Why is there a need to have movement joints installed on some buildings?
Movement joints are intended to provide for movement in the structure in order to “control” any possible movements that may have an impact on the structural integrity of a buildings structure. Movement joints are often required to provide a break in extensive spans of masonry or in instances where Thermal Movement has caused extensive structural damage which requires remedial Movement Joint installation.
The UK weather contributes to unsightly thermal cracking
A vertical or stair step crack usually located in the upper portions of the masonry can be caused by thermal expansion. Bricks walls expand when heated by the sun and if movement joints are not present, can cause cracks
. These cracks appear anywhere within the surface of the sunny wall or in close proximity to abutting walls.
Thermal Movement is a growing cause of concern with our ever changing weather climate having adverse effects to our masonry by causing the expansion and contraction of masonry.
Bricks and mortar have extremely high compressive strength and can with stand extremely high downward forces but unfortunately bricks and mortar are relatively low in tensile strength so under expansion and contraction the structural integrity will be lost, so remedial action to install movement joints would be needed.
Thin vertical cracking will appear and if Movement Joints are not installed, unfortunately further cracking will occur which could result in catastrophic loss of structural integrity.
The introduction of Movement Joints is carried out by cutting a slot through the external skin of masonry to a predetermined width with horizontal slots chased into the mortar for the installation of slip ties in cavity walls.
Movement Joints consist of a foam backing cord installed in between the masonry previously cut and slip ties installed to resist against wind forces ensuring that structural integrity remains whilst the Movement Joint installation remains.
If your property is suffering from Thermal Movement and requires an experienced specialist contractor to design a free no obligation specification and quotation be sure to contact London Structural Repairs today and arrange your free survey.