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Everything You Need to Know About Wall Ties

Everything You Need to Know About Wall Ties

Wall ties are an essential component in the construction of cavity walls. Responsible for holding the inner and outer leaf of the cavity wall together, wall ties prevent walls from separating or bowing outwards. Over time, your wall ties can deteriorate leading to potential structural issues. In this article, we give you a comprehensive guide on everything wall ties, from causes of failure to prevention, and when to replace wall ties.

What Are Wall Ties?

Wall ties are metal connectors that span the cavity between the inner and outer leaf of the cavity wall. They’re typically made of galvanized steel or stainless steel designed to transfer lateral loads between the two leaves of the wall. They come in various shapes and sizes, such as butterfly ties, fishtail ties, and screw-in ties. You can read more about different types of wall ties here.

Do Wall Ties Really Need Replacing?

As essential components in cavity walls, wall ties help connect the inner and outer walls of your home, making them structurally stable. As a rule of thumb, if your home was built before the 1980s, you have around 15 to 20 years before you need to get a professional to replace wall ties in your home. Wall ties in properties built during and after the 1980s are generally made of stainless steel and can last well over 50 years. If you choose not to replace your damaged wall ties, the structural integrity of your walls can be compromised, causing it to become unstable. This could lead to further cracks and damage and, in severe cases, the wall may collapse, causing serious injury or even death. 

Why Do Wall Ties Fail and How to Prevent It?

Wall tie failure can occur due to various factors, but the most common cause is corrosion. Corrosion occurs when your metal meets moisture and oxygen. In the case of wall ties, this process is accelerated because they’re typically embedded in a moist environment within the cavity of a wall. Over time, this can cause wall ties to weaken and eventually fail, compromising the structural integrity of the building. To prevent corrosion, ensure that the cavity is adequately ventilated, allowing moisture to escape, and reducing the risk of condensation. Additionally, choose wall ties made of corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel or titanium. These materials are more expensive than traditional galvanized steel ties but offer greater protection against corrosion and are worth the investment in the long run. Another factor that can contribute to wall tie failure includes mechanical damage, such as drilling or cutting into the wall, and damage from improper installation, such as insufficient spacing or inadequate embedment depth. This type of damage can weaken the wall ties, making them more vulnerable to corrosion and prudent for you to replace wall ties in your property. Ensure that your wall ties are installed by certified professionals and avoid unnecessary trouble from improper installations.

How Can You Check the Condition of Your Wall Ties?

Checking the condition of your wall ties is an important part of maintaining the structural integrity of your building. While most checking methods are relatively invasive, here are some steps you can take to check the condition of your wall ties:

  1.  Look for visible signs of damage: Most obvious signs that your wall ties are failing are if there are any visible cracks or bulges in the walls. Bulges can indicate that the wall ties have failed and are no longer providing the necessary support. You may also notice that walls are starting to bow or that the mortar joints are starting to crack.
  2. Check for dampness: Damp walls can also be an indicator of wall tie failure. Moisture enters the cavity through gaps in the mortar joints or around the windows and doors, and if wall ties are not functioning correctly, they can act as a bridge for the moisture to travel from the outer leaf to the inner leaf. This results in damp patches or stains on the internal walls, especially near the bottom where moisture tends to accumulate.
  3. Inspect the condition of the mortar: Cracks in the mortar joints between the bricks or blocks of your property’s walls could be an indication that your wall ties are failing. This occurs when wall ties have corroded to the point where they are no longer able to provide the necessary support for the outer leaf of the wall. As a result, the bricks or blocks can shift and move, causing cracks to appear in the mortar joints. If you notice this, contact a professional immediately, this is a serious issue that requires immediate attention to prevent further damage.
  4. Hire a professional: If you suspect that your wall ties may be failing but are not sure where to start checking, call in a professional. A professional contractor can give you quick and honest advice on whether they need replacing. They’ll have the necessary tools and expertise to carry out a thorough inspection of your wall ties and provide qualified advice on whether you need to replace the wall ties in your property.

Regular inspections of your wall ties can help you catch any issues early on and prevent more serious problems from developing. If you notice any signs of damage or dampness, take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your building and your family.

How Can You Replace Wall Ties?

In general, the process involves removing the outer leaf of the wall, extracting the old wall ties, and installing new ones. Once the new wall ties are installed, the outer leaf is reattached, and any necessary repairs are carried out.

 The full process to replace wall ties can be complex and invasive requiring careful planning and execution. It’s crucial to seek professional advice and hire a qualified contractor to carry out the work. 

Wall ties are a critical component of cavity walls, and their failure can lead to serious structural issues. It’s essential to address any signs of wall tie failure promptly and seek professional advice when necessary. By understanding what causes wall tie failure and how to prevent it, you can take proactive steps to replace wall ties early to ensure the long-term integrity of cavity walls and the safety of your family. Don’t take the possibility of a compromised wall tie lightly. Your home’s structural integrity is too important to ignore.

Are you concerned about the condition of your wall ties? Ignoring the signs of wall tie failure can lead to costlier structural issues or worse, serious injury. Let Atlantic Damp give you some peace of mind. Schedule a professional inspection today.

What Are the Different Types of Wall Ties?

What Are the Different Types of Wall Ties?

From masonry wall ties to timber wall ties, different types of wall ties are designed for different purposes, so it’s crucial that the right wall ties are selected for the task at hand.

In this article, the experts at Atlantis Damp explain everything you need to know about the different designs and types of wall ties, and when and where they are needed.

What Is a Wall Tie?

A wall tie is a thin strip of metal designed to hold two layers of masonry together. They are commonly produced from zinc, steel and other metal alloys, and are usually installed in the cavity space between an inner and outer wall.

Wall ties are vital to the structural integrity of a property. They provide the support that’s necessary for a building to be constructed with two layers of brickwork or masonry. If they fail, the walls will become destabilised and could even collapse.

Because wall ties allow for the creation of a cavity space, they are also important for insulation.

This cavity space can be filled with insulating materials, which then keeps heat in and energy costs down.

What Are the Different Types of Wall Ties?

Because they are vital to the structural integrity of a property, it’s important that the correct wall ties are installed.

The most common types of wall ties include:

  • Masonry to Masonry Wall Ties: Are designed to hold two layers of masonry together, thereby allowing for a secure inner and outer wall with a cavity space in between. There are three major designs of masonry-to-masonry wall ties, and they are classed as ‘heavy duty’, ‘general purpose’ or ‘light duty’ wall ties.
  • Masonry to Timber Wall Ties: Designed to hold an outer wall of brickwork together with an inner wall that’s been constructed from timber.
  • Lateral Restraint Wall Ties: Designed to stop any lateral movement occurring between a layer of masonry and existing structures in a building, such as supports or older walls.
  • Remedial Wall Ties: Are specifically designed to be installed into an existing cavity space where wall ties have become damaged, broken or corroded.

There are several other types of wall ties, too, which are often suitable for specific or niche construction purposes. 

How Do I Know Which Type of Wall Tie I Need?

The most common types of wall ties needed are generally masonry to masonry wall ties. If the walls in your property are constructed from different materials, such as timber, then it may also be readily apparent which type you require.

However, because of the importance of wall ties to the structure of a home, it’s vital that you seek professional assistance when replacing wall ties or installing new ones.

Contact Atlantis Damp Today for More Information on Different Types of Wall Ties

Atlantis Damp provides a comprehensive range of wall tie services. 

Wall tie failure can lead to serious structural issues, but our experienced team is on hand to carry out surveys, maintenance and repair work to ensure your property is safe.

Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information on different types of wall ties, and to find out how we can help you.

What are wall ties?

What are wall ties?

Wall ties hold the walls of buildings together, providing vital structural support and allowing for the existence of insulating cavity spaces. Wall ties are integral but over time they can corrode and decay, so it’s important to have regular surveying and replacement work carried out by a professional when necessary. 

In this article, the team at Atlantis Damp explains what wall ties are, why you need them and when they need replacing. 

What Are Wall Ties?

Wall ties are strips of metal or metal rods, usually produced from zinc, steel, or other metals. These metal rods are used to hold two separate layers of brickwork together, and you’ll find them placed in the cavity space between an inner and outer wall in modern properties.

Why Do You Need Wall Ties?

Wall ties play an integral role in the structure of your home. Without wall ties, it would be difficult to construct the sturdy inner and outer walls that modern homes are built with today. They literally hold these two sets of brickwork together and, in this respect, are vital to the stability of your home.

Because wall ties allow this type of cavity wall to be safely constructed, they also become vital for insulation. Cavity spaces between these layers of wall are commonly filled with insulating materials, thereby allowing homeowners to keep their houses warm while saving on energy costs. 

Why Do Wall Ties Need Replacing?

Wall ties are made from long-lasting metal materials, but unfortunately they aren’t indestructible. The most common reason that wall ties need replacing is corrosion, a natural process that can’t necessarily be halted, only slowed down.

Wall ties can fail and need replacing for a number of different reasons, including:

  • Corrosion
  • Subsidence
  • Extreme weather or natural events
  • Damaged masonry or brickwork

If wall ties aren’t replaced, then wall tie failure can lead to damaged brickwork, structural damage, poor insulation in your home, the need for costly repairs, and more. 

Damaged and corroded wall ties can pose a danger to the structural integrity of your property. If you’re concerned that your wall ties could be failing, the team at Atlantis Damp can carry out surveys and repair work to ensure that your home is safe.

Contact Atlantis Damp today for more information on replacing wall ties.

Do I Need A Wall Tie Survey?

Do I Need A Wall Tie Survey?

If you are looking to buy a new home, you might come across a recommendation that you need a wall tie surveys and be left wondering what it actually means. This is also something that might need to be considered when selling a property or if you are living in a house that is built after 1920’s. This is when cavity wall construction became more prevalent in the UK. If you aren’t sure what any of this means, then you have come to the right place. We will explain everything that you need to know about wall tie surveys here in this article to give you a better understanding of what it is all about. 

When the walls of a house start to age, there can be complications that may arise due to damaged structures or those that need updating. This is to make sure that everything is safe and that nothing bad is going to happen. Often when looking at the walls of an older property, a wall tie survey will be carried out, and this will tell you whether or not your wall ties need replacing. To find out more about wall ties and surveys, just keep reading.

What is a Wall Tie?  

A wall tie is actually the part that ties the two leaves of masonry together within a cavity wall. It will also allow them to move independently and to be able to transmit live and static loads across the structure without unpredictable movement. The wall ties that are used in this instance are a vital part of the structure that helps to keep it safe. Wall ties are not often picked up during home buyer surveys, and this is because they are typically quite expensive to repair, which will only add to the overall costs.

Wall ties being installed by Altantis Northwich Cheshire

What is a Wall Tie Survey?  

A wall tie survey is a specialist survey that will be carried out by a trained survey specialist that has experience with wall tie surveys. They will be the one that assesses whether or not the wall ties are still doing an efficient job within the structure and if they need to be replaced or not. The wall ties need to be adequately tying the two leaves of masonry together, and if they aren’t, then they need to be worked on.

Throughout a wall tie survey, the surveyor will be looking at the grade of corrosion to find out if any action needs to be taken. They will determine the severity of the condition of the structure of the wall and decide what needs to be done about it.

They may find that the wall ties need to be replaced in some cases, and in others, they might not. This is a visual inspection that may require more surveying if the wall ties are not functioning as they should. If this is the case, then another type of inspection will be followed. This is to further assess the condition of the structure itself. If the wall ties are found to be inadequate, or they have started to break down, then it is likely that a replacement will be recommended. 

Types of Wall Tie Surveys 

There are two different types of surveys that can take place during a wall tie survey. These two types of surveys are intrusive and non-intrusive wall tie surveys. Typically, the surveyor will begin a non-intrusive survey if they can see inside the cavity using a thermal camera or endoscope. They will then be able to locate the wall ties and assess the condition of them. 

An intrusive survey is typically carried out when either the cavity cannot be exposed, meaning that the wall ties cannot be inspected, or the wall ties are found to be inefficient during the first survey. This is usually necessary when the wall ties are covered or not visible using the proposed methods. This type of survey will require that the bricks be removed from the wall in order to expose the wall tie. This will allow for a visual inspection to be carried out thoroughly. 

In both of these surveys, each panel will be inspected, allowing the surveyor to locate all of the ties within the wall. They will be able to look at them and determine whether or not they need to be replaced.

Do I Need a Wall Tie Survey? 

You might find that you need a wall tie survey when you are buying a new house, especially if it was built a long time ago. This is to ensure that everything is safe and structurally sound. In older houses, certain types of metal ties are more susceptible to rust and will start to degrade, which causes them to no longer be able to do their job properly. More often than not, the survey is nothing more than a precautionary measure that is in place to double-check that everything is safe and secure. However, in some circumstances, there may be defects that could cause a problem. This would mean that the wall ties would need to be replaced. The survey itself shouldn’t take any longer than around an hour.


What if My Wall Tiles Need to be Replaced? 

There are a variety of reasons why your wall ties might need to be replaced, but it is commonly due to them being badly placed when they were first put in. It is not unheard of them to have been misplaced, causing them to become inadequate over time. If you are living in a coastal area, you are more likely to need to have your wall ties replaced. This is due to the fact that in coastal areas, the corrosion of the wall ties is more likely, and therefore is more important to be inspected. 

The failure of wall ties, which can leave structures unsafe and at a high risk of collapsing. For these things to be avoided, inspection is necessary. If you are told that your wall ties are not correctly doing their job, then they will need to be replaced. You should only ever go to a reliable professional if you need to get your wall ties replaced.

Contact Us

 Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want/need a wall tie survey. Sometimes it’s obvious your cavity wall ties need replacing, but sometimes it’s best just to get a professional’s opinion for peace of mind.

W is for Wall Tie Failure and Replacement

W is for Wall Tie Failure and Replacement

W is for Wall Tie Failure and Replacement

In this episode of our A-Z of Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists, W is for…… Wall Tie Failure and Replacement

What is a wall tie?

If your home was built between 1920 and 1981, it’s probably of cavity wall construction. Therefore, your home could be prone to wall tie corrosion and failure. This is approximately 10 million homes in the UK!