Ask a Tradesman
How do i know if my builder has done my wall ties properly?
Builders usually keep the brick dust when they are doing this don't they? My builder didn't but the "mortar" he has used is red but to me it looks more like filler. It doesn't completely cover the entry hole either and some of the filled holes have small cracks in them. Could this cause damp? There doesn't seem to be any pattern on where he has put them and although he has put more down one side of the door he hasn't on the other side or the top of the windows. Its a 3 bed semi and I am about to hand over £500 against a total job cost of £1500 and the pointing is still to be done. He spent yesterday drilling the holes for around 6 hours and came back today and had finished the wall ties after 5 hours, he had another guy with him but it still seems quick? I'd be so grateful for any advice, even if it's just that I watch too much Cowboy Builders! Thanks
Depends what type of ties he used. i advise dont hand money over until hes finished. Pointing costs builder next to nothing on materials. If you want a second opinion send some pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org and ill have a look.
Answered 27th Aug 2011
May i ask did he drill the mortar joint or the brick face?
You say he never kept the dust so im thinking he drilled the brick maybe!
The price he charged sounds about right for the size of your property as its a 3 bed semi with 3 external walls to wall tie.
Also theyre should be the same amout of ties on both sides of your door frame and windows,also you will have the same around the periphery 200/250 mm from the edge of the wall before it returns.
The pattern of drilling is in a diamond pattern as you look at the property.
Did they tell you the type of ties theyre using?
How they are fixed? Resin or manual?
If i was you i would Google Cavity Wall Ties and look at the pictures and you will find measurements heights and where you will find ties and where they should not be fitted.
Maybe print off and then look at your home in comparison and then decide whether to pay him in full.
Also make sure if everything is ok that the pointing is completed and no moisture/damp can enter your cavity and cause issues(maybe).
Answered 27th Aug 2011
The ties should be installed @ 5/m2, increasing around door and window apertures.(so if you measure a section of wall 1m up and 1m across there should be 1 at each corner and 1 in the middle(roughly)), and every 3 bricks up around doors and windows. It is unlikely that the will be installed over the windows and doors, because of the lintels.
One method of repair is to keep the brick dust to mix with epoxy/polyester resins to mask the holes, this is expensive, so some people use coloured mortar. The resin mix will look like filler, but be the same colour a the brick, the mortar is likely to be a different(but similar) colour.It is possible that your builder has used mortar dye the colour resin...so it looks like filler, and is the wrong colour!
Any cracking in the mask will not cause damp(it is only a mask) the resin used to install the tie behind is waterproof! This does sound like resin, it is not very trowelable(tends to drag and crack), But deep mortar drying too quick will do the same...so without seeing I can't really say,other than mortar will be matt finish, and resin may have a slight sheen.
With regards to monies, It is likely that your builder wanted an advance for material (ties and resin are expensive)...He may have had some left over and wanted to give you something first without laying out himself...The pointing is the cheap bit but time consuming, so I wouldn't be unduly worried. 30% upfront is not unusual, but do not complete 100% payments until you are fully satisfied.
Answered 28th Aug 2011