What is the purpose of brick wall ties?
Brick wall ties appear to be quite an insignificant component in house construction, but that is far from the truth. Although the brick ties are often no more than a metal strap, if it is not for them the building would suffer from structural damage. Wall ties in Brighton are used to span the narrow gap in cavity wall construction techniques. Usually they span for the brick façade to the load bearing wall which can also be concrete block, wood framing or steel framing. The principle purpose of the wall tie is to transfer forces from the exterior wall to the interior load bearing wall. Wall ties are inexpensive but necessary when building a cavity wall.
There are a number of different designs of wall ties; the design chosen depends on whether they are being employed at the time of wall construction or whether they are being retrofitted. For walls that are being built from the ground up, ties are used which are flat bands of either plastic or galvanized steel. As the load bearing wall is being erected, the ties are inserted in the mortar joints, leaving them protruding from the surface. Many wall ties in Brighton are corrugated at the ends which help them grip into the mortar joint, they are also tent shaped which expels water that may drip down between the two walls.
As the exterior brick wall is being laid, the wall ties that are standing proud are imbedded in the mortar joint of the bricks, this construction permanently ties the two walls together.
As the years pass, walls are subject to movement from ground settling and age. When this happens the result is often cracks in the original mortar of the exterior wall. Cavity wall tie replacement is called for should this happen.
Many building which have been constructed recently use a brick façade, these are thin shells of single layers of brick which are laid over a metal frame skeleton. By tying the brick veneer back to the building, the building is taking the brunt of wind loads, when the veneer is attached by wall ties back to the steel skeleton they transfer a lot of the wind pressure into the building as a whole.
Studies have shown that the original wall ties in Brighton are deteriorating much faster than thought, requiring that Cavity Tech Systems Ltd assess the situation and replace wall ties that have failed.