Structural repairs of your property can be very exhausting be it financially or mentally. However, there are certain structural works that cannot be ignored and require immediate repair to ensure safety and longevity of the property. Wall ties are one such area of structural repairs that are highly prone to damages and may require regular checks and fixation. There are multiple reasons why wall ties get damaged and a lot of those reasons can be taken care of at the time of construction.
However, if you are going for repairing an existing building then wall tie replacement can be both tricky and tedious. Lately, there are many DIY remedial wall tie replacement solutions readily available over the internet. These DIY solutions have been a great hit mainly because they let you save up on your costs by eliminating the cost of a contractor or a structural engineer.
Having that said, it is still strongly advised that you at least get your property inspected by a structural engineer or a certified contractor. This is because a specialist is better skilled and equipped to detect the root cause and extent of the damage and can save you from any long term troubles. Whether you are going with the DIY option or hiring a contractor, there are certain things you need to make sure before you go ahead with replacing you wall ties.
Spacing of Ties
There is no correct answer to what exactly should be the spacing of the wall ties. The required spacing of wall ties depends on a number of factors such as the position of wall ties, the density of wall ties and the effectiveness of wall tie installations. A layman following DIY steps can be easily deceived by the performance measures given by the manufacturer and may not be applicable to your property due to one reason or another. This is where professional assistance becomes critical as a structural engineer can assess your site and calculate the exact performance figures of your wall tie installations.
Exposure of Building to Weather Conditions
Weather conditions are a key influencer on the effectiveness and efficiency of wall tie installations. It is common for wall ties to rust and corrode or damage due to weather and climatic conditions such as temperature and humidity fluctuations resulting in expansion and contractions. Your wall tie replacement will be highly dependent on the degree to which your property is exposed to the prevailing winds. Conditions under which there is greater pressure on wall ties, the density of wall ties need to be much higher than the normal required density.
Construction Material of Cavity Wall
The internal and external skins of the walls need some space to be able to move and therefore the material of the wall ties need to be flexible enough to allow that space to movie. It is important that corners of the building are avoided during wall tie installations because new ties resist movements and may result in stress fractures. Likewise, you need to ensure that there are no cables or wires running through the cavity walls. It can be life threatening situation if you end up drilling through a cable to install a wall tie.
Safety Measures during the Installation Process
Safety is one of the key issues when dealing with construction related projects. If you are working on a DIY wall tie replacement project, be aware that you alone are responsible for your own safety and for those who are working for you. Safety standards are important to ensure because a lot of serious injuries and deaths happen every year in construction industry due to negligence of safety standards.
If you are working at a height then it is strongly advised that you use your both hands to drill for the wall ties. This is because using one hand may cause you to lose your balance and you might fall which can be fatal. Another major risk that is involved in wall tie replacement projects is coming in contact with any hidden services such as wires, cables, overhangs and other similar obstacles. For this reason, it is important that only insulated machines of 110v should be used.
You need to be extra careful if there are other people such as children and elders are present on the property where replacement work is being carried out. It is recommended that you also consult with neighbors since wall toe replacement projects can be very noisy and dusty. You would not want your neighbors to sue you for causing them uncalled for trouble and discomfort.