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On this bowing gable end we found large sections of brickwork that had different colouration than the other around it. This only really happens if the bricks are a different sort used, are newer or the area around them has suffered damp and started to grow lichen or mould showing a discoloration difference. The ivy that has started to grown on the North Eastern wing corner does not present much of a problem at the moment, although it could in time completely obscure the brickwork that hosts it. In fact the ivy could be so dense that it completely hides the bowing gable end which, if left unchecked, could pull away from the main structure leaving all three storeys at risk of collapse.

The key to this problem was that we needed to add strength. The failure to build using adequate wall ties, and also poor quality wall ties meant that the few that hadn’t almost completely rusted away just failed to do their job – holding everything together. In this case we would remove a brick at strategic points to assess in-between the two skins to identify the source of the lack of support through wall ties. If the bow in the bowing gable end was shallow enough eg, the furthest point of the bow was only a few millimeters out of true we may well suggest that a buttress wall was built up from the ground perpendicular to the gable end as high as the affected area.

Concrete and mortar being as they are, rigid non-flexible stone like substances – once the original form when hardened is broken, will not usually be able to be pulled back into line without some form of strength loss. The best way is to check that there is no bow in the internal walls, then do a partial demolition of the bowing gable end and rebuild correctly, retrofitting quality wall ties as you go to ensure the building conforms to the rigid quality standards we demand at Structural Repairs.

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