Recently, I received an email requesting me to conduct a pre-purchase inspection of a home, one of which was an inspection of the wall tie. The lender was not willing to take the previous survey. As it was conducted through the estate agents at no cost. The client then gave me a copy the survey report for free which was comprised of three pages, including the cover as well as the quotation.
The house is a typical two-storey semi-detached home that was built in 1950. The elevations on the outside are wall thicknesses of 275mm, with a hipped roof.
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The report explains that the surveyor conducted an examination of the wall ties inside the cavity by using an endoscope. They were found to be in damaged state, and the installation of a new wall tie was required, but no additional information about the property or the work being provided.
There are some points that you should be aware of prior to proceeding”installing wall ties for remedial purposes is not without limitations. It does not fix any movement that has resulted from the problems with the wall ties, and cannot correct or eliminate the force or imperfections that are acting upon the building. It is also essential to consider that the forces exerting pressure on the wall after the change are different from those that were contemplated when the building was first constructed.
While completing the visual appraisal of the house, these factors were obvious, but they weren’t included in the earlier “Free report” that was which was prepared through the agent for estate which have an impact on the structure as well as the brand new installation of the wall tie.
The retrofit wall insulation put in place to limit the inspection. However, there is no indication of a drilling hole through the outer leaf which would permit an endoscope examination, but what was the procedure for examining the wall tie.
There was a distinct tilt to the central portion of the gable’s elevation while the front and rear corners were level.
The first bedding mortar was made of black ash.
Raking cracks were evident in the brickwork that was above the two window openings.
There there was no evidence of that the foundations were moving.
There was no evidence of raising of mortar beds.
A look inside of the house found the stairs running through the gable’s elevation, with the stairs/ landing having a distinct slope toward the Gable. There was however no evidence of cracking of the stair stringer or the mortar.
A check of the roof’s void discovered ceiling joints running from forward to the rear, and hip rafters that were fixed onto a wall plate that was on the leaf’s inside, without lateral restraints.
Based on the investigation, it was clear that the property is affected by the ‘Roof spread’ it occurs when downward pressure generated by the roof covering’s weight as well as other forces, such as wind or snow loads on the rafters, result in a greater pressure being applied to the wall which, if not properly secured, will begin to turnand deflect. This could create enough pressure to cause the wall structure to move. When the roof begins to move downwards. This pushes the walls of the exterior outwards which is a lengthy process that can result in severe damage to the structural integrity of a house.
The first indications of roof spreading are usually bulging, cracking, or leaning towards the top of the masonry, which can cause bowing walls. The ridge’s line in the roof must be horizontal. Movement in the structure can cause some deflections in the hips and ridges The rafters will exhibit signs of moving, bowing or sagging which is pulling down the ridge along with them.
When the of bowing in the fascia or gutters of a home will be observed, and there could be significant gaps at the joints between roof timbers. The installation of wall ties to repair the damage do not solve the roof’s spread. If it isn’t addressed by an appropriately designed restraining system and pressure continues to be transferred by the roof to the exterior walls and cause a breakdown in the system of wall tie.
The force and deflection of the gable elevation have caused cracks in the masonry that is over the openings. This is very common because of the changes in the bonds at these points. the cracks will need to be repaired by undertaking Thorhelical repairs to the lintel as well as installing side restraints in the first floor timbers together with a wall tie system that stabilizes the exterior structure, or the wall will function as a separate panel when impacted by thermal differential motion and wind suction
It is evident that the prior surveyor/report had not identified the structural issues to the customer, and simply erected wall ties for remedial purposes to the exterior elevations. Without taking the necessary remedial steps to stabilize the roof. the cracking on the exterior could have led to continuous movement of the external wall and in the long future, the structure would need to be removed and rebuilt, resulting in additional cost and disruption.
It’s a good idea to do some research prior to giving an inspection. A free survey arranged by an estate representative ought to have sounded the alarm for those who are able to pay for their services and would like to assume the responsibility.
Estate agents are employed by the ‘Seller’ as well as themselves as well, and are more focused in closing the sale as swiftly and hassle-free as they can and at the most affordable price in order to boost their earnings They do not have any interest in providing advice or taking care of the interests that the purchaser has, regardless of how nice or helpful they appear to be.
It is the responsibility of buyers to remain on guard purchasing a house will likely be the most costly purchase you’ll ever make, so why would you not ask a qualified professional surveyors to carry out the inspections? It is your best interest to cover the cost of an inspection, it’s the smallest cost you can pay to avoid purchasing an unsound property.
Hire a professional for the inspections on your property It’s most likely that it will be your largest investment you’ll make.