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.
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.
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.