Structural Repairs for Ornate Victorian Window Columns
The exterior of this 4 storey property in the London Borough of Lambeth, SW4, is packed with beautiful period features. As well as stone columns with ornate capitals, it also has decorative brick pillars and arched windows.
Sadly, a combination of ageing and ineffective restraining of the stone and brickwork columns was allowing the columns to bow out and the brick arches to drop and spread. This was cracking the surrounding brickwork. If the window columns, pillars and arches were not restrained and reinforced it would result in the failure of the window supports and the collapse of the structure above.
The Structural Problem
This period home in South West London, like many properties with serious structural defects, showed signs of previous attempts at repair by standard building methods. Repointing in areas where the brickwork columns had bowed failed to prevent the columns bowing further. Without specialist structural repairs the columns and arches would fail and cause the structure above to collapse.
As shown in the gallery below, AWT designed a programme of repairs that target the root cause of the structural failings. Due to AWT’s specialist equipment and know how, demolishing and rebuilding the affected areas was not required. AWT used precision drilling equipment to install fixings within the masonry, restoring structural integrity without damage to the period features.
Read our frequently asked questions about bay window structural repairs.
The property had 3 areas that required structural repairs:
The 2 Storey Bay Window
- Visible rotational bulging
- Signs of distortion and distress with rotational movement
- Dropping of brickwork arches
- Leaning of the supporting columns
Front 1st Floor Window
- Significant outward movement to the first floor right hand stone column and capital
- Unrestrained column had moved outwards allowing the attached brickwork to lean outward and drop
- Resultant gaps between the timber window box frame and the column
Rear 2nd Floor Window
- Significant outward bowing movement to the two brickwork columns
- Unrestrained brick columns moved outwards leaving a bow shaped space between the timber window box frame and the column
- Attached brickwork leaning outward
The Structural Repair Solution
AWT’s specialist repairs were designed to alleviate the masonry defects, add tensile strength and restore the integrity of the masonry without compromising the beauty of the period features.
Installation of custom fixings within the masonry redistributes the upper storey loads to those parts of the supporting structure below which are best able to carry them. This also restrains diagonal cracking and bulging of the brickwork.
- Install temporary supports
- Deploy AWT designed realigning cramping equipment
- Use specialist hydraulic powered jacks to realign the columns and brickwork arches
- Install steel corded bed joint reinforcement embedded within the masonry
- Reconnect and reinforce the masonry by precision drilling and installation of Cintec sock anchors
- Reconnect the bay window’s brickwork and masonry using grouted 8mm helical bars
- Repair damaged stonework with Flexacrete
- Replace cracked bricks and mortar ensuring suitable colour match
Action Wall Ties are specialist structural repair contractors with the skills required to reinforce and realign window support columns on modern, period and heritage properties. AWT work along with property owners, architects, project managers and local authorities on large and small projects.