The Hopps Partnership

Crack Stitching



Historical architecture often did not involve any form of lintol or beam support over windows but instead relied on self supporting brick arches. In some instances timber beams were used but often these are found to be rotten or failing. Over the course of time brickwork can begin to slump causing loads to be transferred to window frames and causing cracking to the pointing. In more serious cases cracking to the masonry occurs, often in a vertical or stepped fashion, and this will likely necessitate a repair. Ground movement can also cause cracking in masonry walls, and whilst the method of repair is often the same, the cause is distinctly different and it is always recommended that the advice of a qualified engineer or professional is sought prior to any remediation works being carried out.

In order to strengthen the masonry and prevent further movement the brickwork can be ‘stitched’ using high grade stainless steel helical bars inserted directly into the bed joints. The purpose of the stitching is to stabilise the masonry and redistribute tensile and compressive loads to minimise or remove further development of the crack. The advantages of such remedial work are that it is an extremely cost effective way of repairing defective brickwork and is also incredibly versatile. The helical bars can be used to repair even weak materials and often the entire process can be completed externally and is all but invisible once installed.

The first step involves cutting a chase into the mortar to remove the bed joint, normally to a depth of approximately 65mm:

Once the chase is complete and the mortar bed carefully removed the area must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any dust or debris left behind. In order to improve adhesion the slots can be flushed with water and/or primer:

Following the cleaning of the chase a grout bead or two part epoxy resin is inserted:

Helical stainless steel bars are then cut to size and inserted into the chase, bedded against the grouting inside:

Finally the cracks and bar are re-pointed and left clean.

The process is straightforward and quick and has become universally used as one of a number of ways of structurally repairing brickwork and other solid walls. A variation of the process is also used to reattach inner and outer sections of a cavity wall where necessary.

Below is a good video showing the process

If you have cracking that you are worried about, give The Hopps Partnership a call for a free initial phone consultation.

If you have cracking that you are worried about, give The Hopps Partnership a call for a free initial phone consultation.

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top