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Dangerously unstable gable wall secured

Client: Private Homeowner
Location: Oxford
Approved Installer: Red Brick Structural Solutions Ltd
Reference No: CS057

While an extension was being built at the rear of a two storey end of terrace property in Oxford, serious structural issues were discovered affecting the side wall gable elevation which posed potential safety issues for both the homeowner and the public.

Two distinct vertical cracks, caused by differential movement and poor bonding work, were evident on the lines of previous extensions and bowing was obvious in the higher front section of the gable end wall.

Having removed the existing render a lot of loose and unstable masonry was discovered and the wall, which was only one brick thick, was very unstable. It had little in the way of lateral support as the upper storey floor and ceiling joists ran parallel to the wall, there was an adjacent stair well void and an internal cross wall had previously been removed.

Helifix Solution

BowTie HDs secured the gable wall to first floor ceiling and floor joists to provide lateral restraint while bonded HeliBars secured it to an internal cross wall.

A masonry beam was created along the line of the first floor to span over the stairwell void. The HeliBars, which were returned around the front elevation to tie in the corner of the wall, also enhanced the connection between the side and front wall and provided a secure connection across the vertical crack between the two parts of the building.

The wall was restrained at high level using right angle steel straps fixed to the roof rafters before being re-pointed and consolidated with a reinforced render to complete the non-disruptive repairs that avoided the expensive alternative of taking the wall down and re-building it.