Crack Stitching in 6 Easy Steps
Projects and processes that, at first glance, seem really complicated, are often much easier than you think. The fear of failure can often end up being the CAUSE of failure: more often, it stops us from even bothering in the first place. An extremely helpful and universally appreciated way of making the task seem more within reach is to break it down into its component stages, viewing each one as a complete project in and of itself. Concentrate on these smaller tasks and, before you know it, you're at the last step and the job is almost done.
Repairing cracked brickwork fits neatly into the it-looks-too-difficult category. Luckily, it fits even more neatly into the easy-when-you-know-how category and you’re only a few steps away from being someone who Knows How.
A regular Twistfix customer, A builder who hails from Leeds and seems to have an insatiable appetite for insulation fixings, recently noticed shrinkage cracks to his property, which is built from reconstituted York stone. Purchasing one of our comprehensive kits on the off chance, he got to work and installed all 10 bars required for the project in just 2 hours and happily declaring that “the repair was much easier than (he) thought” after he finished.
Cracked brickwork can leave many homeowners in a cold sweat and even seasoned builders can shy away from the job but there’s nothing to panic about: Keep Calm and Follow These Six Steps….
Step 1 RAKE out the mortar joint at 300mm/450mm vertical centres. Be sure to extend slots 500mm to either side of the fractured area; a length of spiral bar at 1m is a perfect checking tool for slot size
Step 2 REMOVE dirt, dust and detritus with a flush of clean water. This is really two steps in one, as the flush will wet the wall sufficiently to handle the initial suction from the masonry
Step 3 PREPARE the formula by emptying the provided powder into the mixing bucket and mixing in the bottled liquids. A powered paddle for 90 seconds should get it all mixed up properly, ensuring that the thixotropic, polymer-modified mortar has the required slurry-like consistency. The mixture goes straight into the applicator and is usable immediately, though its working life is dependent on ambient temperature (which should not dip below freezing point)
Step 4 ADJUST the grout applicator’s high-flow outlet nozzle using pliers, until it suits the height of the preformed slot. Insert the nozzle into the slots in turn, dispensing the mortar in a side-to-side motion until the slot is filled to a depth of 20-25mm; fill two slots each time before the bars are introduced
Step 5 INSERT a high-tensile bar into each slot, ensuring that it embeds into the grout about halfway; the displacement mortar should exude as the bar’s deep helical troughs are encapsulated. The provided finger-trowel is used in the manner of an iron, compressing excess grout until sufficiently recessed to allow for repointing
Step 6 REPOINT the cracks and the slots; adapt mortar to match the existing structure if required. Now enjoy your crack-free walls!