Structural Repairs to Bowing Gable Wall Prior to Loft Conversion

The AWT team were called in to inspect this Victorian / Edwardian end-of-terrace home in London SE15. The owners planned to add a loft extension but their plans were on hold due to the significant, visible outward bulging of the large gable end wall.

simple horizontal - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London
bulging end wall South London - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London
repairing end wall Southwark - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London
repaired end wall Southwark - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London
Before Repairs to Bulging End Wall
During Repairs to Bulging End Wall
After Repairs to Bulging End Wall
simple horizontal - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London

The Structural Problem

A survey team visited this property in the London borough of Southwark to identify the root cause of the bulging of the large, solid brick flank/gable wall. The survey team reported that due to ageing, ineffective and inadequate restraining of the brickwork the entire gable wall was de-bonding and disconnecting from the rest of the masonry.

debonded brickwork bulges 1.3 - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London

This large gable wall would continue to pull away and without structural repairs, eventually collapse. Traditional building methods would have required the partial deconstruction and rebuilding of the gable wall. Rebuilding work is slow, expensive and disruptive and it would not solve the root cause of the problem which is the inadequate restraining of the gable end wall.

The loft conversion project could not proceed until the gable end wall had been stabilised. The owners were looking for a fast, cost-effective, long-term solution to the structural defect in the gable end wall of their property that would allow the loft conversion to proceed.

The Structural Repair Solution

The bowing gable brickwork required restraining before loft conversion work could begin. AWT designed a complete structural repair program that would realign the brickwork and also add tensile strength to the structure. Their specialist tools and fixings allowed the restoration of the gable end wall’s strength and integrity without the need for visible fixings or costly rebuilding work.

AWT utilised several specialist techniques:

  1. Bed joint reinforcement beaming
  2. Grout tie injection
  3. Lateral restraints

bowing end wall Southwark - Bowing Gable End Wall in South London


The structural repairs were carefully targeted to reinstate the uniformity of the wall and restrain the masonry from bulging outwards. The formation of continuous beams within the brickwork redistributed the upper-storey loads and restrained diagonal cracking and bulging.

A specialist drilling rig, designed by AWT, was used to drill through the brickwork at a shallow angle to maximise the number of bricks connected by each helical, grout bonded fixing. The internal timber beams were reconnected to the masonry using resin-bonded stainless steel fixings.

Cracked and disturbed areas of mortar were replaced with new mortar that was matched for colour, texture and pointing style.

AWT’s specialist gable end wall repairs provided a long-term solution for this bulging gable wall masonry. The work was finished swiftly and with minimum inconvenience to the residents. The hidden fixings used by AWT also preserved the appearance of the old yellow stock brickwork.

Action Wall Ties are structural repair experts. We have specialist skills in the reinforcement and repair of large areas of bulging or bowing masonry, such as gable end walls. AWT work along with property owners, architects, project managers and local authorities on large and small projects.

AWT are available in Kent, London, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. To arrange a survey or to discuss project details, please use our contact form, email us or call us on 01227 721 255.

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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