Making structural alterations to any building is a complex and challenging task. Before removing a part of any wall, floor, or pillar, it is important to understand the forces which are present in the structure. A building is like a huge spider’s web, where the position of any one member may depend on the force exerted on it by many other members. If one strand of the web is cut, many others may shift as a result of the changing forces. In extreme cases, the entire web may collapse if there is not enough support to balance the remaining strands.
In the same way, the removal of a load bearing wall within a structure, if not handled correctly, could potentially start a chain reaction leading to total structural collapse. Even a seemingly minor alteration can cause a change in the balance of forces resulting in movement, cracking, and structural instability. Older properties can be particularly difficult to work on, as they were not built to modern standards, and may already have been altered or suffered damage during their lifetime. However, structural changes to all buildings must be handled with the utmost care.
At Diamond Drilling UK, we have many years of diamond drilling and concrete cutting experience in and around London. Whenever we undertake structural work on a property, we use temporary propping systems to prevent structural movement and damage. A temporary propping system is equipment designed to afford a structural opening temporary support while other work is completed.
For example, if a doorway is to be opened into an internal load bearing wall, the wall must be braced to prevent it from moving when the cutting work starts. Temporary support is provided by making several small holes above the proposed opening, using what is known as a stitch drilling technique. Narrow steel beams called needles are then inserted into these holes, and supported on both sides of the wall by temporary support props. These props take the weight which has been borne by the wall, making the wall itself structurally redundant. The wall can now be drilled and a portion of it removed, without adversely affecting the rest of the building. A lintel is installed to take the weight of the rebuilt structure, and what is to remain of the wall is rebuilt using the lintel as a structural element. Finally, the temporary prop support is removed.
It is amazing what transformations can be affected to a building using these techniques. The entire layout of a home can be changed, with new rooms and extensions wherever they are required. But temporary support systems must be used very carefully. They must be installed correctly in just the right positions to provide enough support while renovations take place. And it is necessary to calculate all the forces involved to ensure adequate support is provided. You can trust the experts at Diamond Drilling UK to carry out the work to the highest standard. Please get in touch for more details.