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laddie2 09-08-2011 10:06 AM

Brick separation repair
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Hi all, I own a circa 1915, 6 family brick, semi detached 6 family apartment building. The junction or seam where the front meets the side is separating at the top of the three story building. There is a 2" gap which runs about 8' vertically. What is the correct way to fix this?

BridgeMan 09-08-2011 01:06 PM

I'd suggest you bring in a few specialized masonry outfits, and let them give you a few suggestions, and estimates. And you might want to be sitting down when they hit you with the bottom-line number, as I suspect it won't be cheap.

stuart45 09-08-2011 02:25 PM

It might be possible to repair it with tie bars and pattress plates. Looks like the front flank was not tied to the gable walls properly.
Pattress Plates - Stainless UK

JoeD 09-08-2011 03:05 PM

Looks like a major structural repair to me. I wouldn't want to be walking on the sidewalk below when that breaks loose. Get several estimates from brick masons and maybe consult a structural engineer.

BridgeMan 09-09-2011 02:38 AM

stuart 45,

An interesting suggestion (pattress plates--here they're called rock bolts or soil nails, depending on the application), but I suspect problems associated with drilling through the parapet walls (from the roof side, for ease of access) to install them, without doing considerable damage to the already precarious facade, would rule out such a plan. Drilling would have to be precise, passing through mortar joints only, to minimize the chance of dislodging any bricks. Furthermore, it's likely the vibrations resulting from rotary percussion drills would further loosen the brickwork.

I recall seeing quite a few older brick and stone facade buildings in Europe (Amsterdam comes to mind) during my visits there, having pattress plates on the exterior side. Meaning that such methods are certainly possible to implement, provided proper skills and experience are used, and adequate precautions are taken (suspended work platforms or scaffolding, netting or hardcover shelters to protect street traffic from falling debris, etc.).

Possibly a more realistic solution might be to have custom, inverted U-shaped frames fabricated and installed. Spaced at uniform intervals, they would have bearing faces against the brick on the street side, and could have simple screw-type mechanisms to be manually activated from the roof side, in unison, to uniformly draw the brick facade back to the wall face. Once things were drawn up to correct position, the screw mechanisms could be locked and short retainer anchors installed on the roof side, with no drilling needed on the street side.

stuart45 09-09-2011 01:32 PM

Sounds a good possible solution BridgeMan.
A more common solution used here now for some bowing masonry walls is shown here. I have known people who have used it with some success.
Thor Helical - Thor Helical Fixings
Click on lateral restraint tie bars

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