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How To Invisibly Repair Cracks In Walls

Crakced brick with plasters (bandaid) across crack

Cracks In Walls

Discovering structural flaws like bowed walls and cracks on your property can be unsettling and stressful. The insurance company is often the first point of contact, and their frequent use of terms like “subsidence” and “heave” can exacerbate feelings of worry about disruption, expense, and the possibility of foundation repairs.
While it is true that movement is the cause of cracks in walls, subsidence is not the only reason, and underpinning is not always necessary. Other reasons include failure of wall ties, seasonal expansion and contraction, insufficient lateral restraint, and frequently, replacement windows and doors. The removal or addition of large vegetation can cause changes in moisture levels, as can blocked or broken drainage systems.

Fortunately, structural repair methods using stainless steel helical bar, such as crack stitching, masonry beaming, and remedial wall ties help to avoid the cost and disruption of traditional methods such as take down and repair.

Helical Bar

helical bar for repairing cracks in walls

Helical bar, often referred to as helifix or helibar, is stainless steel wire that is twisted and has a deep and continuous helix which provides a high fin profile. The fin profile provides substantially more surface area for the purpose made encapsulation grout than traditional, steel rebar. Being made from stainless steel, helical bar doesn’t rust and therefore will not cause the mortar joints to eventually blow like steel can. The bar has high tensile strength and as well as reconnecting the masonry on eith side of the crack, it redistributes the structural loads across its width.

The Repair Process

Helical Bar is used in multiple applications. In general, horizontal slots are cut into the mortar joint between courses of brick or stone. A layer of specially developed grout is applied to the rear of the slot. The grout is specially formulated for encapsulating and bonding stainless steel helical bar to masonry for structural repair applications. Lengths of helical bar are then inserted deep into the slot with at least 500mm of bar either side of the crack. A further layer of grout is then applied to fill the gap.

Close up of helical bar in bed joint

Helical bar will inserted in multiple courses, depending on the length of the crack.

Invisible Repair

Steadfast supply two types of helical bar encapsulation grout. One is cementitious and the other lime based. Both are available in a range of 28 colours are 4 different grades. This means the grout can be colour and texture matched to the original mortar. Not only can this provide an invisible repair, but it also saves time and money by negating the need to repoint.

Lintel repair using helical bar
Crack repair using helical bar
Invisible repair of cracked wall
Invisible repair of cracked wall

Steadfast Elite

All products are available in our Shop, and if you need someone to carry out a repair, we can help through our Steadfast Elite network of specialist contractors.

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Categories: Helical, How To, Steadfast Elite, Structural Repair