Boot Lintel & Wall Tie Repairs, Thanet, Kent

Remedial Wall Ties & Boot Lintel Repairs for 60s/70s House in Thanet

This detached house in Broadstairs, Kent, has a typical 1960s/1970s design and construction. Many similar properties are now developing the same structural problems.

A structural survey of the property indicated issues with the concrete boot lintels and the wall ties. The new owners called in AWT to stabilise the superstructure and protect their investment. Prompt structural repairs prevented the structural defects from causing further damage and avoided more extensive repairs.

The door and window openings were constructed using concrete boot lintels; easily identifiable by the distinctive concrete beams above doors/windows that do not extend beyond the width of the opening. Concrete boot lintels are prone to rotate. This had caused cracking in the internal plaster and cracked, open mortar joints in the external brickwork. The original cavity wall ties were also failing, leaving the outer brick skin unrestrained, and vulnerable to bulging/failure.

The Structural Problem

The property was suffering from 2 main defects that are very common in 1960s/1970s properties; rotating concrete boot lintels and failing wall ties.

Rotation of Boot Lintels:

A fundamental flaw in the installation of concrete boot lintels in 60s/70s properties means that the weight of the heavier brick outer skin is too great for the softer inner blocks to support. The boot lintel rotates, causing gaps to open up, compressing the blocks of the inner wall and allowing the outer brickwork to sag.

The early symptoms of boot lintel problems, as seen below, are cracks in the internal plaster above or radiating from the top corners of doors and windows. It also caused cracking and distortion of the supported brickwork above the doors and windows.

Common symptoms of concrete boot lintel problems:

  • Cracks in the internal walls and ceilings above windows/doors
  • Warped window/door frames – difficult to open and close
  • Cracks in the visible part of the concrete lintel
  • Stepped cracks in the brickwork above windows/doors
  • Dropping of the brickwork above windows/doors
  • Bulging or bowing brickwork above windows/doors

Traditional building repairs – making good the cracks and open joints – treat the symptoms, not the cause. If the rotation continues, serious damage caused by the rotation may result in the necessity to replace the lintels. To avoid further damage to the brickwork, the boot lintels require specialist structural repairs.

Boot lintel gaps cracks rotation - Boot Lintel & Wall Tie Repairs, Thanet, Kent
Boot Lintel stepped cracks - Boot Lintel & Wall Tie Repairs, Thanet, Kent
Boot Lintel gaps - Boot Lintel & Wall Tie Repairs, Thanet, Kent
Boot Lintel compression - Boot Lintel & Wall Tie Repairs, Thanet, Kent
Rotating Boot Lintel Causing Gaps & Cracks
Stepped Cracks Due To Failing Boot Lintel
Gaps Above Concrete Boot Lintel
Boot Lintel Defect Causing Compression Cracks
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Failing Wall Ties & Inadequate Restraint:

Investigation of the wall ties revealed the existing Wire Butterfly Ties were in varying stages of corrosion and were beyond their useful life. The building had suffered some movement for a prolonged period and was progressive due to a combination of ageing, ineffective and/or inadequate wall tying and restraining plus the effect of rotating fenestration boot lintels all contributing to a lack of structural stiffness.

The progressive corrosion of the existing wall ties left the property vulnerable to vertical and wind loads, especially to large gable and unreturned walls. Instability of the wall will result if the ties corrode away completely, resulting in a need to rebuild the wall. Prompt action to install remedial wall ties will avoid more costly and disruptive repairs in the future.

The Structural Repair Solution

The structural repairs by AWT tackle the root cause of the masonry defects and add tensile strength thus reinstating the brickwork’s integrity.

Structural repairs included:

  • Bed Joint Reinforcement Beaming
  • Fenestration Boot Lintel Treatment
  • Grout Tie Injection
  • Remedial Wall Ties

The AWT team installed specially developed prop supports to anti-rotate the boot lintel back into place. Specialist diamond drilling techniques were used to drill through the brickwork into the boot lintel and install resin-bonded stainless steel sheer pins.

 

New pad-stones were installed by providing temporary support to the underside of the lintels, carefully removing sufficient plaster to expose the lintel, cutting out the internal skin and forming a pad-stone to spread the load onto the internal skin. The area was left ready for plastering.

The new wall ties, bed joint reinforcement beaming and grouted ties stabilised the superstructure, reconnecting the inner and outer walls and strengthening the overall structure.

AWT provide cost-effective structural repairs for a wide range of structural problems including failing wall ties and concrete boot lintel problems. We operate not only in Kent but across the whole of London and the South East of England.

To book a time for one of our surveyors to visit your property or to discuss your requirements, call us today on 01227 721255, email us at enquiries@actionwallties.co.uk or use our contact form to get in touch.

Collapsing Ornate Bay & Balcony

Victorian Bay Window & Balcony: Structural Repairs & Restoration

victorian portico bay - Collapsing Ornate Bay & Balcony

This beautiful example of ornate Victorian architecture in Thanet was at risk of imminent collapse due to severe structural issues. The property had visible significant movement including bowing, cracking, dropping of brickwork arches and bowing columns of the front bay window and to the front elevation.

Several companies had surveyed the problems but none offered any solutions. Previous repairs to the property had tackled the symptoms of the structural defect but had failed to cure the root cause of the problem.

It took just 2 weeks of work for AWT to complete a cost-effective, long-term structural repair. Compared to rebuilding work, the disruption to the residents was minimal.

The Structural Problem

The structural issues with this period property in Thanet, Kent were clearly visible. Wide gaps had opened up between the masonry and the window frames. The structural defect had caused damage from the ground floor bay window columns up to the decorative brickwork panels below the eaves. This entire section of the property was in severe danger of collapse.

Bay Window Issues

 

AWT’s inspection of the front bay window found significant distorting movement to the front ground floor causing:

  •  outward movement
  • dropping and cracking of the brickwork arches and stone quoins
  • significant outward bowing of brickwork columns beyond the tipping point

 

First Floor Masonry Issues

Inspection of the front elevational brickwork found signs of distorting movement of the ground floor supporting bressummer beam (over the bay window) causing:

  • dropping of the supported main elevational brickwork
  • dropping brickwork pier stone quoins
  • dropping window arches above the bay window
  • inward sloping and cracking of the brickwork above the bay window

As part of previous attempts to halt the movement of the masonry, the bressummer beam over the bay window had been replaced by an old-style RSJ.

Bay & Portico Balcony Issues

The owners also wanted to deal with some aesthetic problems with the bay and portico balcony balustrade’s decorative wrought iron panels and stone top rails. All the panels required refurbishment. The bay window’s stone top rail had been replaced with an unattractive concrete capping. The portico stone top rails were mainly missing. New stones, in keeping with the period features, were needed to complete the restoration.

The Structural Solution

AWT recommended realigning and reinforcing remediation work to the existing brickwork including:

  • brickwork realignment
  • bed joint reinforcement
  • brickwork arch repair
  • diamond drilled grouted anchors
  • lateral restraints
  • grout tie injection
  • stonework & brickwork repairs
  • addition of fabricated steel spines to the columns
  • addition of an internal restraint post to the first floor

This multi-faceted approach reinstates uniformity and provides restraint to the masonry.

AWT also carefully removed the balcony balustrade panels for refurbishment. The lugs were replaced with stainless steel before the panels were grit blasted, powder-coated black and refitted. The brickwork corner piers were rebuilt. Finally, AWT had replacement capping stones cast in a limestone material with stainless steel reinforcing and bedded them in position.

Fast, Cost-effective, Minimal Disruption, Long Term Structural Repairs

Tackling such serious structural issues using traditional building techniques would have required reconstruction and rebuilding of the front of the property. Rebuilding would have been expensive, slow and highly disruptive to the homeowners. Damage to the original bricks and ornate stonework would be inevitable.

In just 2 weeks, AWT’s long-term repairs were completed without major rebuilding work or visible fixings to mar the internal or external period features.

Action Wall Ties are specialist structural repair contractors with the skills and experience required to repair and restore period properties.  AWT works on large and small projects for property owners, structural engineers, architects, project managers and local authorities.

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.

Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London

simple horizontal - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London
geograph 3281453 by David Anstiss - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London
Dutch gable ornate - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London
gable repair plans 2 - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London
listed building stone repairs - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London
ornate gable repairs - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London
Grade II Listed Dutch Gable Repairs
Ornate Stone Dutch Gable Repairs
Structural Repairs for Grade II Gable
Structural Repairs for Victorian Dutch Gable
Victorian Gable Wall Repairs
 
simple horizontal - Grade 2 Listed Gable Stabilisation in SW London

Repairs to Failing Grade II Dutch Gables

Kingsway Square in Battersea, South West London is a Grade II listed building, formerly known as Mountfield Mansions, it formed part of Westminster College. Designed by E. W. Mountford in the late 1800s, it is an impressive building packed with architectural details.

The Victorian era Dutch gables, composed of red brick and ornate stonework were structurally unsafe and at risk of collapse. A sympathetic structural repair solution was required that could restore structural integrity without compromising the beauty of the facade.

The Structural Problem

Inspection of the Dutch gables walls that feature in this grade 2 listed building revealed that they had failed structurally. The masonry could be manually rocked and was leaning and at risk of collapse. Cracks were evident in the gable masonry and stonework. The masonry of the gable walls required urgent realignment and strengthening.

Traditional building methods would require deconstruction and rebuilding each gable wall. This would obviously have entailed substantial inconvenience to the residents as well as additional costs for internal redecoration. A cost-effective, long-term structural repair was required.

Due to internal concerns, one of the residents also required a tailor-made solution that used exterior steel fixings.

As with many buildings that AWT is called in to repair, there was evidence of previous structural repairs. Patress/anchor plates were visible on the brickwork but they had failed to address the root causes of the unstable gable masonry.

The Structural Repair Solution

AWT provided a bespoke structural repair solution to reinforce the gable walls. AWT’s unique skill set and proven experience were invaluable on such a delicate project.

The consulting structural engineers recommended the most appropriate remedial solution would be to install Cintec anchors vertically through the top of the stone and extending at least as far below the rafter line as the stonework extends above it.

A custom diamond drilling rig was required to allow precision drilling through over 3m of stone and brickwork at the apex of the gables. The Cintec sock anchors were then installed.

Cintech sock anchors consist of a stainless steel rod in a mesh sleeve. The anchor is installed deep into the masonry by the use of precision drilling techniques. The sleeve is then filled with a specially designed cementitious grout. This provides a mechanical and chemical bond between the masonry and the anchor that restores structural strength. The small diameter drill holes required for Cintech sock anchors are filled with color-matched mortar to provide a virtually invisible repair.

In contrast to long, drawn-out rebuilding work, Cintech sock anchors provide a highly efficient repair method. This technology also removes the need to use visible fixings such as pattress/anchor plates.

Four lateral restraints were also installed on each side of the gables to restore structural integrity and restrain the masonry. These stainless steel lateral restraints screw directly into the timber rafters and are resin bonded to the masonry to provide a long-lasting structural reinforcement of the gable walls.

Special Request Alternative Repair Solution

For the resident that requested exterior steel fixings a bespoke, Y-shaped frame was fabricated. This was fitted out of sight, to the rear of the gable masonry, ensuring it did not interfere with the lightning conductors on the gable.

The AWT team carefully cut away the protruding moulding at the rear of the gable to provide a flat surface. The bracket was then fixed in place with stainless steel resin bonded fixings. The finished repair provided a long-term structural repair without compromising the beauty of the Victorian gable masonry.

AWT provides cost-effective structural repairs for a wide range of structural issues. Our specialist repair techniques make us the ideal choice for projects involving listed and heritage buildings. 

We work together with structural engineers, architects and project managers to find economical and effective solutions. We operate not only in London but across the whole of the South East of England.

To book a time for one of our surveyors to visit your property or to discuss your requirements, call us today on 01227 721255, email us at enquiries@actionwallties.co.uk or use our contact form to get in touch.

Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse

Bressumer Beam Replacement & Masonry Realignment Without Demolition

The masonry at the front 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.

simple horizontal - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
south east london repairs 1 - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
structural repairs se london - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
sloping windows - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
sloping floor - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
sagging windows - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
Dropping Brickwork & Windows
Sagging Windows
Distorted Windows. Failing Bressumer Beam.
Sloping Floors. Failing Bressumer Beam.
Sloping Windows. Failing Bressumer Beam.
 
simple horizontal - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse

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.

The Structural Problem

simple horizontal - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
Bressumer repairs Croyden - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
Bressumer repairs SE25 - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
ceiling cracks - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
temp support - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse
Structural Repairs for Sagging Masonry.
Repairs to Dropping Windows
Ceiling Cracks due to Failing Bressumer Beam
During Bresummer Beam Replacement
 
simple horizontal - Sagging Window Masonry at Risk of Collapse

This Victorian/Edwardian home in South East London had clearly visible structural distortion:

  • Significant visible distortion of the front elevational masonry
  • Dropping of the centre column of 1st floor brickwork
  • Significant deflection to the window openings, cills & lintels down to the centre of the building
  • Bowing of the main roof
  • Cracking to the internal plaster
  • Bulging of the ceiling

The AWT survey team rapidly diagnosed a failing bressumer beam. Bressumer beams are also known as bressummer beams, breastsummer beams, summer beams, timber lintels or wooden beams.

These large timber beams span openings, such as bay windows, and support the masonry above. They are often found in period bay windows and shop windows.

Failure of a Bressumer beam, due to deterioration of the wood or movement within the structure, can have serious knock-on effects on the building’s structural integrity.

Period timber Bressumer beams over bay windows are often over stressed by modern day standards. The load from the structure above causes the beam to creep or deform and causes significant deflection from the beam’s correct position.  This, together with further deterioration of the timber due to rot, damp, pest infestations etc can cause the beam to fail, deflecting the brickwork, floor and ceiling above.

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.

The Structural Repair Solution

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 for a less disruptive, more cost effective repair solution.

AWT’s structural repair plan included:

  • Installation of temporary supports
  • Using AWT designed equipment to realign the bressumer beam, floor joists, brickwork, window cills and lintels
  • Removal of the existing timber bressumer beam
  • Formation of concrete pad stone supports
  • Installing a new steel beam
  • Masonry beaming – reinforcement of the brickwork using Bed Joint Reinforcement
  • Restraining bulging masonry by installation of resin bonded ties within the brickwork
  • Concrete and brickwork repairs
  • Matching replacement bricks, pointing style and mortar mixture for texture and colour

The property owners replaced the old, distorted windows in the future to complete the transformation.

AWT left the property with hardly a sign of the extensive work visible on the outside of the property. Inside, there are no visible fixings. The disturbed areas of the 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.

Bulging Gable Wall in NE London

Bulging End of Terrace Gable Wall

The owners of this Victorian / Edwardian end of terrace home in the Redbridge area of North East London called in AWT because of the significant outward bulging of the large gable wall of their property. There was also cracking to the internal gable end walls as well as to the internal party wall between the property and its neighbour.

The Structural Problem

The AWT survey team visited the property in Woodford Green to identify the root cause of the visible bulging movement of the large, solid brickwork flank/gable wall. Due to aging, ineffective and inadequate restraining of the brickwork the entire gable wall was de-bonding and disconnecting with the rest of the masonry. This was leading to additional problems with the internal beams losing support.

debonded brickwork bulges 1.3 - Bulging Gable Wall in NE London

Without structural repairs, the large gable wall would continue to pull away and eventually collapse. Traditional building methods would have required the partial deconstruction and rebuilding of the flank wall. Even then, it would not have solved the root cause of the problem – inadequate restraining of the gable wall.

The Structural Repair Solution

The team at AWT designed a structural repair package that would bring the brickwork back into alignment and add tensile strength to the structure. The specialist tools and fixings used by AWT enable them to restore the brickwork’s integrity without visible fixings or rebuilding work.

Bed joint reinforcement beaming, grout tie injection and lateral restraints were employed to reinstate the uniformity of the wall and provide restraint. The formation of continuous beams within the existing masonry redistributed the upper storey loads while at the same time assisting in restraining diagonal cracking and bulging tendencies.

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 raked out and replaced with fresh mortar that was matched for colour, texture and pointing style.

AWT provided a long term solution for the bowing gable brickwork. By targeting the repairs exactly where they were required the work was completed swiftly and with minimum inconvenience to the residents. The hidden fixings used by AWT preserved the beauty of the old yellow stock brickwork.

Action Wall Ties are structural repair contractors with the specialist skills required to reinforce and repair large areas of bowing and bulging brickwork. 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.

Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

Collapsing Bay & Gable

This period property in Hampstead, North West London had significant structural defects due to a failing Bressumer beam over the bay window area. The entire bay window area and the decorative gable wall above was leaning away from the main structure. Without professional structural repairs, this would result in the ultimate failure and collapse of the structure.

NW3 bressummer  - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel
The Structural Problem

This front elevation of this home in London, NW3 was at risk of collapse. The first floor timber Bressumer beam over the bay window was failing, causing the downward movement of the central column of brickwork. This resulted in significant distortion to the window cills, lintels and first floor causing them to lean down to the centre of the building.

This type of horizontal wooden beam is known by a number of different names including:

  • Timber lintel
  • Bressumer or Bressummer
  • Breastsummer
  • Summer Beam
  • Various other spellings including Sommer, Somer, Sommier and Somier

This type of substantial wooden beam is often found in period properties over bay windows supporting the building above and above shop windows.

Victorian timber Bressumer beams over bay windows are generally over stressed compared to modern day standards. They are often affected by Creep with significant deflection together with further deterioration of the timber due to rot, damp, pest infestations etc. This can render the beam ineffective, deflecting the brickwork above, as well as the floor and the ceiling, requiring remediation. Another common cause of Bressumer beam problems is movement within the building’s structure which leaves the beam lacking adequate support.

Many of the common symptoms of a failing timber bay window beam were clearly visible including:

  1. Significant deflection of the beam
  2. Cracking, bulging brickwork above
  3. Masonry leaning away from the main elevation
  4. Cracking internal plaster
  5. Bulging ceilings
  6. Sloping floors
  7. Bowing of the main roof
  8. Distorted window cills
  9. Distorted window lintels

NW3 sloping floor - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

The entire bay window and the decorative gable brickwork was at risk of collapse. Traditional building methods would have required substantial and costly rebuilding work. Without AWT this would have required a major building project to de-construct the front elevation down to the Bressumer beam, replace the beam and thereafter rebuild the front first floor brickwork complete with window cill, lintels, refitting the windows and replacing internal plastering and finishings.

AWT was called in to stabilise the structure and preserve the period features. AWT’s specialist tools and structural repair skills enabled them to restore structural integrity without the need for rebuilding work, saving time, money and disruption.

The Structural Repair Solution

AWT used specialist equipment to realign the masonry, replace the wooden Bressumer lintel with a steel beam and install restraints. A lateral gable beam was also installed, the bulging gable wall was realigned and the structural integrity was restored.

Hampstead bressummer replacement - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

Hampstead bressummer realignment - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

Traditional building methods often provide a superficial, temporary solution. AWT’s structural repairs get to the root cause of the structural failings.

The structural repair works included:

  • Installation of temporary supports
  • Removal of failing Bressumer beam
  • Installation of new steel Bressumer lintel
  • Installation of lateral gable beam
  • Realignment of masonry by 70mm using hydraulic equipment
  • Bed Joint Reinforcement
  • Lateral restraints
  • Re-pointing disturbed areas with colour matched mortar

The remedial works restored the leaning masonry to its vertical alignment and restrained it from leaning outwards. The new steel Bressumer beam, lateral gable beam and the Bed Joint Reinforcement within the masonry restored the strength of the structure.

AWT provided a permanent solution to the structural defects without the need for expensive rebuilding work or visible fixings.

Satisfied Customers

The first photo below shows the re-plastered ceiling ready to be repainted and the second shows it after redecoration was completed. The beautiful period features of the house can be enjoyed in their former glory.

bressummer repaired - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

 

The home owners were delighted with how hassle free the process was and at the finished results.

Some of their comments were:

“You managed to diagnose pretty much what was wrong over the phone without having seen a photo i.e. Bressumer beam failure. We felt we were dealing with a professional company with a real idea of what we would need.”

“Your surveyor, Scott, was again reassuring. He gave the impression that whilst our house was of concern it was nothing compared to some properties you’ve repaired and it wouldn’t be beyond you.”

“Once we agreed to go ahead you were again very supportive and we felt comfortable and confident that we were in good hands.
The building team you that sent us were very reassuring and immediately had our confidence. The entire team were polite and professional and inspired confidence.”

“My elderly neighbour 2 doors away asked me when the works were starting and I was happy to tell her they were already finished….”

“We have a family friend that was very concerned with us walking blindly into a massive building program with no clue as to what we were doing and that it could all go horribly wrong.  I’ve been very pleased to let him know everything went better than expected and AWT completed the works quicker than we hoped. It’s all been a very positive experience.”

new bressummer beam - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

AWT provide cost effective structural repairs for a wide range of structural faults including failing wooden beams and lintels. We operate not only in NW London but across the whole of London and the South East of England.

Read our frequently asked questions about bay window structural repairs.

To book a time for one of our surveyors to visit your property or to discuss your requirements, call us today on 01227 721255, email us at enquiries@actionwallties.co.uk or use our contact form to get in touch.

Bowing brickwork on Victorian semi

Bowing brickwork on Victorian semi

Victorian mid-terrace house rear addition bowing and dropping brickwork – stabilisation, bed joint reinforcement beaming, crack stitching, fenestration lintel repair, grouted tie and lateral restraints

case study 56e199b5a11814.78242588 - Bowing brickwork on Victorian semi

The subject building was a traditionally built Victorian mid-terrace domestic residence, consisting of three floors below a pitched tiled roof.

Problem

Signs of distortion and distress, with localised cracking, were noted to the far external gable wall of the rear addition – along with cracked and dropped brick arches to the first and second floor level. Previous repairs of old tie bars with patress plates, large steel straps, rebuilding and re-pointing were noted, indicating a history of movement.

A significant outward bulge to the side elevation at first floor level with localised cracking was also noted, as was significant downward movement at the rear doorway with all brickwork leaning towards that point.

Causation

The movement noted was attributed to subsidence, which may well be historic as internal redecoration shows no sign of cracking. Under these circumstances we did not consider that underpinning was warranted at this stage. Our pragmatic solution was to reinforce and tie back the building by using a combination of bed joint reinforcement and lateral restraints into the first floor construction to reinstate structural integrity.

Solution

AWT’s remedial scheme was the introduction of bed joint reinforcement beaming, crack stitching, fenestration lintel repair, grout tie injection and lateral restraints – adding tensile strength and restraint and thus reinstating the brickwork’s integrity and the uniformity of the wall. After installation, pointing was raked out, reinstated and tinted to match the existing.

case 3 a - Bowing brickwork on Victorian semi

1. Reinforcement:
We introduced two rows of twin 8mm stainless steel corded joint reinforcement to form a deep masonry beam – as indicated with red double dotted lines on our proposal images.

2. Grout tie injection:
We drilled into the party wall and bent into the hole one of the grouted 8mm stainless steel cords – as indicated with red stars on our proposal images.

3. Lintel repair:
To the underside of the fenestration openings head we drilled for and injected grouted 8mm helical stainless steel pins through the brick arch and passed into the line of the deep masonry beam installed within the existing masonry – as indicated with green parallel lines on our proposal images.

4. Crack stitching:
We stitched localised cracks with the introduction of single 8mm stainless steel corded joint reinforcement – as indicated with red single dotted lines on our proposal images.

5. 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.

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.

 

Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

Victorian Property: Crack Stitching & Lintel Repair

Extensive superstructure reconnection and reinforcement after underpinning for a Victorian house in North West London.

case study 56e199c6599876.58043227 - Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

The subject building was a substantial Victorian traditionally built semi-detached domestic house in London, NW3.

The Structural Problem

Click on the gallery images below to see the full extent of the damage caused by the structural issues. Evidence of previous, unsuccessful attempts to fix the structural issues by traditional building techniques can also be seen.

Signs of distortion and distress were noted, with localised cracked and dropped brick arches to the first and second floor levels of the square bay.

Significant cracking was noted to the external brickwork running from and to the ground, first and second floor window openings. The brick arch was missing from the first floor window and distortion, cracking and dropping were noted to the ground and second floor arches. The first and second floor window openings had temporary supports.

Causation

The movement noted was attributed to subsidence. Downward movement had allowed the brick arch to spread and drop and the brickwork to crack. The downward movement had been addressed by a recently completed underpinning scheme. Some de-bonding of the brickwork was also noted.

debonded brickwork bulges 1.3 - Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

The Structural Repair Solution

case 4 c - Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

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

2. Lintel repair:
To the underside of the fenestration openings head we drilled for, and injected, grouted 8mm helical stainless steel pins through the brick arch, passing into the line of the deep masonry beam installed within the existing masonry – as indicated with green parallel lines on our proposal images.

3. Bay window repair:
To form a beam and reconnect the bay window 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 horizontal parallel lines on our proposal images.

4. Crack stitching:
To stitch localised cracks we introduced single 8mm stainless steel corded joint reinforcement – as indicated with red single dotted lines on our proposal images.

5. Wall ties to de-bonding brickwork:
To brickwork within the beamed area and arches, where brickwork was believed to be de-bonding, we drilled for and resin bonded 6mm stainless steel remedial ties and re-pointed disturbed areas with a sand and cement mixture.

case 4 d - Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

Signs of distortion and distress, with localised cracking, were noted to the external brickwork to the front entrance archway bridge, along with cracked voussoirs and the dropping of the brick arch and outward movement.

6. Resin bonded ties:
To stabilise the brickwork archway bridge, we introduced truss ties. To form the truss we drilled a 14mm hole at 45 degrees to the required depth, opened the entrance hole to 18mm, resin bonded 10mm stainless steel threaded rods, drilled a horizontal 14mm hole to the required depth, inserted the 10mm stainless steel threaded rods, fixed nuts and washers, resin bonded to the inner wall, tightened nuts to both sides and resin bonded to the outer brickwork.

case 4 e - Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

7. Making good and pointing:
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.

High Quality Structural Repairs

The photos below show the property 14 years after the work was completed. The high quality structural repairs carried out by AWT are designed to last. Unlike traditional building repairs, our techniques get to the root cause of structural defects.

Victorian bay window repairs c4 - Victorian Crack Stitching and Lintel Repair

 

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

Edwardian Stucco column remediation

London Edwardian Stucco column remediation

Edwardian portico structure with stucco columns cracking and failing – stabilising remediation works involved precision diamond drilling into the edge of the rounded columns directly into the centre of a half brick wall and the injection of grout

case study 56e199f6b5d7f7.59403455 - Edwardian Stucco column remediation

The subject building was a substantial, traditionally-built, elegant Edwardian Stucco finished domestic house in Central London.

This period property required work to remedy cracking and parting of the entrance porch structure without detracting from the look of the property.

Action Wall Ties have highly trained staff with a wealth of experience in dealing with period properties. AWT used their own design of diamond drilling equipment to drill for, and install, ties to strengthen the structure. The property was then made good using special mortars to match the existing finish.

Detailed Case Study

Defect

Cracking to the junctions of the front portico stucco columns with the main elevational walls was reported and noted.

case 7 a - Edwardian Stucco column remediation

case 7 b - Edwardian Stucco column remediation

Discussion

An underpinning scheme was completed, addressing the downward movement leaving the superstructure to be reconnected. Action Wall Ties’ remediation works were designed to assist in restraining the masonry to return the integrity to the structure.

Structural repair solution

The remediation works involved precision diamond drilling into the edge of the rounded columns, directly into the centre of a half brick wall by 1800mm each way to accommodate the injection of grouted ties, reconnecting the columns and walls (as indicated with green lines).

case 7 c - Edwardian Stucco column remediation

case 7 d - Edwardian Stucco column remediation

With the structure stabilised the cracked junctions of the columns with the main elevation were raked out cleaned and injected with cementitious grout, finished and made good with concrete repair mortar.

case 7 e - Edwardian Stucco column remediation

Action Wall Ties have, over many years, developed specialised equipment and methods to facilitate precision diamond drilling in almost any location, into almost any substrate, drilling 20mm diameter holes up to 3 meters long, through to 80mm diameter holes to almost any length, to accommodate the proposed remediation works (i.e. the removal of corroding steel and or installing many types of fixings).

Action Wall Ties have developed methods, and trained skilled experienced operatives, to strive to finish works to be sympathetic with the existing by attempting to match replacement bricks, pointing style and mortar mixture for texture and colour.

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

Stabilising stone and flint dormer window

Stabilising stone and flint dormer window

Stabilizing stone and flint dormer window at King’s School, Canterbury – diamond drilling for, and installing, grouted ties

case study 56e19bf5d19013.59175950 - Stabilising stone and flint dormer window

King’s School is possibly the oldest school in England, believed to have been established over 400 years ago. AWT were engaged to undertake remedial works to stabilise a stone and flint fronted gable dormer window of this substantial, historic school building. We used lateral restraints and grout ties to remedy the problem and offer an effective repair solution.

Problem – movement and rotation of gable masonry

• The dormer gable masonry was of stone window mullions and copping stones with a flint infill backed with brickwork.

• The dormer gable masonry had suffered from significant outward movement, leaving a gap between the flashings and the dormer roof.

• The masonry appeared to be rotating outwards on the joints to the stone window mullions.

• No fixings to the masonry and the roof structure were noted.

Discussion

case 35 a - Stabilising stone and flint dormer window

From our findings it was apparent that the building had suffered from movement over a period of time. It was deemed that this movement was progressive, due to current ineffective and/or inadequate restraining.

The Repair Solution – Lateral Restraints

AWT completed a remedial scheme providing a viable repair, through the introduction of lateral restraints and grout ties to reconnect the substance of the wall and restrain the same.

• Grout ties: To connect the substance of the masonry stone and flint of the gable wall, AWT installed remedial grout ties by drilling for, and injecting, grouted 8mm helical bar – as indicated with green stars and parallel lines on our proposal plan images.

• Lateral restraints: In conjunction with the grout ties we installed stainless steel ties, screwed into the side grain of the timbers behind and resin bonded to the masonry – as indicated with yellow stars on our proposal plan images.

Action Wall Ties (AWT) are specialists in masonry reinforcement and repair including historic flint and stone walls, in Kent, Surrey, London and Sussex.

Our Lateral restraint solutions are permenant and effective, creating a better than new outcome.

We are successfully providing professional solutions to a wide variety of structural problems. Contact us on 01227 721 255, or email us.

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