Cavity wall tie replacement

What Is Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Cavity wall ties are the unseen ties that hold the walls of your home together. These metal rods, or strips, are an essential feature of your home’s structure. There isn’t a building standing that doesn’t need cavity wall ties for support!

But while cavity wall ties might be the last things on your mind, cavity wall tie failure is an increasingly common problem in UK homes. And broken or damaged cavity wall ties can lead to disastrous structural consequences for your house.

We asked our experts to explain what cavity wall tie failure is and how you can spot it.

What Are Cavity Wall Ties?

Cavity wall ties are simple metal rods or strips that play a surprisingly important role in the structure of your home.

Your home has two layers of the wall: an inner and an outer wall. The space in between is the wall cavity, which is essential for insulation. For support, these two layers are held together using cavity wall ties, which connect through the space between the walls.

Cavity wall ties are made from different materials, but the most common are metals or metal alloys, with zinc and steel being popular choices. If these cavity wall ties fail, the structure of the wall becomes compromised.

What Is Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Cavity wall tie failure occurs when the worst-case scenario happens, and the cavity wall ties holding the two layers together collapse and fail.

The main reason for this failure is prolonged corrosion. Because they’re primarily produced from metal, the cavity wall ties are susceptible to rusting and corrosion when water gets into the cavity or seeps into the walls.

Cavity wall ties are coated in a protective, anti-corrosive layer before being installed, but this doesn’t last forever.

Unfortunately, it’s a natural process that can only be slowed down, not eliminated. Heavy rainfall, flooding, or leaks can all speed the process up.

Other reasons for failure include bad building work, loose brickwork, or loose mortar, which all affect the stability of the wall and can loosen the cavity wall ties. Because they’re supports, the builders may not have calculated the required number of cavity wall ties for the load, leading to extra pressure and stress, and eventually failure.

What Happens When Cavity Wall Ties Fail?

Cavity wall tie failure can have serious effects on your home. Because they’re required for structural stability, failed wall ties can lead to the outright collapse of an outer wall if they aren’t replaced.

While this is rare, it does happen and it generally occurs when multiple wall ties fail simultaneously or when the problem is ignored by the homeowner.

While wall collapses are rare, cavity wall tie failure can also lead to cracks in the masonry, damaged brickwork and problems with other parts of the house, such as the roof, when walls begin to shift or buckle.

Cracks or broken brickwork can lead to problems with ventilation, causing knock-on effects that lead to excess condensation. Water can seep in through the walls, which not only causes more corrosion and more wall ties to fail, but can cause damp or mould internally.

All of these problems not only cost time and money to repair, but are hazardous to human health and a danger to the occupants.

How Can I Spot Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Cavity wall tie failure can have disastrous consequences in the long term, so it’s important to spot problems early and act fast to replace broken ties where necessary.

Because cavity wall ties are hidden away between the inner and outer walls, it can be difficult to spot these signs. For this reason, if you suspect you might be experiencing cavity wall tie failure, it’s good practice to call in a professional for an assessment.

If you notice any of the following problems or signs, then it’s time to request a survey:

● Horizontal cracks in the mortar or bricks if cavity wall ties expand due to rusting.

● Walls start to bulge outwards if cavity wall ties have broken due to prolonged corrosion.

● Broken window ledges or frames.

● Collapse (the most serious sign).

How We Can Help

If you think your cavity wall ties are failing, contact the team at Danford, Brewer & Ives for more information. We offer a cavity wall tie replacement service that can save your home from long-term damage.

Please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.