Surveyor detecting wall ties in brickwork

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What are wall ties?

wall ties and brick ties are terms used interchangeably to refer to long metal strips that tie the inner and outer walls together, creating a space that is known as the cavity void or cavity wall.

A wall tie is used to connect two single leaf brick walls together as part of an external wall. A single leaf of masonry can only be built up to 1.2-1.5m high before it becomes too ‘slender.’ The performance of the wall tie is therefore crucial to the stability of the cavity wall.

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wall tie and brick

Do you need wall tie replacement?

Millions of homes and properties across the UK suffer from either wall tie corrosion or wall tie failure and require structural repairs or specialist remedial wall tie replacement. More often than not the problem is that during building there have been insufficient wall ties installed.

Types of cavity wall tie

Our standard replacement wall ties are formed in austenitic stainless steel, replacement ties are available in differing lengths to suit cavity widths up to 110mm.

A range of alternative wall tie designs are available: resin, drive tie or cementitious tie, so your property surveyor will recommend the best option for you. This depends on the type and condition of the masonry and brickwork involved. Other types include general-purpose wall tie clips for bubble foil insulation and other insulation retaining clips.

All designs incorporate a drip detail to prevent water transmission across the cavity. Wall ties are then pressure tested to make sure they are secure.

How to identify wall tie failure

The British Standard for wall ties was launched in 1945, before that there was no standard, so the quality of the wall ties in properties could vary dramatically. In 1964 the amount of zinc in wall ties was reduced, this resulted in a survey in 1981 that found that up to 12 million homes could be suffering from wall tie corrosion due to the lack of zinc protection. All mild steel ties will eventually corrode, hence why it is essential to have them checked.

Unfortunately, wall tie failure is only visible once the effects of cavity wall tie corrosion cause damage to the internal and external walls.

corroded wall tie

What are the signs of wall tie failure

Horizontal cracking – at regular intervals in external mortar joints
Outward bulging of the wall – joints widen causing the wall to deflect outwards, often around window frames
The lifting of roof edges – at gables the growth of brickwork can cause a noticeable ‘pagoda’ effect
Internal cracks – vertical cracks may be found at internal wall junctions & horizontal cracks appear at internal wall & ceiling joints
Cracks to render coats

How to install wall ties

If the wall ties installed during the construction of your property have begun to fail, then it is essential to install replacement cavity wall ties. Our experienced and qualified team of wall tie professionals will identify the location of corroded wall ties and replace them.

Our wall tie replacement installation process includes:

  1. Accurately determining the length of wall ties required
  2. Use of low impact drills to reduce damage to the outer walls before we install the replacement ties
  3. Insert new non-corrosive stainless steel wall ties
  4. Pull test the required number to ensure efficacy
  5. Drill holes are covered to match the existing wall appearance and preserve the facade of your property.

The existing ties are isolated and extracted to prevent further corrosion with the new ties inserted in their place. If the wall ties have corroded to the point that bulges or cracks in the wall require crack stitching or lintel repair services then our specialist team will prepare a repair and treatment plan for you.

Our wall tie replacement and structural repair services are backed by our 20-year guarantee, meaning that you know your property is in safe hands with our industry accredited professional team.

Wall tie survey

To establish the extent of the wall tie repairs and replacements required, our trained and qualified surveyor will carry out an inspection of the premises, load-bearing walls, outer leaf and inner leaf walls and mortar bed, locating the position of existing cavity wall ties, and their condition.

A range of tools are used such as metal detectors to plot the locations and endoscopes to inspect the condition of these.

How much does wall tie replacement cost

The eventual cost of cavity wall tie replacement will depend on the severity of the problem and how many cavity wall ties you need to replace.
At Peter Cox we have a  team of local cavity wall tie survey specialists who will visit your property to conduct an investigation so they can understand the scale of the problem at hand. You will then receive a written report outlining the costs to repair and strengthen your wall by replacing your cavity wall ties.
We also offer Cavity Wall Corrosion insurance that protects your whole house should you have a cavity wall tie problem again in the future. Unlike other banks and building societies, we insure residential properties from flats to houses and mansions that event specialist insurers will not cover.

Contact the cavity wall tie specialists

For more information about cavity wall ties, simply get in touch with a member of our team. We offer friendly helpful advice that you can trust and if we think you can benefit from a house inspection, we can arrange for one of our specialist surveyors to visit your property and get to the bottom of the problem
Contact your local Peter Cox branch to speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, complete our online contact form below for a member of our team to contact you back.

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Next Steps

*Survey enquiries for your local branch will be directed to our dedicated central survey control teams across the UK. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free unless you are calling from a business phone, in which case the rate will be set by your provider.