Lime Mortar Pointing Expert

Lime Mortar Pointing Experts

London Structural Repairs are specialised Lime Mortar Pointing Experts.

What you may not realise about building work is that along with the more modern approaches to construction, there are also traditional methods that were used to build and maintain properties. One particular method that we will have seen in the past and still see now is lime pointing. So, what is lime pointing and why has it been used in building work over the years?

Why was lime used?

Traditional mass-masonry walls, such as what we see in pre 1919 homes would have very much worked on the basis that any moisture that enters the wall, has the chance to escape as easily as possible. One material that has known to be able to do this the best is lime. This is because they have an interconnected pore structure, which means that the water vapour and water can travel with ease and make its way back out.

This is compared to those walls made of cement, which are more closed and will trap water within the wall and make it much harder for the water to escape. Of course, in modern times, homes are designed in such a way that concrete is fine to be used for the construction, however, those homes that pre-date 1919 are going to have lime mortar already in them and therefore any repairs need to be carried out using lime-pointing.

Why might you need lime mortar pointing repairs?

There are a number of reasons why you might need to book in for lime pointing repairs on your property. However there are two main ones that we see. The first one is that the lime pointing that was originally put in place has decayed over time and the time has come for it to be replaced. Mortar can decay over time due to weathering or sometimes due to poor maintenance. You can often find that blocked gutters or overflow pipes can cause damage to the masonry work and then require repairs.
You may also need to arrange for repairs if the masonry within the property has already been re-pointed, with the use of a cement based mortar.

If you live in a period property then you know that you are going to need to make sure that any construction or repair work that you have carried out on it, fits in with the traditional style and design. This means that you are going to be on the hunt for an expert who understands what it takes to best utilise some of these traditional materials and methods.

We are experts in lime mortar pointing, so, if you live in an older property and want to ensure that you protect the look and charm of the building, then why not get in touch with us?

 

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Diagnosing Building Cracks

Diagnosing Building Cracks

Diagnosing Building Cracks

Discovering a crack in a building is never something that you are going to want to discover, they are not only unsightly (and will require covering) they are also a sign that there is a bigger problem. You don’t only need to fix the crack itself, but, at the same time you need to look into why it has happened and fix that. 

Many cracks that develop in a property will be superficial and they shouldn’t cause too much of a  problem. However, this isn’t always the case and there can be times when a crack is severe and needs urgent and necessary repair work to be carried out, especially before it gets any worse. 

Where can you usually find these cracks?

The reason that a crack will usually appear in a property is because there has been a build up of stress within the structure. The crack is where the weakness is and will be a build up and a release of the stress. They can happen anywhere in your home. 

Diagnosing Building Cracks can be daunting, so why not give us a call to take care of it for you.

Why might they be happening?

As we have already discussed, the main reason that a crack will appear is because there is some element of stress on a property. However, we can dig down deeper into this to identify actual causes of the stress.

The main ones are:

  • Damp damage
  • Decaying or crushed internal timber that is important to the properties structure 
  • Tree roots 
  • Adjacent walls becoming unstable 
  • A lack of good foundation
  • Changes in temperature
  • Issues caused by wind
  • Road traffic vibrations
  • Damaged drains

 

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How can you tell if a crack is severe or not?

The main way that a crack is diagnosed and its severity identified is by looking at the width of the crack. A crack will usually be split into 5 different groups, each of which will require a different approach or solution to be taken.

  • A negligible crack- this type of crack will be a hairline crack and will have a width that is less than a millimetre. They are not very nice to look at, but they are not too severe and can mostly be treated simply by redecorating the area. 
  • A slight crack- Next up is a slight crack, and this is usually due to structural movement over time. This crack will be between 1mm and 5mm wide and will often be fixed by filling any open voids and then redecorating the interior. The exterior of the property will also need to be repointed too. 
  • A moderate crack- If the crack measures between 5mm and 15mm then it is called as a moderate crack and building work is going to be needed. They will be able to identify the cause of the crack as well as the best way to treat it. There is more likely to be a complex reason behind these types of cracks and they will likely affect a wider area.
  • A severe crack- One thing that you are not going to want to hear is that you have a severe crack in your wall. These will be as big as 35mm wide and there is going to be the need to carry our extensive structural repair work. Usually requiring the replacement of the affected sections within the building. You will often find that a severe crack will also have smaller cracks around them.
  • A very severe crack- Finally you have the highest level that can be given to a crack. If the crack is over 25mm then it fits in this bracket and it means that there is severe structural damage to the property and that there is going to be major repair work. This could be partial or complete rebuilding with structural underpinning to help with any instability too. 

The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to cracks in your home is that no matter how small they seem; you need to make sure that you are getting them looked at by a professional, so that you won’t end up with a much bigger problem in the future. 

Contact London Structural Repairs to Diagnosing Building Cracks and to repair them for you for a hassle free professional service.

 

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subsidence in london

Subsidence in London the common causes

Subsidence in London is an extremely common problem that haunts millions of home owners in London. With significant damages to the foundation of the structure as one of its most common consequences, subsidence can be caused by a number of different reasons. 

Interested in learning more about the natural and man-made causes of subsidence? Read on to find out as we tell you some of the most common causes of subsidence and how our professionals at London Structural Repairs can help mitigate the risk associated with it. 

Natural Causes of Subsidence in London

While there are plenty of different natural causes of subsidence that results in damage to houses in London, the most common culprit remains the expansion of cohesive soils. Clay and other cohesive soils are known to expand and shrink based on their moisture content. This affects the structures that are built on them. Since the weather conditions of London vary significantly, it goes without saying that the composition of these cohesive soils can also change drastically, leaving structures damaged. 

Soil decomposition and washing away of soils is another extremely common natural cause of subsidence in London. Even though non-cohesive soils are not prone to shrinkage and expansion like their cohesive counterparts, they are still susceptible to being washed away causing problems to buildings that may be built on them. What’s more, the decomposition of certain natural soils can cause movement of the ground, resulting in significant problems. 

Other Causes of Subsidence in London

In addition to the natural causes mentioned above, other factors can be involved in subsidence in London as well.  Leaky drains are a common culprit, causing the ground to soften considerably resulting in subsidence. If the problem remains undetected or unresolved for long, the ground may even be washed away, resulting in damaged foundations in buildings. 

Construction work in nearby areas and heavy traffic are also to blame for subsidence in London. Since both construction work and dense traffic can cause the ground to move constantly for extended periods of time, it is common for problems like subsidence to occur. 

While subsidence can cause numerous problems including cracked walls and weakened structures, you’ll be glad to know that most damages are reversible. By hiring the services of a professional service like London Structural Repairs, you will not only be able to assess the damage done, but experts in the field will also be able to present you with a variety of solutions that you can choose from. 

Interested in learning more about the available options to repair damages caused by subsidence? Give London Structural Repairs a call at 020 8936 7699 to find out how we can help with your problem.

 

 

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building repair

Building Repair Expert? Why Is It Important to Hire a Professional

Building Repair Experts

Whether you own a residential building or an office space, Building Repair and maintenance  are imperative for all types of buildings, especially, if you are really interested in keeping them looking at their best for years to come.

Without building repair services, even the smallest of problems can quickly escalate and get out of hand, forcing you to spend a fortune on repairs and renovation. You could’ve easily avoided these had you considered timely maintenance at the right time.

As unfortunate as it sounds, the vast majority of people refuse to take building repair and maintenance services into account, causing the building to deteriorate sooner than it should. In this post, however, we will convince you about the benefits that a professional building repairs service really offers, and all of the reasons why you should consider hiring one for your buildings in London.

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Optimized Resource Allocation

The number one reason why people do not hire building repair services is because they believe that it is a waste of money, and that the tasks can easily be taken on by their employees. Unfortunately, this is a very narrow-minded approach, and essentially trivializes the time and effort that building maintenance professionals spend on the tasks that are assigned to them.

As professionals of the field, building maintenance experts do not only know how to inspect each aspect of the building, but they also know how to allocate resources efficiently and effectively, ensuring optimization.

Timely Repairs

As mentioned above, it doesn’t take long for even the minutest of repairs to be aggravated, resulting in damages that will not only cost a fortune, but also cause plenty of downtime. However, when a professional building repair services is hired, this very problem can be avoided in its entirety, leaving you with a building or property that’s always up to the mark.

With professionals of a building repair service paying regular visits to you building time and again, it goes without saying that all problems and areas that need repair will be noticed in a timely manner, preventing them from getting worse.

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Seamless Experience

Needless to say, when a professional  is hired for your residential properties or office spaces in London, you are not only bound to get a seamless experience, but all problems will also be dealt with in a highly professional manner. Additionally, if repairs are to be made to the building, they will be taken care of in such a way that it looks good as new.

Convinced of the benefits of hiring a professional building repair services? Give London Structural Repairs a call today at 020 8936 7699 today to find out the different ways in which our team of professionals can help you with building repairs and maintenance and all kinds of repairs!

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Stone Damage

Common Reasons for Stone Damage

Stone damage is one of the most common problems that home owners in London and surrounding areas have to experience. Since stone structures are known for having an incredibly sophisticated and elegant look, even the most minute damages can affect the property considerably when it comes to buildings that are made primarily of stone. 

Despite the various reasons that can contribute to the deterioration of stone structures, you will be glad to know that the damage is – in most cases – completely reversible, which means that professional services like London Structural Repairs can leave your buildings looking good as new. 

Interested in learning more about the most common reasons for stone damage in London and how our professionals at London Structural repairs can help? Read on as we let you in on three of the most common reasons why stone damage occurs and how we can help.

 

 

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Crystallisation of Salts

It doesn’t come as a surprise to many that stone structures often have salts in their pores and openings. Contrary to popular belief, however, the crystallization of these salts can prove to be highly detrimental to the surface of the stone structure, leaving it with visible cracks and seams, affecting the look of the stone structure or building in an extremely negative way.

 

Dissolution 

While many people fail to take this into consideration, certain types of stones including marbles, limestone, and dolostone can be affected by acid rain which has unfortunately become a common occurrence in most cities. When in contact with water that has been mixed with acidic elements or compounds, structures or buildings that have been created using any of the aforementioned stones or other carbonate stones will begin to deteriorate and lose their lustre and shine as a result of dissolution. 

In certain cases, cracks and seams, too, can start forming on the structure, leaving it dull and unattractive. However, by consulting a professional service like London Structural Repairs, you can have the surface of your stone structure repaired. Furthermore, our professionals will also be able to help you deal with hidden damages that may not be as prominent.

 

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Why is it important to get the Structural Repairs carried out by a specialist?

As a home owner it is important to try and get any structural repair works to your property carried out by a specialist company, because it will save you time and money as a lot of the drawings supplied by a structural engineer can be quit complicated and hard to understand especially for a general builder who has not had any training in modern remedial repair systems.

If you have recently purchased a property or are in the process of buying one and would like help in understanding any structural defects on the property or if you would like a quotation then please contact London Structural Repairs one of Londons leading specialists structural repair companies.

 

Human Contact

Another reason that most people fail to take into consideration is human contact with stone buildings. Regular human contact such as walking on marble floors etc is known to deteriorate the look of stone buildings and structures. Additionally, stone structures are often more easily damaged with sharp objects compared to concrete structures, leaving them with visible lines and cracks that take away from the elegant cv finish of the stone structure. 

Fortunately for many, companies like London Structural Repairs have a team of experts that can help with any kind of stone damage. Leveraging the latest tools and techniques, our experts can not only improve the look of your stone buildings, but also deal with cracks, seams, and other stone structure problems in a professional manner, leaving your buildings looking good as new. 

 

Interested in stone repairs? Give us a call at 020 8936 7699 today to find out how we can help!

 

 

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Structural Survey

Structural survey Benefits

What is a structural survey?

A structural survey is carried out by a firm of structural engineers. It consists of a detailed inspection from the top to the bottom of a building looking at all aspects of the building structure, for example: the condition of the roof, the types of materials used, possible areas of concern, damage to brick or stonework and damp related issues. A structural survey is the most comprehensive type of building surveys, they find potential problems and building defects which will then be put into a detailed structural survey report identifying any problems found and then a specialist structural repair company can carry out the repairs.

London Structural Repairs work closely with Structural Surveyors and engineers to help solve any defects your property may have.

 

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Why is a structural survey important?

A Structural survey is important for finding out what problems you have with your building, for example, if you are looking to buy a new house as an investment or to live in you may want to consider having a structural surveys carried out if: the property is of a Victorian or Edwardian period, the property is expensive, the property is more than 2 stories high, you can clearly see the property needs structural repair works i.e if it is showing signs of any cracking or movement, if the property is of an unusual construction i.e timber framed, or if you are intending on carrying out any major alterations to the property. A structural survey may help you decide whether you wish to purchase the property as is will give you an indication on how much you would need to spend in order to fix the problems.

 

What is a Structural Engineers Report?

Structural engineers reports are carried out by a chartered structural or civil engineer, they identify, evaluate and give recommendations to the homeowners on any problems with the foundation or the structure of their home. Within this report such problems may be uncovered: if soil erosion has occurred, if your buildings foundation is poorly constructed, or if any wood is present which may create future problems as rotting is possible.

 

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Why is it important to get the Structural Repairs carried out by a specialist?

As a home owner it is important to try and get any structural repair works to your property carried out by a specialist company, because it will save you time and money as a lot of the drawings supplied by a structural engineer can be quit complicated and hard to understand especially for a general builder who has not had any training in modern remedial repair systems.

If you have recently purchased a property or are in the process of buying one and would like help in understanding any structural defects on the property or if you would like a quotation then please contact London Structural Repairs one of Londons leading specialists structural repair companies.

 

 

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Victorian Bay Window Cracks

Victorian Bay Window Cracks

Victorian Bay Window Cracks can be a serious cause for concern

Victorian Bay Window cracks. While Victorian houses may be easily recognizable due to their unique architecture and designs, people often can’t tell bay windows apart from normal windows. Unlike normal windows, bay windows bulge outwards from the structure of the building or house. These windows are given the name bay windows because of the fact that they form an architectural ‘bay’ or a compartment which is present between architectural elements.

History of Victorian Bay Windows

The Building Act, passed in 1894, brought with it a lot of changes to the way in which buildings could be constructed. One of the most prominent changes which the Act brought was that it wasn’t necessary for windows to be in line with the rest of the structure of a building anymore.
Following the Act, manufacturers in the Victorian era took advantage of the aforementioned change. Creating bay windows, these manufacturers made the houses built after the passing of the act appear to be much larger than they actually were.
Victorian bay windows also allowed much more light to enter the house, compared to normal windows, and started being used by people of the era as an alternative to balconies.

 

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What Causes Cracks in Victorian Bay Windows?

Much like any other type of window, cracks in Victorian bay windows are also a very common defect. However, unlike normal windows which are in line with the structure of the building, Victorian bay window cracks often have different reasons.

Most victorian bay windows was the last thing to be built on the property as the builders used the opening to bring all the materials through the property and then dug shallow foundations then built the bay window but most are not tied in properly at the junctions between the bays and the properties main walls.

Another common cause for Victorian bay window cracks is when the old wooden window frames and glass are replaced with new PVC windows. Most PVC windows are not strong enough to take the load bearings of the bays, so the window company should install bay poles to take the load but Unfortunately it is all too common for companies to leave these out which then causes damage and cracking to masonry and in some instances causing the glass in the windows to crack.

Cracks can appear in Victorian bay windows is because of poor installation. Since bay windows do not have proper foundations like the rest of the building, it takes them much longer to settle than other areas of the house. If the window is not attached to the building properly, you will notice several cracks on or around it.

Another cause of bay window cracks in Victorian style houses is movement. Since these windows are essentially just an extension of the building itself, if there is a lot of movement in the bay or near the bay window, there is a high possibility that cracks will begin to appear around the window.
Since they are comparatively much more vulnerable, Victorian bay window crack repairs are one of the major concerns of owners of Victorian style homes. Victorian bay window cracks repairs are extremely necessary too and cracks on or around bay windows should be addressed immediately since they have the potential of damaging the rest of the house at an unprecedented rate.

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If you, too, need Victorian bay window cracks repaired, head over to London Structural Repairs for the services of one of Londons best and most professional companies.

 

Concrete Damage

What is concrete damage

Concrete Damage: Why does it happen?

Contrary to popular belief, concrete too, has a lifespan after which it can become damaged. Concrete damage can also be a sign of an underlying structural issue. Since there can be many complications caused as a direct result of the damage, concrete repair should be a priority as soon as a crack is detected.
There are a few reasons why concrete can become damaged even before its time. A few reasons of concrete damage are listed below:

Quick Drying
If the concrete you are using dries very quickly, chances are that it will crack soon after it solidifies. The shift in state of the concrete from liquid to solid requires a degree of water to be present in the concrete mixture.

Corrosion Caused by Reinforcement Bars
When iron bars are reinforced into the concrete in order to strengthen the structure, there is a possibility of rust forming on the iron through chemical reactions. The increased volume of rust will press against the concrete and make room for its own expansion. This strain on the concrete by the rust may cause it to crack. These types of concrete damage are particularly dangerous since the stability of the entire structure is under threat due to both rusty bars and damaged concrete.

Too Much Water in the Concrete Mixture
As opposed to the causes for quick drying, excessive amounts of water in the concrete mixture can also cause the concrete to eventually crack. Concrete achieves its maximum strength without the use of too much water. An excess of water can tamper with the potential strength of the concrete. Concrete damage caused by excessive water is one of the most common problems since people are generally unaware of the water requirements of different qualities of concrete.

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What should you do if you see cracks in your concrete?
Concrete damage is dangerous. Cracks caused as a result of imprecise proportions of water in your concrete mixture may teach you a lesson or two for the future, but the cracks still need to be dealt with. If you notice any discoloration in your walls, this can be an indication of water leakages and mould accumulating in the concrete. Additionally, any cracks which seem to worsen with time also put your home or building in great danger since the problem often goes beyond the surface in cases like these.

In any case, concrete repair or replacement is extremely necessary if cracks are detected. You can never be certain how much damage has already been done. Attempting to repair the damage in your property by yourself is not advised since there are usually a number of complications involved in the structure of a building. You should always leave concrete repairs work to a experienced and insured professional to prevent any further damage.

If your concrete is damaged then why not check out our services to help you.

London Structural Repairs have experience and expertise in using Sikaconcrete repair products.

If you live in London and have noticed any cracks to your property, give us a call at 020 8936 7699 let our professionals take care of your concrete repairs.

 

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Cracking Matters

Cracking Matters

Cracking Matters

Cracking Matters Is your Property suffering from cracks? at London Structural Repairs we are experts in dealing with all kinds of causes of cracks. There are many reasons why cracks may develop on buildings and unless you are experienced in this specialist work then it is hard to diagnose the problem and use the correct method of repair. One common repair method we use to deal with non progressive cracks is called Crack stitch repairs, this is where we cut a slot in the masonry and install a stainless steel helical rod combined with a specialist grout. In some instances we have to monitor cracks for a period before we can carry out crack stitch repairs.

Do cracks matter to your property?

If your home or investment has structural cracks internally or externally then this will make your property unsightly, devalue your investment and in many cases unsalable until crack stitch repairs have been carried out by a specialist contractor. Many perspective buyers use the crack defects as a bargaining tool to negotiate on the price of the property. Many people just ignore cracks when they develop and this never good practice as in a lot of cases the cracks will only worsen over time and cost more money on the crack stitch repairs because generally when the crack worsens then the making good of the surrounding area increases and so does the cost of the repair.

If you have a crack recently developed or one that is long standing then why not contact us

 

We recently carried out cracked Masonry Repair also known as reinforced masonry crack stitch repairs to the specification of a structural engineering company in South West London. The property is in the heart of Chelsea and is a three storey semi-detached building of traditional construction, which comprises of three flats.

Cracked Masonry Repairs are regularly carried out  on period properties in and around the London area, there are many different  reasons for the cracks appearing and our structural survey will ascertain the reason behind the movement.

A significant vertical crack had developed to the rear wall. The crack runs almost full height of the building. There have been previous attempts been made to repair the crack by others but without success. The crack required crack stitching repairs to be carried out, which would restore the structural integrity of the wall.

London Structural Repair operatives installed the crack stitch bars and repaired the brickwork and gave it a much better appearance.

If your period or modern building is suffering from a similar problem then please free to get in touch with us for a free survey on 020 8936 7699

 

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