Bricklaying Question

Looking to buy a property and survey has come back with possible cavity wall tie failure. what is the likelihood this is true or is the surveyor just covering back as some of te pointing is loose?

Any prices etc would be greatly appreciated.

9 Answers

Best Answer

Not a cheap one to put right. You should talk to the surveyor and ask him to explain in detail how he came to this conclusion and maybe get a second opinion from an engineer.


Answered 12th May 2011

Michael Murphy Builder

Member since 26 Nov 2009

Any property constructed with cavity walls and built before 1981 MIGHT be at risk of wall-tie failure. Properties in exposed areas ( close to the sea ) or in areas where industrial pollution is present are more at risk . Signs to look for are horizontal cracking along the brick courses, and areas of brickwork bulging. Loose mortar alone is not neccesarily a sign of wall-tie failure.

Answered 12th May 2011

Steve Kennedy

Member since 2 Aug 2010

It is likely the surveyor knows what he is talking about. Personally I wouldn't take a risk on buying a property that's structure is in doubt. You could always get another opinion from another one or two surveyors, if you are really keen on the property.
Hope this helps, regards, James.

Answered 12th May 2011

Bricks And Mortar

Member since 12 Oct 2010

the likley hood is that it is true, and will require a brick being removed to check.
this is in reality a job that needs to be viewed prior to quoting as you do not say what type of house, semi.detached,terraced

best bet is post in the job section and gat a few quotes
while some surveyours can be a bit suspect cavity wall tie corrosion is a growing problem through out the country due to the relaxation of regulations governing wall ties a few years back

Answered 12th May 2011

ADR Property Maintenance

Member since 1 Mar 2009

There is every possibility that your surveyor is right, he might even know some history of the houses.
It has been known that a lot of houses ommitted wall ties, quite a few years ago a well known national house builder (cant name) build several housing estates, the subcontract brickies didnt install the ties.
Best to err on the safe side and advice of your surveyor, there are systems and firms specialising in retro fitting new ties.
Obviously if you intend to purchase the property, then you need some prices to carry out the required works, which would reflect on your offer for the house.

Answered 12th May 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

It's easy to feel apprehensive towards surveyors and the like, however they are verging on impartial, or working for the safety of the lender or vendor. It is always wise to obtain a second opinion if you feel that this particular problem is in fact something entirely different. After all, a large number of construction qualifications are gained from simply studying books and no book can describe the full array of real world problems and what they look like. To back track however, some surveyors are genius and do know what they are talking about.

I feel a good solution for you would be to challange the survey by finding a reputable specialist company (registered, medium sized, good managment structure etc) and have them attend the address with the view of quoting to rectify the problem. The key point here is that if the company is reputable and professional, they will simply say it needs doing and produce a quote, or, advise you it just requires re pointing.

If it's the latter, you can obtain the gentelmans contact details, and produce these as an expert opinion on the supposed failure.

Either way you will know for sure and have a good level of insight to challange the survey provided with the supposed failure.

Good luck, keep calm and box clever.

Answered 12th May 2011

Holcombe Building and Restoration Ltd

Member since 12 May 2011

depending on the age of the propertythe wall ties maybe coroded but you need to open cavity up to do a survey to see the ties

Answered 12th May 2011

dpc builders

Member since 18 Nov 2010

He is speculating,someone has to take out a small panel of bricks io the worst area and inspect wall ties,if your heart is not set on this property,walk away

Answered 29th May 2011


Member since 31 Oct 2010

Well i am 99.5% sure that the cavity wall ties have not failed. i think he is just trying to justify the cost of the survey

Answered 12th May 2011

Creative Bathroom & Kitchen Designs

Member since 16 Feb 2011

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