Action Wall Ties warns of potentially dangerous structural defects in 1930s apartment blocks

July 26, 2016 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
July 26, 2016 - Chris Nichols from Action Wall Ties, a specialist structural repair company based in Kent, has warned that serious defects in 1930s mansion blocks and even some 1970s blocks are on the increase.

Mr Nichols said "Over 80 years of British winters have taken their toll on these buildings." Mr Nichols issued his warning after Action Wall Ties started its latest project for the London Borough of Islington. 7 blocks of 1930s style social housing were found to require repairs to cracked brickwork balustrade walls. Mr Nichols praised the London Borough of Islington for being alert to structural defects and ensuring prompt repairs to its housing stock before defects became dangerous and required more costly repair work.

Balustrade walls had been weakened due to expansive corrosion of steel reinforcing bars. Action wall ties developed solution by firstly scanning the buildings to locate the corroded reinforcing bars thereafter specialist drilling techniques have been used to remove the corroded fixings.

Hydraulic powered twin bladed diamond disc cutters have been employed to cut expansion joints in the brickwork. Custom design restraint posts installed together with reinforcement and brickwork and concrete repairs reinstates the integrity of the balustrade walls.

The new pointing and render are colour matched to ensure the repairs are visually in keeping with the rest of the building.

Mr Nichols said "Many of the 1930s style blocks that we inspect show signs of previous, ineffective structural repairs. Repairing these types of properties requires specialist knowledge and techniques. On inspection we discovered issues deep in the brickwork, working with a number of specialist engineers we have devised a comprehensive repair solution that minimises disruption and is applied directly to the issue retaining existing brickwork and appearance. This makes it cost effective and dramatically speeds up the repairs."

Many low rise blocks from the 1930s now have listed status. Structural repairs need to be carried out with care to preserve the external appearance of the building. Architectural styles of the era, often included walkways and balcony walls. Due to the construction methods used, which included the use of steel or wrought iron fixings and decorative panels, these features are prone to structural defects.

As specialists in structural repairs they have developed specialist equipment and methods to undertake intrusive inspections to establish the construction detailing and causation of the apparent defect and reporting the findings enabling remediation proposals. This often requires specialist equipment such as hydraulic cramps and props which can be used to support and gradually realign masonry lintels, bays and other failing structural features, bespoke drilling jigs assist to remove old, corroded steel reinforcing and install new fixings without further damage to the surrounding brickwork/masonry.

Action Wall Ties are proud that their specialist know how is allowing them to preserve these buildings for the next generation.

If you have signs of cracking or movement on your walls, especially on older properties, do not hesitate to request a comprehensive structural report and quotation. Acting early saves a great deal of cost and inconvenience and most repairs can be carried out with minimal disruption.

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