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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Addressing Severe Bay Window Deterioration

BusinessAddressing Severe Bay Window Deterioration

Bay windows, with their classic charm and architectural appeal, are a beloved feature in many UK homes. However, they can become a significant structural concern if not properly maintained. This case study delves into a severe deterioration of bay windows in a period property and illustrates how Action Wall Ties (AWT) addressed the problem using advanced repair techniques, avoiding the need for extensive reconstruction.

Recognizing the Problem

In a site inspection action wall ties carried out on this period property, the bay windows exhibited severe masonry defects, posing a risk of collapse without urgent structural repairs. The symptoms of the deterioration were alarming and extensive:

See the full report of this severely deteriorated bay window and how it was repaired.

  • The front bay windows were visibly bowing outward.
  • The bricks in the bay window pillars had severely deteriorated.
  • There was crumbling and spelling of bricks.
  • The stonework was distorted and cracked.
  • The brickwork showed significant cracking.
  • The pointing was failing and spelled.
  • The concrete step at the front entrance was cracked.
  • The brick arch lintels exhibited significant cracking and dropping.

These issues were caused by ageing, seasonal moisture, thermal expansion and contraction, and inadequate masonry restraining methods typical of the building techniques used during the era.

Traditional vs. Modern Repair Methods

Traditional building methods would have necessitated major deconstruction and rebuilding works, leading to prolonged disruption and higher costs. Instead, AWT employed advanced structural repair techniques, which allowed them to repair the property with minimal disruption. Only one brick pillar required rebuilding, sparing the homeowner from lengthy and disruptive building works. The property remained occupied throughout the repairs, showcasing the efficiency and effectiveness of AWT’s approach.

Implementing the Structural Repair Solution

AWT’s comprehensive solution involved several innovative steps:

Temporary Supports Installation: Temporary supports were installed beneath the ground floor bay window lintels and capital. This enabled the safe removal of the right-hand column up to the stone capital and the cracked, distorted brick corner below the sill.

Stainless Steel Corded Joint Reinforcements: Stainless steel corded joint reinforcements were installed to form a deep masonry beam. This beam redistributes the upper-story loads and restrains diagonal cracking and bulging tendencies.

Reconnection of Bay Window Brickwork: The bay window brickwork was reconnected to the main structure by installing remedial grouted helical bars. This method ensures a secure and durable connection between the bay and the main walls.

Steel Spine Reinforcement: An angled steel spine reinforcing, with welded ties to restrain the rebuilt brickwork column, was fabricated and installed. This provides robust support and alignment for the new brickwork.

Rebuilding and Realigning the Brickwork Column: The damaged brickwork column was carefully realigned and rebuilt using all new bricks, ensuring both structural integrity and aesthetic consistency.

Remedial Ties and Resin Bonding: New stainless steel remedial ties were screwed and resin bonded in place to connect the timber frame to the masonry securely. This step is crucial for maintaining the structural coherence of the bay window with the rest of the property.

Steel Pins for Brick Arches: Steel pins were installed to stitch the brick arches above the rear windows, restoring their structural integrity and preventing further cracking.

Repairing Stonework and Concrete Step: The damaged areas of the stone front step and other stonework were cut away and repaired using the FL excretes concrete repair system. This method ensures durable and visually appealing repairs.

Prefacing and Replacing Bricks: Where possible, damaged bricks were refaced. Badly damaged bricks were replaced entirely, and failing pointing was raked out and replaced.

Matching Replacement Materials: The replacement bricks, pointing style, and mortar mixture were carefully matched for texture and color, ensuring the repairs blended seamlessly with the original structure.

Minimal Disruption and Effective Results

AWT’s advanced repair techniques allowed the property to be repaired with minimal disruption to the occupants. The use of temporary supports and efficient repair methods meant that the work was completed swiftly and effectively. The property was left ready for the stonework to be repainted, ensuring a restored and attractive appearance.

Severe bay window deterioration, as demonstrated in this case study, can pose a significant risk to the structural integrity of period properties. While traditional methods might require extensive rebuilding, modern techniques offered by Action Wall Ties provide a cost-effective and minimally disruptive alternative.

By utilizing temporary supports, stainless steel reinforcements, and advanced repair systems, AWT successfully addressed the severe masonry defects, ensuring the bay windows were not only safe and secure but also visually consistent with the original architecture. This case study underscores the importance of timely and innovative structural repairs in preserving the beauty and stability of period properties.

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