Masonry Cracking

001 vertical crack in brick masonry settlement subsidence crack stitching belfast dublin northern ireland NI copyCracks occur quite often in masonry buildings; many are insignificant, though equally, they can be an indication that there is a serious structural failure in your building.  If you have any concerns, then it is important that an expert is called to assess and identify the possible causes.

There are a number of occurrences which can cause cracks in walls.  Generally, the shape, form and position of the crack can help our experienced surveyors identify the cause of the crack, and whether reinforcement works need to be carried out.  Causes can include:

  • Thermal movement; usually results in small hairline cracks
  • Settlement of foundations; can result in hairline cracks to more serious cracks, which may require crack stitching,or underpinning
  • Insufficient support for masonry - due to lintel failure, arch or beam failure etc: can be remedied by conventional tie bars & pattress plates, or by more innovative crack stitching methods
  • Cavity wall tie failure; usually results in stepped cracks and bulging and leaning walls; insufficient lateral restraint may also cause walls to lean and bulge.

002 Crack in stone masonry structural repair monitored measured movement belfast dublin northern ireland NI

Measurement & Monitoring of Cracks

Often, it is imperative to know and understand if the movement which has caused the crack in the masonry is still active, or if movement has stopped.  Stronghold Preservation can carry out a measurement and monitoring survey to identify firstly if movement is active, and secondly, the rate of movement, before any structural repair works are carried out.

Repair of Cracks in Walls

The repair method is dependent on the problem; here, at Stronghold Preservation, we have a range of conventional or innovative structural stitching systems, including: Helical crack stitching bars  or Cintec Cementitious Sock Anchors to remedy cracks in the masonry building.  Generally, but not exclusively, we tend to use Cintec anchors for stone buildings, and helical bars for masonry brick buildings.

Our experienced surveyors and technicians can advise on the best solution depending on the structural problem; often, an amalgamation of more than one system is the preferred option.  As approved installers of Cintec Anchors, and crack stitching system, we at Stronghold Preservation can provide the best solution for the problem.

Where there is delamination of concrete or masonry buildings, or where there is a risk of falling bricks or masonry, we can provide a masonry netting system, as a temporary measure, to prevent danger to the public, and to prevent further damage to the building.

Rope Access

Here at Stronghold Preservation, we have our own IRATA trained rope access team, which allows us to carry out structural repairs to buildings and structures which are not accessible by traditional methods.  We have been involved in stabilising the cliff face at Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim and Claridges Hotel, London, by rope access (abseiling).