Revamping old walls30. August 2018
Old buildings have history and character, which also makes them complicated. Especially when it comes to attaching furniture and home accessories to the walls. Keeping in a mind a few tips will ensure the wall cupboard doesn’t collapse on top of you after installing it.
Anyone who has tried to refurbish an old building will know that walls and ceilings can conceal unexpected things behind their paint, wallpaper and plaster. Simply drilling away usually leads to nasty surprises: stones crumble, large plaster surfaces break off and clay crumbles out of the gaps. Anchors won’t even begin to hold and the wall cupboard or the shelf crash straight back down. Old buildings frequently also have electricity cables that run every which way behind the wall. The area therefore needs to be examined with a cable locator first. Metal gas and water pipes can also be located using a multifunctional device. In order to ensure that the anchor will remain in place, the next step should be to determine the substance and type of construction material. A 6-millimetre masonry drill is suitable for carrying out a test drill. The colour of the drill dust and the resistance will reveal a lot about the wall’s consistency.
Identiy building material
An even drill progress means you are dealing with solid building material. The drill will move consistently quickly through porous concrete and gypsum plasterboard and will move more slowly if the drill encounters solid bricks or concrete, for example. If the drill progression is very sudden then you are dealing with hollow bricks. The colour of the drill dust is a further indication of the building material: the drill dust of bricks is red or yellow, sand-lime brick and plasterboard is white while concrete and pumice is grey.
Not sure about the buidling material? Carry out a test drill.
Depending on its year of construction, do-it-yourselfers will find various brickwork in old buildings. Burnt clay bricks and clinker bricks are commonly found, as they have been used since ancient times and were particularly popular from the Middle Ages until the middle of the 20th century. You are just as likely to find materials such as gypsum plasterboard or porous concrete if the building has already been modernised, however.
What to do in porous building materials
Regardless of its type, the construction material will often be porous and in poor condition with softened grout due to the material’s age. Plastic and steel anchors therefore won’t guarantee a secure hold even if the wall has been carefully examined. Using an injection mortar is a particularly safe option. The chemical anchor circumvents the problems presented by unknown and aged construction materials. Carrying out a test drill is highly recommended however, as this will demonstrate whether any hollow building materials are present. In this case, the injection mortar will only work reliably if it is applied using a perforated sleeve. This will ensure that the injection mortar is distributed around the anchor without leaking into the hollow brick.
The solution is injection mortar
When it comes to solid building materials the injection mortar can simply be filled into the cleaned borehole. Next, insert the anchor stud and wait until the injection mortar has hardened in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. fischer’s FIS V is a safe choice, for example – it is the world’s first injection system with permissions for all relevant construction materials. There is also a large selection of suitable accessories such as perforated sleeves and anchor studs.
Using the wall space
It is worth using the wall space that spans up to the height of the ceiling, especially in old buildings. Inhabitants can skilfully display large works of art, arrange an entire library using bookshelves or easily replace a “worn” kitchen with a more modern variant including all its wall cupboards. Injection mortar can help the building’s occupants use all the space up to the top connecting wall without fear of anything crashing down.