Retrofit wall tie during sliding door cutout

18 Feb 2010
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West Lothian
United Kingdom
Could anyone point me in the right direction with regard to wall tie selection and fitting please?

I am cutting out a wall below a window to fit a sliding door and as part of the building standards process I have been asked to include a check on the drawings that wall ties are present within 225mm of the opening - the wall was built around 1990 so I am going to presume that they are not present or may be in poor condition. I want to be sure that I choose the right product and fit them correctly as I am aware there are different types. Most of the info I can find online on retrofitting ties presumes that the wall is closed and the ties need to be added through a bore hole. As the wall is rendered I'd rather not do this and add them via the opening if possible.

It is a cavity wall, brick on both leaf's, I believe it to be around 100mm cavity, filled with EPS blown in insulation. My thinking was that rather than pull out all of the insulation, that I would just fit new wall ties near the edge of the opening at 300mm spacing.

I am presuming that all I need to do is grind out the mortar at the joints, fit the ties and fresh mortar pressed into to hold them in position.

If I have anything wrong in the above I would appreciate being set right!

Also, if anyone was able to point me towards a suitable product, or somewhere I could get advice on the right type of tie for this application, that would be greatly appreciated.
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Kaymo, good evening.

OK retro fitted are easiest to install, I can understand you may not want to have a disturbance on the external roughcast.

How about using retro fit ties but??? insert them from the inside?? easier to hide the entry point?

insert them from the inside??
Funny, it's like you read my mind! Just after I posted I started to wonder whether it was possible to do just that. I plan to pull off the plaster board there anyway to Insulate internally, and it would also be one more job I could have done in advance of cutting out, to reduce the time the house is open to the elements. Great suggestion.

Is there a suitable product you could recommend? I've never bought or installed a wall tie before.
Kaymo, good evening, again.

Suggest you have a look at some of the "Helifix" products, I have instructed a load of their different product over the years, no adverse results?

They are [reasonably] well known in Subsidence repair work and as such have several years of experience?

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I had retro-fit wall ties installed many years ago in my last house.
They consisted of some kind of bolt which went through the rendering and outer brickwork, through the cavity and into the inner brickwork without bursting through.
They behaved like an extended rawbolt and by tightening one nut it expanded the inner section then tightening another nut it expanded the section in the outer brickwork.
The end was then ground off flush and re-rendered over the patch. After a few coats of paint you could never tell.

Have you used a metal detector to try to find if there are already ties in the area required?
If the ties are Stainless Steel they may not be detectable by magnets

austenitic stainless steel is non magnetic??
Good point Ken. Don't know what type of steel they were but they guaranteed their work for 30 years and the guarantee passed over with the house sale after confirmation from the builders they would honour it.
Have you used a metal detector to try to find if there are already ties in the area required?

If the ties are Stainless Steel they may not be detectable by magnets

Thanks again guys. My dad has a metal detector so I might as well give that a try. If I detect something great, if not I will not be any worse off. I have the time as it will be a few weeks before I start this. If there are wall ties in there then they will have been fitted when the wall was built around 1990 so would be surprised if they are stainless steel. I took down a section of garden retaining wall this summer which was probably built at the same time, and the wall ties looked like they were just twisted bits of wire, they looked like they were still functioning though.

Took a look at the remedial type ties. They are quite expensive though, understandably given their construction, and only seem to come in large packs 50 or 100, while I probably don't need more than 7. Still a little tempted just to grind some mortar out and fit the normal type - I'd imagine it would be as quick given that the wall will be open before the door is fitted, and I can't think of an issue with doing it this way.
The wire type are probably galvanised. They have a central bit that should hand down to act as a drip off point for any water.
How are you going to manage to insert them into the mortar of the inner brickwork? Are you going to remove an out brick to gain access?
How are you going to manage to insert them into the mortar of the inner brickwork?
I am removing a window and cutting out an opening below for a sliding door, so the cavity will be open before the new door is fitted. Building Standards have asked me to confirm presence of wall ties within 250mm of the opening.

I figured I would be able to use an angle grinder to grind out the mortar on the inner faces of the two brick leafs, enough to fit and bed the wall tie with fresh mortar around it, if this makes sense?

I couldn't think of any reason not to do it this way, but I am more than happy to be set right if there is a problem.

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