Is Crack Stitching A Good Solution To Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Widely used throughout the masonry and construction industry, crack stitching is a method employed to help repair deteriorating walls, and if your property has begun to develop structural cracks, a specialised repair such as this, may be necessary.  

Varying greatly in size and sometimes appearing out of the blue, cracks in a building’s structure aren’t always cause for alarm, but they should never be ignored. A professional inspection can help you determine the cause of the cracks, and if repairs are required, they will carry them out at the earliest to prevent further harm from being caused to the property as a whole. But what causes structural cracks? Let’s take a closer look:

Structural cracks, their causes, and what you should do about them

A common occurrence in properties of all ages and sizes, cracks can appear due to a number of factors, including water damage, home settling, seasonal changes and wall tie failure, among others. If left unrepaired, however, cracks can go on to jeopardize the very integrity of the structure, and in worst case scenario’s, lead to its full, or partial collapse. 

An inspection from a local surveyor or structural engineer will help you determine the likely cause of any cracks appearing in the walls of your home, and their comprehensive report will identify a number of solutions to the problem, which may well include crack stitching. If a professional structural survey has highlighted a failure to some, or all of the property’s cavity wall ties, for instance, crack stitching may be a viable and cost effective solution. 

This simple and effective method to address structural cracks must only be carried out by those qualified to do so, no matter how much of an experienced or enthusiastic DIYer you may be!

Crack stitching explained

Crack stitching bars are grouted across wall cracks in this retrofitting procedure, to reconnect them and restore the masonry to its former condition. The process involves the creation of two deep chases in the mortar, making the necessary gap in the bed joint, followed by the cleaning of the deep chases to eliminate any dirt or debris within the area in question. Then, grout is injected deep into the mortar to enable a bar to be cut to size and placed into the bed joint. Once the bars have been firmly embedded, a further layer of grout is applied over the top, and mortar is used to conceal the crack and bring it into line with the rest of the masonry work. 

Thanks to the fact that once installed, crack stitching is virtually invisible, and can help bring a property back to its original visual design, along with being permanent and highly effective, minimally disruptive, and working well even in weaker materials, it remains a versatile, cost effective and popular method of masonry repair for all manner of structures. 

What can you do to prevent structural cracks?

In many structures, cracks within the walls can be tricky to prevent, but the minimizing or accommodating of movement is one way of tackling the cause of cracks and limiting the possibility of them appearing. 

Minimizing movement within a property can only be done effectively once you have an understanding of the type of foundation the building is sitting on, however, and the elements and environmental factors surrounding it. precautions can be taken to ensure that the soil and any other external elements are taken care of appropriately (under the guidance of a structural engineer or similarly qualified expert), to prevent them from disrupting the foundation of the property. Accommodating movement is more of a measure of prevention that’s put in place when a structure is being built, and involves the brickwork being allowed some give, through movable joints which are secured in between materials. 

It’s also important to have your cavity walls inspected, as failing cavity wall ties are a common cause of cracks and a loss of structural integrity.  

Ultimately, only someone qualified to inspect a building will ever be in a position to guide you as to the correct method of repair for cracked walls, and if cavity wall ties are found to be the cause, they will either replace them, or recommend a number of solutions, including crack stitching. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *