Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

Cracking to brickwork façade to 1970s low-rise blocks with short wall returns – install remedial expansion joints

case study 56e19aafa0d050.32425438 - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

The subject buildings are 1970s low-rise blocks of domestic apartments in North London of conventional brick built construction, featuring a stepped out entrance section leading to a central stairway.

Detailed Case Study:

The buildings are three-storey blocks with a repeating front façade, featuring a stepped out entrance section leading to the stairway serving wings either side.

Each short wall return (dogleg) protruding corner has been largely rebuilt and further cracking to the junction to both rebuilt and old brickwork was noted.

One of the buildings with two entrances totals some 40 metres in length.

case 23 b - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

Cause of the Structural Problems

The returns are approximately 450mm. It was recognised that short wall returns (dogleg) on these long façades have performed as one long span with regard to hygrothermal movement, and this has resulted in cracking to the front corner to both old and rebuilt brickwork.

case 23 c - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

case 23 d - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

Discussion

From Action Wall Ties’ findings it is apparent, bearing in mind the large area of brickwork façades that have been constructed without the benefit of any expansion joints, that the cracking noted is due to seasonal moisture, thermal expansion and contraction i.e. hygrothermal movement.

Structural Repair Solution

Action Wall Ties’ remedial works are designed to provide a cost effective, long term solution ameliorating all the defects noted, retaining the existing appearance of the brickwork with the minimum of disruption to occupants and impact on the environment.

Action Wall Ties completed a remedial scheme that provided a viable repair by introducing expansion joints, bed joint reinforcement crack stitching.

case 23 e - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

Action Wall Ties’ experienced skilled operatives installed remedial wall ties either side of the joint before fixing the saw track to the wall and connecting a hydraulic twin diamond bladed saw set to cut a 10mm wide joint to the full depth of the external skin.

case 23 f - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

case 23 g - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

Action Wall Ties services are available to clients in the South East i.e. in London, Kent, Sussex and Essex.

case 23 h - Cracking brickwork in 1970s low-rise blocks

Action Wall Ties (AWT) are specialists in masonry reinforcement and repair, providing professional structural repair solutions to a wide variety of structural problems from brickwork cracks to more serious movement. We can retrofit new expansion joints, repair cracks and stabilise walls with a minimum of disruption or fuss. Contact us on 01227 721 255, or email us.

Call us if your building has any of these

Common Structural Defects, Issues or Problems

Our specialist structural repair contractors will be happy to help provide a comprehensive and permanent repair to your structural problems.

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