How often do wall ties need replacing?

Wall ties are used to join the internal and external walls of a cavity wall and are installed during construction.

Over time these wall ties start to corrode and require replacing – particularly where the steel wall ties have had little protection. The expansion caused by this type of corrosion can force apart mortar joints causing cracks to appear. Other symptoms include bulging of walls, roof edges lifting and in severe cases the whole wall can collapse. So, we have written this article to make you aware of the need to replace wall ties.

Wall tie replacement Newcastle

What are wall ties?

What is a wall tie we hear you ask? Well to put it simply it is an essential component of cavity wall construction, wall ties are used to connect the inner load bearing leaf to the protective outer leaf of a building, thereby providing structural stability.

Nowadays, wall ties are typically manufactured from stainless steel due to its corrosion resistant properties, but this has not always been the case and some older buildings may include wall ties manufactured from other materials.

How long do they last?

Prior to 1978, wall ties were usually manufactured from galvanised mild steel. These ties were expected to last the lifetime of the building, but it has since been recognised that these wall ties can corrode after only 15-20 years.

How do you know if wall ties need replacing?

It can be difficult to know when wall ties have failed and to what extent. So to give you a heads up here are the most common signs of wall tie failure:

Vertical or Horizontal Cracks

Normally caused by expansion of corroded wall ties. As the tie corrodes, the rust or metallic oxide that is produced takes up more space than the original tie did and due to this the bricks above and below the tie are forced apart cracking the mortar bed.

Bulging Brickwork

This can occur when the corrosion of wall ties and the resultant expansion in their mass forces the outer wall skin either up or down. If there is nowhere for it to expand into then the brickwork itself will have no choice but to bulge outwards.

Cracks Or Separation Of Window Reveals

This issue normally manifests itself on the internal walls of a property. When expansion and movement is caused, gaps and cracking can appear between the window frame and the window reveal. Additionally, the depth of a window reveal can also appear as inconsistent.

Lintels Lifting Or Sagging

Again, due to expansion movement, lintels can either be pushed upwards or downwards. This can also be the same for windowsills.

Collapse Of The Outer Leaf

In a worst-case scenario, there could be no signs of wall tie failure or corrosion until it’s too late, we have had many customers have no signs of any issues until the external leaf of their property has collapsed.

Wall tie replacement Newcastle

Brickwork Direct provide a variety of wall tie replacement and repair solutions for private properties as well as our commercial clients. Our company has 15 years of experience successfully replacing wall ties throughout the North East.

As specialists in brickwork, our wall tie replacement services include Cavity Wall Tie Replacements, Remedial Wall Ties, Identifying Wall Tie Failure and Wall Tie Corrosion.

Brickwork Direct’s fully trained teams can review and diagnose any structural issues you may have so get in touch today or visit our wall tie replacement page for more information.