Dodgy old garden wall - need some advice

(5 Posts)
traviata Wed 01-Jun-16 12:21:19

Down the side of my garden is an old brick wall, about 5' high and 2 bricks thick. I am responsible for its maintenance.

Some of the pointing is largely gone, and the wall is leaning towards my neighbour's garden. I think I might need to do something before it collapses. It doesn't appear to have any foundations (ie it just goes down about 2 feet into the ground without anything wider at the base).

I am not sure whether to get a surveyor, or a builder. How could I get hold of a builder who actually has some experience of old brick walls?

I don't want someone who can just build new ones, I want some advice about shoring it up, building buttresses, or whatever, or someone to say 'it has stood for 100 years, it isn't going anywhere'.

is there a 'federation of builders who know about old brick walls on clay soil'?

am in SE England btw, and all the gardens round me have these walls, just mine seems to be leaning more than most.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Wed 01-Jun-16 12:44:55

Are you in a conservation area? If so your local council may be able to point you in the direction of the relevant body who'll then be able to reccomend a builder who has experience with restoration type work.

If the majority of the brickwork has 'blown' - the bricks are crumbly to the point where you can wipe your hand over it and bits crumble off, then the wall isn't salvageable.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Wed 01-Jun-16 12:49:40

Forgot to say that if pointing is missing then yes you're right at the very least it needs repointing. As mentioned in my previous post you get 'blown' brickwork damage during winter when water gets into the wall and then freezes - the freezing causes damage. So preferably you'll need to get it sorted before winter.

Sitoff Wed 01-Jun-16 14:17:32

Get a bricklayer or hard landscaper (landscaper that does patios and walls rather than the planting). Walls can and do fall down - particularly in high winds and obviously the damage can be serious as well as expensive. We had one that went from needing work to falling down in a period of weeks so I would say get looking for someone to help sooner rather than later. If it is old there may not be suitable footings so it may be at risk of falling or it may be that it can be saved with repointing - even if it needs taking down and rebuilding that is cheaper than letting it fall as you can reuse more bricks if they are not all broken!

traviata Wed 01-Jun-16 14:18:59

thanks, good idea to speak to council conservation team.

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