Structural Tie bars are used to fix together two external walls which are opposite and have begun to bow out from each other.
They are constructed of metal steel bars , round or flat and are inserted from one outside wall to the other connected by patress plates being usually a large steel X bolted onto the ends of the bars.
This transfers some of the load to stabilise the movement, by fixing a number of these bars through the walls at the floor joist level, the installed tie bars reduce the chance of future movement.
The main reason for bowed walls is when the building was originally constructed the same methods used today were not back then, typically French properties have no foundations as we know now. Reasons of the bowing can be caused by overloading, for example a slate roof being replaced by heavier tiles, a loft conversion taking place where the walls can buckle under the new added weight.
Also other reasons can be that the original walls were not tied in the first place therefore being badly fixed to each other, the roof timbers or the floors inside the building providing no lateral support to the walls letting them pull away.
Movement cracks usually found on the corners of the walls but can be seen elsewhere are typically due to gutter down pipes emptying rainwater at the foot of the building with no drain at the bottom taking the water away and over the years the fine soil erodes away from the base stone & the corner of the building sinks.
Remedy the root cause by installing proper drains taking the water away from the building & then stitching with steel rods or flat plates inserting them into the walls at 50 cm intervals & then back filling with a flexible lime mortar.
The two methods of stabilising buildings with these kind of problems usually run hand in hand.
Contact us to arrange either a full structural survey, an appointment on site , or a builders report with a following plan & quote
Here is a testimonial from our customers Henry and Sandrine from Normandy:
"Shortly after taking possession of a property in Normandy we decided to address some cracking and movement issues in a stone barn which had been identified by the pre-purchase survey. We contacted several builders who proposed a range of solutions including partial demolition of the barn. We also approached Andrew and Nicola whose proposed, competitively priced solution involved the installation of tie bars to prevent further lateral movement of a gable wall and crack stitching to repair and strengthen damage caused by movement. We were encouraged as the proposal was consistent with the advice of our surveyor and therefore appointed Andrew and Nicola. The work was undertaken in the winter of 2021. During the work, extensive woodworm infestation was observed. Andrew and Nicola were able to provide a very competitive quote for the treatment and carried this out during the strengthening work. Also, other minor issues came to light for which Andrew and Nicola provided recommendations and advice on how to deal with them. All the work itself was carried out to a very high standard and respected the character of the building. The site was left tidy and clean with in fact no evidence of their activity. During the course of the work Andrew and Nicola provided us with regular progress updates and photographs. Throughout the process they have been helpful, polite and always willing to provide advice and suggestions – particularly valuable to non-experts like ourselves. Thanks for a great job!"