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Structural Repair FAQs

Questions commonly asked of our structural repair specialists

Our structural repair specialists have collated some of the queries that they commonly hear during the surveying and repair process. These provide clear answers to help you fully understand the process. There’s more information available on our structural survey, wall crack and masonry repair pages.

cracks in walls FAQ

Our masonry repairs experts talking to surveyors about wall cracks

If you have your own question that you’d like our structural specialists to answer, please email it to us. We’ll respond as quickly as possible, and update this page with your Q and A! Alternatively call for further information Leeds 265 2752 York 566577 or Sheffield 224 5121

Q: Do I really need a survey?

A:  The main circumstance that requires a survey by our structural repair specialist is if you’ve noticed any issues with wall cracks, damaged pointing or bulging walls. It may be that another surveyor has raised the issue and you need clarification and a specification for effective and guaranteed repairs. We can help you there.

Q: What method will you use to repair my property?

A: Every building needs to be assessed independently, enabling us to identify the most appropriate repair method. This will depend on the nature and extent of the problem, the age of the building and its construction and materials. Our surveys and recommendations are clearly laid out in easy-to-understand terms, so you’ll know exactly what we’re going to do and why!

Q: How do I know you’re qualified to do the work?

Helifix logo for Brick Tie

Our engineers are Helifix approved and our team of technicians are Helifix approved installers.

A: In addition to our 3 decades of firsthand experience, all of our structural repair specialists undergo rigorous training and are approved and accredited by the Property Care Association. We’re trained Helifix engineers and Cintec approved – and our work is fully guaranteed too. Please check out the bio’s of our staff here, where you can read about their experience, skills and qualifications.

Q: Will the work be carried out by your own workmen or by sub-contractors?

A: All the specialist work we do is carried out by our own trained technicians. They are directly employed by us. This means you get knowledge, skill and accountability working together to complete a perfect structural repair. Occasionally we need the help of selected sub-contractors to do less specialised work with our teams, including pointing, scaffolding and general masonry work. These contractors are carefully vetted and experienced people with a proven track record.

Cintec approved logo

Cintec Approved anchor installer

Q: I’m worried about the mess – will I have lots of work to do when you’re finished?

A: This depends on the extent and nature of the work. Our teams carry clean dusts sheets and will protect stairs and floors with coverings. However, very fine dust can travel quite far and if we’re removing old plaster inside a house, some dusting and cleaning may be inevitable –though we strive to keep things as clean as possible. If you’re worried or have any concerns, always speak to us before the work commences so we can accommodate for any specific wishes you may have.

Q: I’m told that the property lacks ‘lateral restraint’ – what does this mean?

Helifix bowtie lateral restraint for structural repair

Lateral Restraints ? One type we use is the Helifix Bowtie – a remarkable stainless steel tie – seen here being shown to a client on a listed building in Leeds

A: Walls will tend to move outward due to wind pressures. This lateral movement is especially common in very old houses and those with high gable walls or rubble-filled stone walls. The movement can be stopped by provision of restraint at the upper and mid-point of the wall. This can involve a combination of work, ranging from straightforward restraint straps, though to complex stitching anchors and Helibeam, designed to stiffen and restrain the masonry. We use our own hybrid methods, plus the excellent Helifix and Cintec anchors systems. On-site testing ensures proven performance and all of our lateral restraint work is guaranteed.

Q: I need the walls tying back due to bulging masonry – will this include visible plates on the walls?

A: These are known as pattress plates and are a feature of very many old and listed buildings. However, we have perfected our tie bar techniques so that the unsightly plates are rarely needed. Successful restraint of old stone walls via hidden tie bars is a speciality of ours. Depending on the construction material, structural repair will include resin bonded, Cintec anchors or Helifix sockfix type anchors installed from the internal face and invisible from outside the property.

Q: I have a retaining wall in my garden which is leaning over – can you help with this?

retaining wall restraint using DuckBill structiral repairs

Installation of retaining wall anchors in a West Yorkshire Property boundary wall

A: This depends on the extent of the movement and the type of wall and ground conditions. However, we have helped many customers with this defect on domestic and commercial sites. Specialised strengthening and ground anchors can be suitable in many cases and our surveyor will be able to give you advice on the most appropriate solution. In some cases, rebuilding is inevitable, though often we have saved clients thousands by avoiding this and installing a remedial solution – a neat structural repair of the leaning wall problem. Ask about our Duckbill anchor solutions.

Q: My roof is ‘spreading’ causing the walls to bulge – what can be done about this?

A: Roof spread is caused by a lack of stiffness in the roof design, which allows the roof to move laterally at the eaves level, causing the walls to take a loading they were not designed for. Often this is visible as outward leaning of the walls at high level and deflection of the ridge tiles. Depending on the extent of movement and material design, it can be stopped by our roof triangulation and roof strengthening measures. Sometimes a combination of this and remedial wall ties, crack stitching and lateral restraint is required.

Q: What is the difference between crack-stitching and masonry beaming – my report recommends both?

Approved Helibeam structural repaIrs

Look carefully and you can see the pointed in Helibeams, crack stitching and CemTies supporting this brick arch

A:  Crack-stitching involves provision of tensile strength across cracks in masonry to avoid the cracks opening again. It usually involves installation of several strands of Helifix helibar installed in separate positions, with one bar encapsulated in Helibond grout to each bed-joint. Masonry beaming using Helibeam involves a similar approach, however there are twin Helibars in each chance and these are bonded in-depth. They provide tensile strength and also improve bending resistance too, allowing masonry to act as a beam in a tangential and transverse direction. This means that they can span opening, strengthen weak lintels and be used to spread bearing stresses when combined with other structural work. Our Helifix trained surveyors have the skill and experience to specify methods efficiently and cost effectively.

We the above is helpful. If you need more information or have any concerns about structural repair please either call us on Leeds 265 2752 York 566577 or Sheffield 224 5121 or use our email contact page

Brick-Tie customer service team for

Julie, Katrina,Sarah and Sian are waiting to take your call…

The blog posts and links below will also give you additional information on structural repairs, wall ties and cracks in walls.

Bricklayers are not remedial wall tie technicians

 

Guaranteed wall tie replacement – oh dear..

Follow this link to read about what needs to be considered when carrying out structural repairs to a listed building.

 

 

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