Cracks above downstairs window

27 Aug 2009
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West Midlands
United Kingdom
The original windows have been replaced with aluminium. Above the window is a stepped crack. This appears to have been re pointed some time ago, and does not appear to have any significant further cracks.

I am considering getting a structural survey completed, but would appreciate any opinions here. It has been suggested to me that this was caused, by window installers not supporting the wall, when the windows were removed.

Is this likely to be a serious problem. Is it worth getting in a structural engineer?

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Looks like a typical case of some movement due to the external leaf being built off original [metal] frames. Looks like there is a dip in the headers just above the frame.

It seems fine now, but if you replace the frame in the future, then allow for a new lintel to support the external wall - there will be one on the inside already.

Don't bother with an engineers report - I've summarised what it will say above :cool:
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Hey Woody/shy. Is this a good case for using those Helibars or stainless steel rod?
They can work if done before the window comes out, but afterwards if the wall is cracked, then its cracked and tends not to move much more.

But any headers, or the 3-4 course below the first heli-bar may still drop, in which case, might as well put a lintel in

IME, heli-bars are not a solution in all cases, and it can depend on how well the wall is tied to the internal skin/boot lintel, and the general condition of the brickwork
Yeh, but one can pick up the lower ones by drilling vertically up from the soffit and extending past the horizontal ones.

In this instance, the window position would require its removal before doing the vertical ones.

And, in answer to your comment re tying between leaves, helibar ties can be installed at the same time to sort that.
Yeh, but ... that's a lot of faffing about and largely defeats the point of putting them in in the first place (ie save time and trouble)

But OK on some properties where the bricks are half overhanging the metal frames :rolleyes:

In particular circumstances they are fine, but not a miracle cure-all as the installers would like us to believe

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