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Wilma Caldwell
Architectural technologist
Asked a question 2 years ago

How to Repair Damaged Beams and Walls in Load Bearing Construction?

How to repair the damaged beams and walls in load-bearing construction as shown in the images below. As seen in the picture, the structure has been broken to make way for drain pipes. [caption id="attachment_39215" align="aligncenter" width="338"] Damaged Beams and Walls in Masonry Construction[/caption] [caption id="attachment_39216" align="aligncenter" width="338"] Damaged Beams and Walls in Masonry Construction[/caption]

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Henry Newman
Water resource engineer

The same principle works for load-bearing walls but on a larger scale. When you or a contractor remove a load-bearing wall, it must be replaced with either: Beam only: A horizontal structural beam of sufficient size. Other than the two ends, the beam has no vertical bearing points.

Kent Welch
Planning and development surveyor

The first thing to is -

1-Avoid these type of work/steps like breaking and cutting of structural members.

2-Choose an alternative option or diversion.

3-if necessary to cut or break structural member than avoid cutting of reinforcement .

4-use needful precautions & methode.

Methodes for repairs

#divert this pipe by using 45 degree bend or sue bend and fill brick wall with brickbat and rich mortar and grout beam with finer aggregate concrete(using 6 to mm aggregate)

#if above option is not possible than do plywood centring on wall face coveing pipe and cutout with support and grout as above, and plaster it using mesh on cutout and pipe surface.

First of all, I want to say something about this structure and please take note of that seriously:

  1. Cutting some wall structure like groove that is fine in frame structure but in a load-bearing structure that is very dangerous. 
  2. Avoid cutting beams for pipework and that is not possible and If you want to cut some portion of the beam only then please do not cut reinforcement at least. 
  3. you can find another way to install pipe like take it outside to the wall.
Seth Morgan
Construction Superintendent

there is wrong construction practice in the given photo

Never cut your structural members like beam and column.

put your pipe outside of the wall and do plaster around the pipe as shown in picture

Put outside all of the plumbing work, which cut the structural member like beam-column.

for given situation i have one solution that is shown in figure

we need to construct two column to transfer that beam load to the foundation.

This is the solution that we can apply.

Thank you.

To resolve the problem as stated, I would advise the following steps as one solution. I am assuming that the drain pipe stays where it is. The beam damaged appears to be a tie beam or a lintel beam.

Restore the cut reinforcement at the pipe location by lapping after exposing the existing rabar. Push the the pipe into the wall so that pipe face is embedded atleast 50mm from the beam face. Remove the loose concrete and apply ending agent to join old and new concrete Provide in situ shuttering with funnel like opening on top to put concrete Pour the good high strength workable concrete and compact it properly. Let concrete cure ( wet cure) properly and de shutter .

I would rather avoid such repair work by designing the proper location for the pipe. Drainage pipes are normally routed in a service shaft and not embedded, as is done in the present case.

Daniel Kelley
Junior Civil Engineer

In the load-bearing structure, we can not punch holes to connect two rooms. We will damage the structure if we do so because the weight of the walls actually helps to hold the building together and stabilize it against the external forces such as wind and earthquake, etc.. We follow the following basic principle to improve the ability of the structure:


The main purpose of this is to restore the shape of the building so that services start working. It does not improve the structural strength of the building but is important to meet the requirement for another unbalanced forces. It consists of-

  • Patching up of defects such as cracks.
  •  Repairing doors, windows, glass panels etc 
  • Repairing of gas pipes etc 
  • Re- plastering of walls, rearrangement of roof tiles etc.


The main purpose of it is to carry out structural repair work for load-bearing elements(beam, columns, etc.). I involves the cutting portions of the elements and rebuilding them or adding more material so that the building's original strength is restored. Some of the methods to do so are-

  • The removal of portions of cracked masonry walls and piers and rebuilding them with rich mortars(like non-shrinking mortars). 
  • Use of reinforced mesh on both side of the walls to hold it through spikes and bolts.
  •  Injection of epoxy materials(strong tension) into the cracks of walls, columns or beams etc.

Strengthening of the Structure:

It is the improvement over the original strength, which was before the damage of the structure. It consists of-

  • Increasing the lateral strength by reinforcement or by increasing the wall areas or no. of walls and columns. 
  • Proving proper connections between the resisting elements(like between roofs or walls and roof, or wall and floor, etc.). 
  • Removing the portions which are the actual source of weakness of the structure(like structures possible of brittle failure, large opening in walls, etc.)
Raul Jimenez
Senior Project Manager


For repairing of Structures like a load-bearing wall, please refer American Concrete Institute (ACI) - 562, 562-16. It is a code used for the assessment and repairs and the rehabilitation of existing concrete structures. It is specially developed to work for the international existing building code (IEBC) and the adoption of standard code alone. This code provides a minimum requirement for the repairs and assessment of the concrete structures, members and also sustains where it is applicable and also for non-building structures.