Whether you’ve heard of them that or not, there’s a strong chance that if your home was built in the 20th century or later, it will have wall ties within its construction.
Designed to strengthen and stabilize the two components of a cavity wall (otherwise known as the inner and outer leaves), galvanized wall ties were commonly used until the 1980’s, when it was discovered that such a material was highly susceptible to corrosion and damage. While other, more durable materials are used for wall ties nowadays, if your home was built before the 1980’s, a structural survey may well reveal corrosion and other forms of damage to the ties, which can prove problematic for the overall strength and stability of the property.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of wall ties:
An essential element of any cavity wall, wall ties are added to help provide structural support and stability to the unconnected inner and outer leaves of the wall, which in turn, helps to reinforce the whole building. But, as touched upon above, wall ties don’t last forever, and their deterioration after a number of years can jeopardize the structure in a number of ways.
Not only will a cavity wall ties survey determine whether your home has wall ties, but it will also determine whether they are in need of being replaced to protect the building and its inhabitants. Read on to find out more about professional wall tie surveys. In the meantime, here are some common types of wall ties found in UK homes:
- Stainless steel
A great choice in terms of longevity and reliability, stainless steel wall ties are highly durable and highly rust-resistant
These wall ties are designed for retrofitting, and are used as replacements for ties currently in use that have begun to fail or deteriorate
- Insulation retention
Designed to secure insulation inside the inner and outer leaf of the cavity wall, these wall ties enhance the energy efficiency of a home and improve its overall thermal performance
- Mechanical resin-bonded
With mechanical and adhesive fixing combined, this particular type of wall ties is exceptionally strong and has outstanding stabilizing properties
What can cause wall ties to fail?
To help prevent further damage from occurring, knowing why wall ties might fail is important, and here are some of the most common causes:
Exposure to moisture or pollution can cause wall ties to corrode and become damaged, as can inappropriate construction methods. When wall ties start to rust, if the problem isn’t addressed soon enough, the structural integrity of a building soon becomes compromised
When wall ties haven’t been professionally installed, and techniques such as correct spacing and proper embedment aren’t respected, wall ties can fail ahead of their expected lifespan
If the wrong type of wall tie is used, or different types are combined within a structure, corrosion can be accelerated and the stability of the structure can easily be compromised.
How can a wall tie survey help?
If you have any concerns about wall ties in your property, a comprehensive survey carried about by professional cavity wall specialists using state-of-the-art equipment, can help identify any existing or potential problems. Their experts will then recommend an appropriate course of action if required; these surveys are a great opportunity to examine the stability and safety of your entire home, and save you money on costly repairs further down the line, when the problem is much worse.
Wall ties may be small, but they are by no means insignificant, and should never be treated as such. To help protect and preserve your home for many years to come, schedule a wall tie survey today to put your mind at ease.