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Gap in my leaf of party wall needs closing after removal of solid partition

Discussion in 'Building' started by Namtip, 23 May 2021.

  1. Namtip

    Namtip

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    Hi all,

    I have widened a doorway in a solid partition wall that "tied" (*) in with my side of the party wall, essentially removing the partition and leaving a gap in my leaf of the cavitied party wall. All blockwork is 1950s/60s cinderblock, with slotted voids running vertically inside the block. Rock hard, but brittle and crumbly.

    *as you will see in the photos and diagram, it's not tied in 'dovetail' style, but rather inserted in, with the party wall butting up against it.

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    During:

    [​IMG]

    After removal I was left with a gap in my leaf of the party wall. I wanted to knock out the bricks standing on end to create a key for joining the two walls together. I drilled around them...:

    [​IMG]

    ...and then proceeded to knock out the top two. However in doing that, the blockwork below crumbled, nullifying my plans to make a fingered joint.

    This diagram sums it up:

    [​IMG]

    A couple of detailed photos:

    Left side:

    [​IMG]

    Right side:

    [​IMG]

    All:

    [​IMG]

    How best to close this gap? It seems if i keep drilling and knocking, the blockwork will just crumble irregularly and I won't be able to tie new blockwork in like I had hoped.

    So as I see it I have the following options:

    1. No guts no glory: stop being a wimp and keep smashing until I get good enough fingers.
    2. I'm in way over my head - call in the pros.
    3. Something else?

    Yes, I have sorted out party wall matters with my neighbours.
    Yes, I had structural engineer calculate new lintel.
    Yes, I have building control approval for commencement. (He was really unhelpful about giving advice prior to commencement - said he couldn't advise how to do the job so not sure he'd give me his advice now... thought that was his role?

    Thanks for any advice/help.
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2021
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  3. noseall

    noseall

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    Their remit is to approve (or not) what you have built and that it is compliant. There job is not to babysit DIY'ers through the building processes, no.

    It looks as though you can have enough tied over 'meat' lower down to spread what little bearing will be imparted throughout that wall. Just make good as best you can making sure you fill all joints thoroughly and without filling the cavity with mortar.
     
  4. Namtip

    Namtip

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    Thanks for the quick reply noseall. I do appreciate that - I just don't want to continue and then get told that it's not as per regs or something and then have to tear it out.

    Do you mean without me doing anything further, or after I've attempted to knock out more of the drilled sections?
     
  5. noseall

    noseall

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    Tie over what you can.
     
  6. Namtip

    Namtip

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  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You've not actually bonded that in have you?
     
  9. Namtip

    Namtip

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    No. I wanted to. Trying to knock fingers in it was impossible. The hollow cinderblock just blew like glass. Rather than only making the gap bigger I just filled it in as it was. There are small overlaps here and there. I added additional lateral strength by opening up some s/s wall ties at one end, drilling a deepish hole between the courses into the existing mortar on each course and on both sides of the gap, then epoxy-mortared the opened end of said wall ties into the holes leaving the closed end of the wall ties to bed between the new blocks.

    I wasn't happy with the lack of bonding either, but I feel its the best that could be done in a sh*te situation. BCO didn't bat an eyelid.

    The original stub wall that was in the gap was butt-joined in only anyway.
     
  10. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Hmmm. Where you have the piece of block and a brick one or both sides, well if you had just laid them horizontally .....

    You probably need to board that now or use mesh in the plaster to stop it cracking vertically in line with those vertical joints
     
  11. Namtip

    Namtip

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    The brick was already there, providing a butt join to the stub wall. The brick is stronger than the cinderblock, and even chain-drilling the mortar around one of the bricks and gently knocking it out just made the cinderblock above and below it just blow out and crumble: see images and diagrams above. I decided to leave everything where it was after that.

    It will be boarded over.
     
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