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Grouted anchors avoid masonry damage

Client: Minny Street Chapel
Location: Cardiff
Approved Installer: Red Property Preservation
Reference No: CS148

At the Minny Street Chapel, a 125 year old welsh language stone church, the entrance portico was rotating away from the front elevation of the main structure. Caused by the additional weight of a heavy steel lintel being installed across the portico during previous structural works, it had resulted in a 7mm wide vertical crack developing between the solid sandstone piers, with further cracking internally around the door. 

The cracking and movement had been made worse by water ingress and the portico needed to be stabilised and fully secured to the main building. The structural integrity of the sandstone lintels also required reinstating as they were showing signs of deflection. All the work needed to be undertaken without damaging engravings above the door and the church had to remain open throughout.

The Helifix solution

SockFix grouted anchors were chosen to secure the piers and portico and prevent any further movement. Drilling the insertion holes causes very little vibration, so structural disturbance would be minimal, while the anchors would provide an effective bond with the internal masonry.

  • Structural integrity was restored to the entrance way by installing 22 SockFix anchors, 10mm x 800mm long, through the piers and the portico above. Diamond core holes were drilled through the sandstone and the anchors inserted before grout was pumped in to fill the sock mesh, securing the anchor to the masonry.
  • A further two 10mm x 5500mm long SockFix anchors were installed across the entire width of the entrance arch, to strengthen the sandstone lintels.
  • When the anchors had cured sufficiently, the grout tubes were cut off below the face of the stonework and the holes made good.

All the work was completed in just three days, including erection and removal of scaffolding, minimising disruption to church users. The portico stonework engraving has some historic interest so using Helifix SockFix anchors provided an almost invisible repair, which was an important consideration.