How to attach ledger board to brick building

tryitmyselfAugust 30, 2006

A friend has an existing two story porch attached to a brick building. The porch is old but the wood is still solid. The ledger board beneath the 2nd story floor is separating from the building, increasing in distance to about 1 1/2 in at maximum. The old style construction did not have the ledger boards attached directly to the building. The ledger board was connected to a beam coming out of a beam pocket.

I was thinking that I could drill holes into the ledger board at about 2 foot increments. I would then use a hammer drill and masonry bit to drill into the brick. I would install some lag shields and lag screws and use them to slowly draw the ledger board back to the brick surface.

Does this sound like it would work?

I would appreciate comments or other suggestions. Keep it non-technical because I'm just a "weekender".

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Use a wedge-type anchor like a Red-Head. They have a much higher capacity and are more reliable than the lag shields. You can get them at HD - just make sure to follow the directions and drill the proper hole size.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 8:03AM
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Isn't brick kinda brittle? Won't it just crumble?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 8:31PM
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Im with you Srercrcr, thats a no win job,time for a tear out all the redheads twisting around the street cross the corner wont help that deal. J

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 9:28PM
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'Brick buildings' cone in two major types.
A single layer of brick veneer that does not bear weight and acts as siding to keep the weather out.
The other type is a masonry bulding. It will have walls at least 2 bricks thick that hold up the house. Joists are let into pockets in the wall and there may be no studs on the outside walls.
Brick veneer is not rated to hold up anything but itself.
Masonry requires deep anchors (think 6 inches deep).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 1:17PM
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The old brick buildings around here were often built like fortresses, with below ground walls built of big rocks and then walls that were two or three bricks thick.

So the red hed anchors need to be installed to a depth of 6 inches?

Could the anchors be used in conjunction with a super strength epoxy to decrease the chance of pull-out?

Thanks for all your help.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 9:21AM
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You have masonry construction.
The anchors will do fine all by themselves.

By placing the anchor end well back inside the wall you avoid spalling off the surface and weakening the anchor.
You still need to be aaware of how hard the bricks are. It varies all over the place. Soft bricks will not hold well and can split from expansion anchors.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 12:47PM
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Thanks for all the tips. Is there some way I can tell the relative hardness of the brick? Is this some way to test, or is it just "hit or miss"?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 8:45PM
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If you can drill holes without a hammer drill (or with the hammer turned off) the bricks are pretty soft.
Hard bricks need the hammer drill to get very far.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 9:00AM
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Again, thanks for the tips. So now I have two avenues to try...
1) I use a regular drill and a masonry bit but can't penetrate the brick to any depth. I then switch and use a hammer drill with masonry bit, drill the hole, insert the red heads and tighten the ledger board. Done!

2) If I use a masonry bit with a regular drill and I can penetrate the bricks then the bricks are too soft for the red heads. Is that correct? Can I do anything in this situation?

Thanks again for all your help.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 10:01PM
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If the bricks are soft the only solution is to drill through the wall and use metal to spread the load on the far side with threaded rod (or bolts long enough).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 6:40PM
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