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Top of brick pier wobbly

Discussion in 'Building' started by vincent1982, 12 Feb 2020.

  1. vincent1982

    vincent1982

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    Hi, I'm after a bit of advice as to how to repair my brick pier please which is holding up of my gates. The gate is probably too heavy for the pier? It was fitted about 7 years ago (no ideas of the original mix ratio) and the third mortar bed from the top appears to be loose and you can wobble it a little either way.

    The seventh bed from the top also looks like its being pulled away from the rest. Could I rake out the two beds that look/feel loose and point it up with some sand, cement and SBR or does it need fully/partially rebuilding etc?

    Cheers
     

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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Pointing won't fix wobbliness.
     
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  4. vincent1982

    vincent1982

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    Thanks Woody, I guess I should at a minimum remove all the bricks from the top down to the wobbly bit and rebuild then?
     
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  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Yes it needs re laying

    Thats a curious defect as the bracket is also held with bolts, so really should not be flexing.

    Take the bricks off and check if that section of bracket in the wall is not rusted so bad as to expand and lift the bricks. If so it will need grinding down and recoating.

    If the bracket has just bent a bit, then again take the bracket off and hammer it back to 90°, then I'd consider drilling a hole near the end so that a large countersunk screw can be used to fix the bracket downwards within the pier.
     
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  6. footprints

    footprints

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    AS woody says rebuild, I would say from a bit below the fault and try to get some metal rod or studding incorporated to add strength.
     
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  7. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Agree with above, in our pillar they put some lengths of rebar in and packed it with concrete to give it a better chance of not falling when knocked.
    I'm not a builder but something else you could do would be fix a timber or similar to the wall to spread the load and attach the gate to that.
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    looks to me like expanding bolts have been driven into the mortar bed between bricks, thus pushing the bricks apart.

    I think you have to take it down and rebuild it, with some rebar going down as far as you can, preferably into the foundation. A plain brick pillar will not support much sideways load and will easily fall over, but if it is tied into the wall beside it, that should keep it up.
     
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  9. vincent1982

    vincent1982

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    Thank you for your advice guys. I'm going out shortly to take the gate off and remove the wobbly part of the pier ahead of the next storm. Looking at the forecast theres no half decent weather until Tuesday so I've got a few days to get to the sheds.

    Is there any hard and fast rules for how much rebar and how deep to go? If I remove the bad part and drill some holes into the remaining good part of the pier, drop some rebar in there with some strong mortar and then start rebuilding with perforated bricks around the rebar will that suffice. Or do I just need the rebar in the rebuilt part?

    Cheers
     
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  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    A brick pier is fundamentally unsuited to a sideways load. If it is not well tied in to the wall, the pier will fall over.

    If you ever see (what appears to be) a brick or stone gatepost supporting a gate, it probably has a steel stanchion or reinforced concrete inside it, anchored into a concrete foundation, and the brickwork is just an ornamental facade (and can provide shuttering for the concrete infill)

    Gateways can be strengthened by providing a lintel across the tops of the two pillars or posts at the sides, which helps prevent the weight of the gate(s) pulling the posts together when shut, and also a reinforced ground beam or sill connecting the foundation of the pillars together will help keep them upright. It doesn't help with the weight of the gate(s) when open, though.
     
  12. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You can't strengthen a 225 x 330 brick pier and you can't fit rebar in it.

    The pier looks OK, its just the top bit that is defective due to that bracket.
     
  13. bobasd

    bobasd

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    why not check the pier on the other side of the gateway?
     
  14. JohnD

    JohnD

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    upload_2020-2-13_21-40-31.png

    No longer commonly done, but was very popular 80 years ago.
     
  15. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Polio was popular 80 uears ago too

    As for this old fashioned concept, probably because
    • Needs specialist bricks
    • The bricks are different now
    • It's labourous, difficult to do and time consuming
    • It's a crap waste of time
    • It's a solution to a different problem
     
  16. Nige F

    Nige F

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    But there was methodism in their madness.
     
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  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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