Iron bars on house walls...

Huaqero

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Does anyone know what these iron bars do?
This one is in the Netherlands, I had noticed them (streetview) for the first time in Utrecht's canals, but then also in France, England, Romania, Russia...
My first thought is that they help with the building's stability, like binding nails, but is it so? This is a stone building, they wouldn't help much.
The ones on brick buildings are often found on parts of the wall where they do not look like anything other than cosmetic.
Anyone?

screenshot-www.google.com-2021.01.11-19-56-53.jpg
 

Kamikaze

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If you read the following article, and then look at your picture, then you might consider that the house on the right was fitted with a roof in later years - and the extra weight buckled the walls, or the builder was aware of the potential problem with other older houses in the area and put the anchor plates on before adding the roof. It all fits, and each one of the bars in your picture has a central section that looks like it is holding a bolt, but someone has decided to make a feature of the whole thing. The Y piece almost looks like it was designed to look like small drainage pipework, but it's size is comparative to the larger wall section. All the bolts tie in with where the joists would be sitting.


"Whilst carrying out day-to-day inspections we come across a number of interesting things that people not involved in the building trade may be unaware of.
A common site to our surveyors is wall tie bars or lateral restraint bars.

What are they?
Not to be confused with wall ties used to connect the two leaves of a cavity wall together, structural wall tie bars, are used to fix together two opposite external walls in a house that have begun to bow or lean away from each other.
This is achieved by inserting a long metal bar or bars from one side of the house to the other, through the floor joists to connect both walls back together.
This transfers some of the load on the wall to the floor joists to stabilize the wall movement.

By fixing a number of these bars throughout the length of the wall, the installed ties reduce the chance of any future to the wall.

Why would walls begin to move in the first place?
As with many structural problems in property, older properties or houses tend to reveal a larger amount of defects mainly because they weren’t constructed to the improved standards that properties are today.
The main culprit for bowed walls are that when originally constructed, the walls were poorly fixed to either the roof or the floors within the building. This means that there was no lateral support to the walls, leading them to pull away from one and other.
The walls therefore cannot support as much weight as well constructed properties; so when homeowners embark on a loft conversion, or renew their old slate roof with new heavier concrete tiles, the walls buckle and bow under the newly added weight!

The buckling and bulging of the wall will most likely happen slowly over time as the weight redistributes itself within the property and will likely go unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life".


They are also called anchor plates in England, and this is one of the rare moments where wikipedia actually gives a very good answer

s shape -ornate.jpg
s-shaped-reinforcing-rod-end-supporting-a-deteriorating-old-red-brick-e9x8jn.jpg
steel-reinforcing-bar-and-expanding-foam-insulation-on-old-brick-wall-c261tp.jpg
s-shaped-patress-plate-on-a-brick-wall-in-a-house-in-frampton-on-severn-btfgkd.jpg

anchor plate - s shape- on church.jpg
s-damaged-wall-support-bars-on-an-old-building-in-england.jpg
anchor plates - simple.jpg
anchor plate - star.jpg


The simple narrow S shape is the one you probably see most in the UK, and often these can be very ornate. The star shape appears to be a recent thing. The large S shapes will be see on bigger buildings, and buildings that need more re-inforcing.
 
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torgo

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I always thought they were like the Hex signs the "Pennsylvania Dutch" Germans had painted on their barns for the purpose of warding off negative spirits and witchcraft. Iron was used for the same purpose and I remember some old graves in Europe surrounded by iron bars, I think to prevent the spirits of the dead from haunting their old homes.

1610409966014.png
 
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Huaqero

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Thank you all for the replies! , and esp. Kamikaze !
So, anchor plates; I did not know what to search for in the first place. I actually wanted to search if these had anything to do with the 'free energy' buildings that are discussed here, even though I am not really a fan of this idea.
Yet, most of them are plate-less, with the thin iron bars looking not that strong enough for the job and often, not in structurally critical points. Anyway, that's a mason's problem...

Let me 'reward' you guys, then, with a few picturesque anchor plates within Utrecht's canals, the ones that were the trenches of its starfort ...

screenshot-www.google.com-2021.01.12-14-42-49.jpg


screenshot-www.google.com-2021.01.12-15-03-03.jpg


screenshot-www.google.com-2021.01.12-15-16-16.jpg




 
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