Dropping arches and cracking brickwork

Victorian two-storey square bay window with dropping arches and cracking brickwork – realignment of the masonry, bed joint reinforcement beaming, lintel repair and lateral restraints

case study 56e199e022e0b4.23143029 - Dropping arches and cracking brickwork

The subject building was a traditionally built Victorian mid-terrace domestic residence constructed over two floors below a pitched tiled roof.

Problem

Signs of distortion and distress, with localised cracking, were noted to the external walls, along with cracked and dropped brick arches to the front bay at the first and second floor levels.

Causation

The movement noted was considered to be progressive, attributable to some localised subsidence and ineffective or inadequate restraining to the front bay window, allowing the brick arch to spread and drop and the brickwork above to crack.

case 6 a - Dropping arches and cracking brickwork

case 6 b - Dropping arches and cracking brickwork

Solution

The introduction of bed joint reinforcement beaming, lintel repair and lateral restraints adding tensile strength and restraint – thus reinstating the brickwork’s integrity and the uniformity of the bay. After installation the pointing was raked out, reinstated and tinted to match the existing (see coloured remedial works on our proposal picture).

1. Bay window repair:
To form the beam and reconnect the bay window’s elevational brickwork, we diamond drilled a 20mm hole through each elevation, chased into the main elevation, and injected grouted 8mm helical bars – as indicated with green parallel lines on our proposal.

2. Bed joint reinforcement:
We introduced one row of twin cord reinforcement, forming a deep masonry beam – as indicated with red double dotted lines on our proposal images.

3. Lateral restraints:
In conjunction with the beam, we introduced 8mm stainless steel lateral restraints screwed directly into the timber floor joists’ end grain or into the side grain, all resin bonded to the masonry – as indicated with yellow stars on our proposal images.

4. Making good and pointing:
To the brick arches and the brickwork spandrel between the ground and first floor windows, we raked out the existing 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.

case 6 c - Dropping arches and cracking brickwork

Action Wall Ties (AWT) are specialists in masonry reinforcement and repair, providing professional solutions to a wide variety of structural problems. Contact us on 01227 721 255, or email us.

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