Twistfix-registered contractors Newman Building Solutions recently completed extensive work to repair a Victorian end-terrace house in the beautiful area of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire. The private landlord of the property had noticed a worrying amount of bulging and cracking in the 1830s-built property.
An initial inspection found that significant bowing had occurred. This was particularly noticeable on the gable wall and on the front elevation where the brickwork had become distorted around the point loaded patress plates that had been installed in the 1950s, The front wall had also fallen victim to fractures caused by brick arch lintel failure, a common structural defect in properties of this age. Additionally cracking was noticed at the party wall junctions with the perimeter walls and gaps had also appeared at both ceiling at first floor levels.
To solve the problem, Newmans selected reinforcement wires from the comprehensive range of Twistfix reinforcing bars and grouted them into slots formed in the wall to form deep masonry beams, which wrapped around the front, gable and rear walls, continuing through the party wall to complete a full loop of masonry reinforcement. This design securely tied the property's midriff together, effectively distributing structural loads across the areas where bowing was the worst and forming a reinforced brick lintel over the ground floor windows. To complete the job and provide added restraint to both gable and front elevations, several 1.5m Twistfix lateral restraint ties were installed. Once fixed into the floor diaphragm pull-out tests were carried out; the lowest pull-out reading stood at an incredibly secure 3.5kN.
With all repair work completed and a costly remove-and-rebuild scheme avoided, the area was fully repointed and plastered, providing an almost invisible result. A 10-year insurance-backed guarantee fully covers the work. The landlord was so pleased with the speed and the cost of the masonry reinforcement that he has commissioned Newmans to do similar work on another 5 houses.
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