The masonry at the font of this mid terraced home near Croydon, London, was sagging in the middle due to a failing bressumer support beam above the bay window. The distortion was clearly visible outside the property, with the distortion of the windows giving it a cartoon-like sad expression. Inside the property the floors were sloping and walls and ceilings cracking.
The structural problem had progressed so far that it was bowing the main roof of the property. Without suitable structural repairs the property was at risk of collapse.
Traditional building works to repair such a serious structural fault would have required a major building project. Standard building methods would require de-construction of the front elevation, replacing the beam, rebuilding the front first floor brickwork, refitting the windows and re-plastering inside.
This Victorian/Edwardian home in South East London had clearly visible structural distortion:
The AWT survey team rapidly diagnosed a failing bressumer beam. Bressumer beams are also known as bressummer beams, breastsummer beams, summer beams or jetty sills. These large timber beams span openings, such as bay windows, and support the masonry above. Failure of a bressumer beam, due to deterioration of the wood or movement within the structure, can have serious knock on effects for the building’s structural integrity.
This was a serious structural defect significant and if it was not addressed it would result in the ultimate failure and collapse of the structure.
AWT were called in to find an alternative to slow, expensive and disruptive rebuilding works. AWT have spent many years developing equipment and methods that allow structural repairs to be carried out that treat the root causes of the problem without demolition and rebuilding. This allows a less disruptive, more cost effective repair solution.
AWT’s structural repair plan included:
The property owners plan to replace the old, distorted windows in the future to complete the transformation.
AWT left the property with hardly a sign of the extensive works visible on the outside of the property. Inside, there are no visible fixings. The disturbed areas of internal wall and ceiling were left ready for replastering and redecoration. As can be seen in the photos, the internal finishes have been disturbed far less than would have been the case after repairs by traditional techniques.
Action Wall Ties are specialist structural repair contractors with the skills required to replace failing bay window beams, realign masonry and reinforce brickwork on modern, period and heritage properties. AWT work along with property owners, architects, project managers and local authorities on large and small projects.
AWT are available for projects of all sizes in London, Kent, 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.
Our specialist structural repair contractors will be happy to help provide a comprehensive and permanent repair to your structural problems.