munnelly of Auto Entry Systems Ltd Auto Entry Systems Ltd Unit 7 Park West Drive, Park West Industrial Park, Dublin 12 LoCall: 1850 500 500 TEL: +353 1 6264470 FAX: ++353 1 6239307 Transcript […]

Read more

Ventilation of Timber-Framed Structures

Ventilation of the external walls of timber-framed construction is necessary so as not to allow moisture build up in the cavity which may cause decay to the structural timbers. External walls of a timber-framed dwelling are normally comprised of a number of layers which can be seen in figure 1. Ventilating the cavity of timber-framed […]

Read more

Ventilation in floors

Ventilation in floors, especially suspended timber floors is very important so as not to facilitate the build up of moisture within the floor structure. This moisture build up can cause deterioration not only the timber joists but also any coverings placed over the joists. Ventilation in suspended timber floors can be achieved by installing vents […]

Read more

Ventilation in Roofs

Ventilating roof spaces is very important as water vapour can reach this area primarily through gaps in ceilings such as attic hatches or pipes and even to a smaller extent from gaps around light fittings. When this water vapour reaches the attic space it can condense on the underside of the sarking felt or roof […]

Read more

I’m buying a property with an existing rear extension, will I be able to build a new first floor room over the extension?

Answer. Before you consider building over any existing extension you should first get a good idea as the the structural condition of the existing extension. If there is any cracking or settlement in the existing extension it would be advisable to be extremely cautious before building over the extension. If the extension cannot support it’s […]

Read more

I upgraded an old period house which had a dry tiled basement floor and some dampness in the walls and after renovation I now have dampness in the floor and mold forming on the carpet.

Answer. Most older houses had no or an inadequate damp proofing under the masonry floors and walls in the basement. When low levels of rising damp rises up through the basement floors the moisture would evaporate faster then the rate of the rising damp and the surface of the floor would remain dry, However, in […]

Read more

I’m building an extension to the back of my mid terraced house and there is no storm water drain located in my garden, can I direct the rain water into the foul drain?

Answer. No, building regulations require that rain water and foul water are kept separate and that only foul water can go into foul water drains and likewise for rain water drains. The problem that you have is common in that about 50% of mid terrace houses, in that there is no rain water drain located […]

Read more

Do I need planning permission to change and remove interior walls in my property?

Question, Do I need planning permission to change and remove interior walls in my property? Answer. In most cases planning permission is not required and most interior alterations qualify as an exempt development defined under Section 4(1)(h) under the Planning & Development Act 2000. However, the property must not be a protected structure and be […]

Read more

Do I need planning permission to convert my garage to a kitchen, playroom or bedroom?

Answer. In most cases planning permission is not required and most garage conversions qualify as an exempt development defined under Section 4(1)(h) under the Planning & Development Act 2000. However, the garage must firstly be attached to the dwelling house and already be planning complainant as a garage. The garage conversion cannot be used as […]

Read more

Do I need planning permission for an attic conversion?

Answer. In most cases planning permission is not required and most attic conversions qualify as an exempt development defined under Section 4(1)(h) under the Planning & Development Act 2000. However, while most attic conversion can be converted to storage use without the need to first obtain planning permission, the majority of attic conversions will not meet […]

Read more

Do older extensions to properties require a certificate for bye-law approval?

Answer. There is an amnesty under subsection 22(7) of the Building Control Act 1990 as far as buildings which do not comply with the bye laws are concerned provided development occurred prior to 13th December 1989. Unless the building control authority served notice between 1st June 1992 and 1st December 1992 on the owner of a building that […]

Read more

More concerns about pyrite in houses?

There are believed to be up to of 15,000 properties in Ireland which are contaminated with pyrite backfill. We hope that our website will help you find the information you require concerning all aspects of pyrite damage to houses. When damage occurs as a result of pyrite under the floors it can be a very stressful time. […]

Read more

Testing for Pyrite in Backfill

Property Health Check does not carry out laboratory testing to confirm that your house is free of pyrite.  Golders based in Naas, Co Kildare are perhaps the the best known pyrite testing companies in Ireland.  We certainly don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but if your house has pyrite your test results will […]

Read more

Does rainfall affect the rate of Pyrite expansion?

Answer. Is the total amount of rain fall in Ireland speeding up the rate of pyrite expansion under our houses from what is happening in Canada. There is a mis-conception in the building industry and by some building professionals that the rate of pyrite expansion of contaminated backfill should show up more quickly or become […]

Read more

Buying a Home with Suspected Pyrite Damage

Found your ideal home. Now that you have found the ideal home,  you can get ready to get all your contracts signed, organise your mortgage and look forward to moving into your new home. You have agreed a price with the estate agent and decide that its better to be safe then sorry and organise […]

Read more

What type of home buyers survey do I need?

Answer. Different types of building surveys Visual survey Home buyers survey Residential survey Engineers report Building survey Pre-purchase house survey Structural building engineer report Condition report Property survey Structural survey Full structural survey Note, it is important to be aware that some “full structural survey reports” may actually contain less information then a “visual survey”. The different […]

Read more

Sample of a Property Survey Check list.

Property Survey Check List The purpose of our “How to Survey A Property Checklist” is to assist both sellers and buyers of properties to identify defects that the building surveyor will be looking for. If you have the skills and experience it may also save you the cost of a building survey. If these defects can […]

Read more

What are some of the common types of structural defects in older houses that are expensive to repair?

Answer. General Structure. The structure is by far the most important part of a building survey. In many instances, structural problems are expensive to repair. The structural part of the building survey involves examining all the visible parts of the exterior, the roof, interior walls, ceilings, floors, attic spaces, doors and window frames. Particular attention […]

Read more

Should I check the roof of my property after a storm?

Answer. One of the most common reasons for insurance claims in Ireland is as of damage caused by a storm. From experience we find that typical damage cause by a storm such as lifted roof tiles and roof flashing, may not be immediately visible to the homeowner. The damage may only becomes visible from the […]

Read more

What are the common terms used in a Home Insurance Policy?

Answer. Note, You should read your insurance policy document in full, different insurance companies may have different definitions then the ones listed below. An understanding of the terms used by insurance companies is a great starting point for unravelling your insurance policy. This insurance terms glossary contains some of the most common terms. Accident An […]

Read more

What should you expect from your building surveyor?

Answer. What To Expect: Many home buyers sometimes buy their home on impulse. Experienced building surveyors can help home buyers avoid buyers remorse by reporting on building defects and problems before the home buyer finds them after closing. All detailed surveys should provide clients with the tools they need to make an educated choice regarding […]

Read more

What do I need to know about the roof over my property?

Answer. The main requirements of a roof is to prevent moisture penetration and to transfer the roof loads to load bearing walls of the property. Roofing is the water resistant material what protects the structure from being damaged by water. The term roof is usually broader and includes the roofing and the supporting structure. With […]

Read more

What is Radon?

Answer Radon is a radioactive gas which occurs naturally in the ground from the decay of uranium present in rocks and soils. It is estimated that the effects of exposure to radon gas kills about 200 people a year in Ireland. You cannot smell, see or taste radon gas. Radon can only be measured with […]

Read more

Why is radon a problem?

Answer It is estimated that the effects of exposure to radon gas kills about 200 people a year in Ireland. You cannot smell, see or taste radon gas. Radon can only be measured with special equipment. Radon is a radioactive gas which produces minuscule radioactive dust particles. When breathed into the lungs, the radon gas […]

Read more

Frequently asked questions about pyrite in homes

Answer Pyrite in your home The damage that pyrite can cause is stressful to the home owner and an expensive problem to remedy. The possibility that pyrite may have been used in a small number of homes in a development can have a very negative affect on all property values in that development. The presence […]

Read more

What if the surveyor finds asbestos during his building survey?

Answer Deaths and serious illnesses, normally results from inhaling the fibers in building asbestos materials. Asbestos use in building materials was to strengthen structures and improve fire resistance and was commonly used in houses. Asbestos related deaths usually followed long-term exposure to the raw material. The critical factor is whether it is exposed or not and whether you come into […]

Read more