FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION’S
How do I support the internal skin of a cavity wall when using the Brick Brace externally?
That will depend upon the finished height of the new permanent support compared to existing joist level;
When fitting under joist height & creating a bulk head below ceiling height, the Prop-Wise can be used internally, with the Brick Brace used externally.
Where steels are fitted level with existing joists, the props and needles method fitted over joist height is most suitable.
The Brick Brace can also be used externally to support the masonry in between props and to increase the unknown lateral strength of the structure which all propping methods rely upon to work correctly. View our propping guide and our code of conduct page for further information on the different methods required to carry out the different scenarios of masonry alterations.
Can the Brick Brace be used on load bearing walls?
Acrow props and spreader plates should always be used to prop load bearing joists and beams separately which safely supports the different live and static loads they may be carrying. As with a Strongboy the Brick Brace is not a substitute for a concentrically loaded Acrow prop when a concentrically loaded Acrow prop is more suitable. Position props at a maximum 450mm from the wall when supporting joists to give sufficient room to work. The condition of Joists and beams must always be checked before propping, please read our masonry wall propping guide for further information of the correct use of an Acrow prop.
Why use the Brick Brace when Strongboy’s are so easy to use?
It’s urban myth that the Strongboy is suitable for every task, with the instructions changed by enforcement of the H.S.E in November 2015 and now read;
“Before using a Strongboy you should identify that it is a suitable method to carry out the intended works. The Strongboy is not recommended to be used to provide temporary support to unstable structures”.
We created the Brick Brace to ensure stability of the structure, to provide further options, to counter act all of the hidden problems of eccentrically propping masonry and to make alterations more controllable, safer and easier during a task as it’s not possible for A Strongboy alone to give the correct fitting/working access for every task without dangerously destabilising and/or overloading the structure above.
But doesn’t everyone misuse Strongboy’s?
We know safer & superior methods and we provide guidance to help, teach & influence to ensure future generations are not taught the same bad habits as past generations.
We don’t endorse the misuse of any temporary support equipment however anyone that continues to overload Strongboy’s through over extending from the wall to avoid internal 1st floor wall damage or to gain further fitting access, we highly recommend bracing the masonry beforehand to reduce the higher risk of collapse from overloading.
How do I adapt to the Brick Brace?
Use the Brick Brace for the first time when also propping to experience the difference. We offer a full money back guarantee to anyone that doesn’t benefit from its use.
What does the Brick Brace do?
The fully tested Brick Brace imitates a load-point by pre-stressing the masonry to prevent collapse, allowing openings within existing 4″ masonry without the use of any impeding Acrow props upon the fitting/work side at any height, high or low and enhances all the traditional propping methods to reduce the risk of major collapse through overloading and stops minor collapse in between props.
The stability & lateral strength of masonry is unpredictable & varies upon every task of which depends on the length of an opening, the mortar mix, the age and the quality of the masonry workmanship.
All existing propping methods and even the calculation of a structural engineer solely rely upon the unknown and variable lateral strength of masonry to work correctly, the fully tested Brick Brace safety tool increases the unknown strength of masonry to 40Nm which through testing is proven to be strong and stable enough to prevent collapse during alterations.
The Brick Brace, our guidance, correct procedures, weight charts and proven strategies address all the main causes of minor and major collapse during masonry alterations.
How can the Brick Brace support brickwork that has dropped or sagged?
Prop the brickwork with the Prop-Wise or similar until the brickwork is back inline and then fit the Brick Brace to strengthen the brickwork and to keep in position. The masonry below can now be removed and upon smaller openings the impeding props which were used to level the brickwork can be removed for a superior working access.
Can the Brick Brace be used internally?
That will depend on the task, the material of the wall, the ceiling heights and/or the size and fitting height of permanent support compared to joists.
Can the Brick Brace be used on block work?
Propping/needling methods are most suitable for finished/rendered blockwork.
The vast majority of block work is either plastered or rendered which provides further lateral strength to the masonry. Removing render can destabilise a structure and should be avoided. However where block work has no finish or the render is in poor condition and/or the opening height is not suitable for traditional propping methods then the Brick Brace would be most suitable.
Safety tools are fitted within every perpendicular joint upon block work. Remove only the top 70mm of the perp joint as the horizontal scaffold tube is fitted upon the course of blocks above.
Where can the Brick Brace be used?
The Brick Brace is designed to support bonded 4” masonry and can be used to create new openings or to alter the size of an opening within existing masonry and used to give the correct fitting work space to fit lintels & steels safely & correctly. Replace lintels, fit new cavity trays & D.P.C’s with ease. Re-instate a load-point to reduce the weight of the load when propping. Use the Brick Brace as an under-pinning aid to strengthen & stabilise lime mortar masonry and to aid all remedial works, brickwork renovations & repairs.
How do I remove tight joints to fit the Brick Brace?
For best results use a 10mm masonry drill bit to create a pilot hole at the top of the perpendicular joint; use a mortar raking tool connected to a 4″ grinder (m14 female mount). Insert into the pilot hole and operate gently to remove the required masonry. Do not apply excessive pressure through the grinder; let the rotary action do the work at its own pace. Ensure to wear the correct PPE for hands, eyes & mouth.
Construction, Design and Management, in force since the 6th April 2015 and is British legislation.
(Temporary Works in Brief)
The builder (contractor) must ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge and capable of avoiding risks and able to combat risks at source.
Adapt to individual requirements, especially regarding the design of the workplace, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods with a view in particular to reduce the effect of risk on health and on safety. Adapt to technical progress, replace the dangerous by the non-dangerous or the less dangerous.
(Stability of structures)
All practicable steps must be taken to prevent danger and ensure that any new or existing structure does not collapse or become unstable due to the carrying out of construction work.
Temporary support must be designed, installed and maintained to withstand foreseeable loads and only used for the purposes for which it was designed for. A structure must not be loaded as to render it unsafe to any person.
Work within health and safety guidelines; respect your legal responsibilities and the welfare of others around you.
How far from the corner of a building can the Brick Brace be used?
When used without props, the Brick Brace safety tool/system is designed to support the triangle of masonry above an opening and requires a minimum of one brick as a reveal or from a corner as theoretically the load is transferred to either side of the opening.
Upon a typical two storey residential property where no reveals remain to either one or both sides of an opening, the whole storey height requires support (including roof loads where they apply) and the traditional props and needles method should be used to reduce the high, uncontrollable number of low safe working load strongboy’s that would be required to avoid overloading.
The props and needles method also gives the correct space to fit wider permanent supports safely without dangerously removing the opening to the full depth before the permanent support is in position, as removing an opening down to the full depth before fitting the permanent support increases the risk of collapse through accidental removal of props during demolition and should be avoided.
Why use a scaffold tube & what size?
A scaffold tube size 48.3mm (either steel or preferably aluminium due to the lower weight) connects each individual safety tool to the next with all the single tools becoming one piece, sharing the load equally over the length of the opening and building a temporary pre-stressing lintel inside the brickwork above to ensure no movement when the masonry is removed from below.
Why impede the area required for access with variable S.W.L Strongboy’s when the surrounding structure from above can be fitted with a temporary pre-stressing lintel, with full access to the task?
Where are The Brick Brace fitted?
Within the full course directly above a proposed opening and fitted three bricks apart in a cement mortar mix, a maximum of two and a half bricks apart in a weak or lime mortar mix and within every perpendicular joint upon Block work, full instructions of correct use are supplied with every order and also available to read/print from our instruction/download page.
Will the force of the Brick Brace push out the Brickwork?
Not at all, the fully tested Brick Brace safety tool uses only a fraction of the force required than propping. A torque of 40Nm produces a force more than enough to brace and support the masonry even allowing for some fall off in force as the tools bed in, (Factor Of Safety X 4.5). The torque is also readily achievable on site with a ratchet spanner and provides a force well below that to crush the face of the brick, with no distress whatsoever and with no visible movement or cracking.
How can the Brick Brace reduce the number of Acrow props and Strongboy’s?
A. Single Brick Brace safety tools are used to re-instate a load-point which safely reduces the weight of the load that requires support.
B. Within a typical two storey residential property, correctly used props are under-loaded when positioned at 900mm centres when a load-point is intact, therefore props can be positioned at 1,350mm centres when single safety tools are fitted in between props, this safely reduces the number of props by 50% from the work area.
What tools are required to fit the Brick Brace?
To fit a single safety tool you require the use of a hammer drill with a 10mm masonry drill bit to remove the perpendicular joint and a 19mm socket spanner to expand the Brick Brace. The Brick Brace system requires a Hammer Drill, 8mm and 10mm masonry drill bits, 15, 19, 21mm sockets and a ratchet. The 40Nm torque required to expand the Brick Brace is similar to tightening a scaffold fitting. To remove the masonry below use a disc cutter and a light set hammer drill with the correct chisel fittings, a masonry or traditional hand saw is sufficient for lime mortar mixes, full instructions and a correct procedure are provided and available to read or print via our instructions/download page.
Does the Brick Brace have certification?
There is no certification, British standard or kite mark available for any temporary masonry support equipment as it’s not a permanent fixture. The Brick Brace Safety tool was fully tested in multiples and complies with the provision and use of work equipment regulations and is the only temporary masonry support equipment tested in multiples upon brickwork.
Does the Brick Brace have a guarantee?
Anyone that uses the Brick Brace safety tool that does not benefit from its use we promise a full money back guarantee. We ensure every user has the information to tackle every task safely as we supply full instructions & a correct procedure with every order and we provide a further help-line so no assumptions of use never need to be made.
We have studied temporary masonry support for many years and our fully patented method of strengthening masonry is the further preparation required for safer and superior results, GUARANTEED.
If you have any other questions, just ask our temporary support expert Anthony on his mobile; 07545 462463 .
Confidential Reporting On Structural Safety.
When carrying out temporary needling and propping one of the most important aspects is to ensure that the props are concentrically loaded and plumb.
The use of a steel bracket on top of the prop giving a minimum eccentricity of 200 mm would not seem to be such a good idea?
Interestingly such a product does exist and has proved very popular with builders who see it an advantage to prop only one side of a wall.
The prop is sold and hired from builders’ merchants with minimal safety instructions and is potentially unsafe due to bending moments being introduced by this product into Acrow props designed only for axial compression. Any device that modifies the behaviour of props by introducing bending moments is potentially hazardous.
Another reporter has come across these in use and in his view they must only be used in the case of limited openings where the masonry can arch over leaving only a small triangle of masonry below the arching that can potentially break away.
All in all these are for light use only and never for heavy shoring. The reporter thinks that the manufacturers and possibly the hire companies would be negligent if they did not provide some guidance on the use of such props.
Another reporter has frequently seen builders using props with cantilevering head-plates which cause the supporting props to bend. Some years ago he photographed a set of such props which had very noticeable curvatures. The wall above had dropped in consequence causing damage to the building and resulting in a substantial claim against the builder. The reporter generally advises builders not to use such head-plates.
The Brick Brace Safety Tool, our guidance, weight charts and proven strategies address all the main causes of minor and major collapse during masonry alterations.
Brick Brace review
By Lateral solutions group ltd
Having been a builder now for over 30 years, I could be justifiably accused of being stuck in my ways in certain aspects of the building trade, one of those areas are removing sections of load bearing walls and creating new window and door openings, tools required, Props, Needles & Strong boys . . . . . Not anymore!
After reading an article regarding safe working loads when using Acrow props, in a nut shell the load calculations are as follows :-
An Acrow prop, max S.W.L is 3,400Kg
Two Acrow props & a needle method this is then reduced to max S.W.L 1,700kg
An Acrow fitted with a prop attachment ( Strongboy) this is then reduced to max S.W.L 340Kg
So with a little research on the best kept secret in the building trade . . .
Brick Brace steps into the ring!
I’ve used this product now for nearly 1 year, first of all, it’s like carrying around 12 Acrows,5 Needles & two Strongboys in a small tool box, Great start!
Secondly, does it work & How?
The answer to the first question is an easy yes it does!
The answer to the second question, without sounding like a salesman for this product is as follows:-
A single brace that fits in your hand can support an opening of up to 1575mm opening supporting the full triangle of Cement, mortar & masonry above.
With the full kit, as mentioned carried in a small toolbox capable of supporting an opening of up to 4500mm with the use of only 1 prop to the middle! No Acrow hindering access for the installation of steels, no repairing brickwork above where to needles were! Window opening above ground floor. . A breeze!
Finally in my opinion . . . IT’S A KNOCK OUT!! Brick brace wins, hands down!
I have now vowed as a builder to stop living in the dark ages and start moving forward with new equipment and new methods of construction.