Structural Strengthening

Many structures become unstable over the years, or were not built properly in the first place. We are frequently asked to remedy such problems.

This Case Study describes a job that involved complete stabilisation of a spire head as an alternative to a full takedown and rebuild (an option the Church could not afford at the time).

Spire stabilisation and lime pointing

A view of the spire near completion of the work, lime pointing, stabilisation, copper cramps, Scotland

This spire had not been constructed with the necessary cross-tree / centre-rod arrangement that makes a spire invulnerable to high winds.

Rather than dismantle the top of the spire (this is normally the only good way to fix this problem) we discovered that in this case it was possible to get a strong clamp attached to the bottom of the finial. This allowed us to use chains and barrel-screws to put the head of the spire into compression. It is now extremely secure.

Another shot of the spire interior shown above. This is one of the anchor points for the chains, along with the barrel-screw that produces the tension on them.

This is the old entrance hallway at Sinclair Castle, near Wick, Caithness. The barrel vaulted roof was beginning to collapse in places and we were contracted to build a secondary arch (consisting of lime concrete) underneath the existing masonry arch.

Here you see the arch finished with the shuttering still on. It was left like this for quite some time, to allow the lime to fully cure.

London Road, Edinburgh.

The head of this spire has the same defect as the one at the top of this page. However, the church did not want to spend the money necessary to do the best repair available, so this cheaper option was used instead.

This picture is taken inside the roof of a large church in Kelso. The roof was spreading outwards and buckling the walls. The eventual outcome would have been total collapse of the church.

We installed a lot of steelwork to strenthen the roof trusses, some of which can be seen here. This building is no longer in any danger.

Looking up the inside of the spire at Irvine Old Parish Church after the strengthening phase was completed.

This contract is featured in our case studies area, where much more detail is available.

Stainless steel finial rod and cross tree beam inside a church spire. We had just finished fitting this after a spire rebuild when this shot was taken.

Trade skills at height. All Scotland covered.