1950s style four-storey block of flats

A substantial 1950s style traditionally built four-storey block of flats typical of London and Kent, with bowing cracking brickwork – remedial expansion joints to solid construction

case study 56e19a6e658079.78842111 - 1950s style four-storey block of flats

The subject buildings were substantial 1950s style traditionally built four storey blocks of flats, stepped to accommodate a sloping site.

The Structural Problem

case 17 a - 1950s style four-storey block of flats

• Visible cracking movement was noted to the front and rear elevations of each building comprising 225mm thick solid brickwork.

• The smaller of the two buildings was constructed with a central step. Cracking in line with the step was noted to the external brickwork, to the rear and to a lesser degree to the front elevations.

• The larger of the two buildings was constructed with two steps. Cracking in line with the steps was noted to the external brickwork to the rear and to a lesser degree to the front.

Discussion

The movement noted was considered attributable to seasonal moisture and the resulting thermal expansion and contraction (i.e. hygrothermal) – a predictable defect, as this large area of brickwork had been constructed without the benefit of any expansion joints.

case 17 b - 1950s style four-storey block of flats

Solution for Structural repairs

AWT completed a remedial scheme providing a viable repair through the introduction of expansion joints.

1. Flexible joints installed: We introduced crack inducement joints. With a twin diamond bladed saw, we cut a 10mm wide joint, 110mm deep, into the external brickwork between each window and thereafter installed a flexible joint – as indicated with red lines on our proposal images – all in accordance with AWT’s methods.

2. Making good: To the crack line schedule for new joints, we raked out the existing cracked mortar and repaired with new coloured sand and cement mortar to approximately 20mm in depth. AWT operatives are highly skilled in traditional building methods and always attempt to match replacement bricks, pointing styles and mortar colour to be sympathetic with the existing building.

Action Wall Ties (AWT) are specialists in masonry reinforcement and repair, providing professional solutions to a wide variety of structural problems in London and Kent on all types of properties, including Low rise housing blocks. Contact us on Canterbury 01227 721 255, or email us.

 

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