Choosing the Best Anchor for the Job: Pins and Ties
Examining different types of anchors and the types of applications for which they work best.
We use anchoring and reinforcement on every project, whether in restoration or new construction. The types of anchors generally are based on the veneer we are anchoring, the weight of the veneer, the condition of the substrate and installation challenges.
The drive pin, also called the lead anchor, zinc anchor, hammer pin, Nailon anchor or Zamac Nailin anchor, is used for light-duty applications. However, it should not be a consideration for overhead attachments under any circumstances. This anchor is tamperproof once installed, and it can be used for light-duty static anchoring for strapping, securing and anchor fastening.
The drive pin is used for attaching termination bars for masonry flashing installations. This anchor is not recommended for anchoring sealed termination bars as the hammering of the drive pin creates uneven pressure. This can bow the term bar and create gaps where water can penetrate behind the flashing and contribute to leaks or water damage.
Corrugated wall ties – used as their first anchoring system – can be bent into place by hand, nailed into place easily without much thought, and have held millions of square feet of veneers across the country. In the current building environment, the 22-gauge corrugated tie is only legally used for wood frame commercial and residential brick veneer that has a maximum cavity space of 1 inch. You can complete several stories of a building with the anchors, but only on a stick-built building.
Lighter gauge corrugated ties are available from commercial suppliers, but these ties should not be considered for any exterior veneers. These are said to be marketed for interior commercial brick veneers. The corrugated ties are so flimsy and incapable of handling the exterior lateral loading of a brick veneer, this anchor should probably be avoided completely.
Thermal break anchors are important to veneer work across the country. They have a simple concept, but are complicated to design. The idea is to interrupt the transmission of cold or heat across the metal tie to the substrate of the building. Two popular double-pintle, single-post ties are available, but with completely different methods for installation.
One tie is a single-post screw that supports the double-pintle as a single anchor. The tie is installed using a 5/16-inch nut driver. This tie was first introduced to a crew with whom I worked in early-2014 in Las Vegas. The anchor, for the most part, went in well.
The second type of double-pintle, single-post anchor is an updated version of the commonly used and familiar Posi-Tie. The Posi-Tie is installed using the setting bit, and a plastic double-pintle insulating cap is snapped or clicked into place. This Posi-Tie anchor is easier and more adaptable for other uses, such as scaffolding ties and other project utility anchoring, due to the loop that is available as the base part of the anchor.
Spiral ties have been around for a while and are an option if you have a lot of veneer to anchor either temporally or permanently. The anchor is a good choice for restoration and demolition contractors. It can be installed to support an existing veneer prior to removal of veneer below the anchors, when repairing either shelf angles or loose lintels.
The anchors placed above a repair can remain in place after the work is complete as they can be nearly invisible in the final work. A setting tool that increases the production of the installer has a pilot bit with a removable cover that actually hammer drives the anchor into place. This tool allows the installer to use a single hammer drill without changing bits during the installation. The spiral tie has different configurations. The most common includes a center core surrounded by spiral flanges.
Dowel pins are used in masonry when setting coping stones, cast stone and small precast units, and when applying stone patches, among other uses. Several considerations are important: The dowel pin should be at least 304 stainless steel. A threaded rod offers increased surface area for setting resins and epoxies. This assists in the chemical bonding of the dowel pin to the substrate.
When patching mortars are used, the dowel pin should be bent to at least 45 degrees to assist in securing the patch, and patches should cover the dowel pin by a minimum of ¼ inch. Epoxies that allow for setting the pins should be matched to the substrate material for bonding. Epoxy odor should be evaluated if working in an occupied building, and ambient working temperatures should be considered when calculating setting times.
Not much time is spent thinking about anchors and reinforcing items, but they are on every project. Getting them right is extremely important. When it is up to you to choose, plan your submittals wisely.