Masonry Beams

Thor Helical Standard Detail TLB-01 to 05

 

Load bearing beams can be formed in masonry to evenly distribute structural loads by installing one, or preferably two cords of helical bar 6-12 brick courses apart to effectively support the load triangle of brickwork above an opening.

Installation of a beam has the combined effect of distributing loads and strengthening masonry weakened by structural movement, thus providing a versatile means of restoring structural stability to masonry where it has cracked or failed and lost its load bearing capacity.

These are generally double bar installations incorporated into mortar bed joints to traverse cracks and dissipate stresses within masonry over a larger surface area whilst still allowing small movements of the structure due to natural thermal variations.

Beams can be used in isolation or accompanied by a range of Thor Helical methodologies to restore stability to a structure resulting from inadequate or failed drainage, inappropriate or failed foundations, ground movement, weathering, poor building practice and increased loading stress due to building alterations.

 

Reinforcement and Repair of Brickwork on an 18th Century School House

As quite a high status building this structure was built to a high specification as indicated by the checker patterned brickwork and 'penny pointing' of the lime mortar. Over the succeeding years it has suffered from a combination of minimal foundations and general deterioration over the years leading to movement, cracking and general weakening of masonry around and between the large Georgian window openings. 

There have been many attempts to repair masonry in a bodged fashion using totally unsuitable cement mortar to reface bricks and fill cracks which have reopened due to continuing cyclical movement. It is also evident by patches of lime mortar over the brickwork that at least the front facade had been rendered at some time possibly to cover movement cracks? The elevation shown here is south facing hence subject to a high level of thermal movement created by the sun, and this combined with cement repairs has accelerated deterioration. 

For the weakest areas between ground and first floor windows we prescribed a combination of Thor Helical Masonry Beams, Grout Ties and the sympathetic use of lime mortar for repointing helical bar chases 'loose' bricks and cement mortar in keeping with the original fabric of the building.  

 

 

Initial Survey

 

Completed repair following installation of Masonry Beams, Crack Stitch and Grout Ties

 

 

 Photographs taken at initial survey showing extent of cracking and inappropriate cement repointing and filling of cracks.

Photographs taken at bar installation and crack repair stage, and following completion of repointing.

 

Photgraph taken at initial survey stage showing extent of cement repointing, failed soldier arch and cracking of masonry between windows.

Photograph taken at Masonry Beam, Grout Tie installtion and crack repair stage.

Photograph of completed repointing and crack repair.

 

Soldier Arch Repair on a Victorian Farm Cottage

On older buildings originally constructed without lintels over openings relied purely on the strength of timber framed windows to support masonry over the openings. The series of photographs below illustrate an example of a late victorian farm cottage where masonry above openings had started to sag by its bowed and cracked appearance; possibly due to decay of the original wooden frame windows?

A decision was to made to replace the windows with more thermally efficient uPVC double glazed units prior to reinforcing and strengthening the masonry above resulting in the complete failure of soldier arches above requiring temporary strutting support. To provide essential support to the masonry we were called in to install Thor Helical Remedial Masonry Beams above openings combind with Grout Ties driven up through soldier arches to tie in with the lower cord of Masonry Beam, all held in position with WHO60 cementitious grout.

 

Before repair.

New uPVC window installed with temporary propping in place.

Repair complete with new window in place.

 

Before repair.

New uPVC window installed with temporary propping in place.

Repair complete with new window in place.

 

Before repair.

Temporary propping of soldier arch being carried out.

Repair complete with new window in place.

 

Before repair.

New uPVC window installed with temporary propping in place.

Repair complete with new window in place.

 

Edwardian House Suffering from Movement Created by a Combination of Age, Poor Design and Leaking Drainage at side of Property 

 

Repair of a 'bowing' bay window to an early C20 Edwardian property using a combination of Masonry Beams, Lateral Restraint Ties, crack repair and brick replacement.

Movement of the bay window masonry has been caused by a combination of old age, minimal lateral restraint of wall when originally built, a large opening to masonry ratio and some lateral movement to the side of the building created by drainage problems.

 

Completed Repair

 

As an approved specifier and installer of the Thor Helical products we can offer an insurance backed 10 year warranty on Masonry Beam works for a small additional fee through Construction Guarantee Services Limited.

 

Masonry Beams

Resurspec Structural Repair Specialists Norwich Norfolk Thor Helical Remedial

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