I thought I would post an example of just what the wall tie replacement industry can spew out as ‘specialist’ guaranteed work. I’ve been involved in this work, in and around Yorkshire for 24 years and I can say that quality has improved over that time in my business.
However, the 90’s and up to today saw many firm advertise as specialists in this field. They were characterised by generally having large adverts in the yellow pages (not so much today, now the web is replacing this), and being surprisingly cheap. We lost a lot of work, because we just couldn’t do the work for below cost, which is what many of the firms do it for.
The video below is a good example of the defective cavity wall tie work being produced by some of these firms. In this case, poorly installed or unnecessary wall ties. Here, they are installed in a solid wall, which never needed wall ties anyway. The parts of the property which did need wall tie work, have been tied too, with damaging results and the old rusting fishtail ties have been ignored – left to rust and cause more damage.
The client was miss-sold a cheap forgery of a wall tie job, with the assurance of a guarantee. A guarantee which has proven to be worthless.
This is a familiar story – the same problems plague the damp-proofing and timber treatment industry too.
In 1986, when we started Brick-Tie Limited, we tried to use a different model – paying independent engineers and surveyors to do the wall tie survey, specification and supervision. Things ran well for a couple of years before the problem grew big enough to attract the same firms who supply the damp proofing industry with chemicals. The market then became a free for all, with free surveys (by the installer), and the written guarantee; which takes attention away from the job and onto a piece of paper.
My company has had to offer free wall tie surveys too, but we have fought back against the cowboys, by photographing the wall ties we comment on and by careful on-site testing and GPI insured guarantees. Nevertheless – a quick search on the internet reveals many of the same suppliers, selling ties cheap and underplaying the importance of doing this work right. They make it all look so easy – anyone can do it. Of course they know this is a lie, but hey, there’s money to be made selling stuff – who cares if the homeowners get fleeced?
Not the remedial wall tie suppliers, that’s for sure.
Cavity wall tie replacement is essential structural repair. It should be properly specified, supervised and then guaranteed with insurance, just in case things go wrong later. BUT, the best guarantee is a job done right, by qualified technicians with experience and the equipment and knowledge to test ties during the course of the work. Even better, why not use an independent structural engineer or building surveyor to supervise the work? A little extra expense achieving perfection is nothing, compared to the entire waste of money, that a bad job amounts to.