Corrugated ties are commonly used in residential construction and are recommended by The Brick Industry Association (BIA) in Technical Note 28. However, BIA Technical Note 28B does not recommend corrugated ties in brick veneer over steel stud backup, which is typically applied in commercial construction.

What is the reason for these two different recommendations from BIA?

Corrugated ties have a lower capacity than the adjustable ties recommended for use in brick veneer systems over steel stud backup walls. BIA Technical Note 44B states: “Corrugated ties are typically used in low-rise, residential veneer over wood frame construction and are not recommended for construction incorporating brick veneer over steel studs, masonry-backed cavity walls, multi-wythe walls, or grouted masonry walls. Brick veneer over wood frame systems typically are used in one- and two-story residential structures.”

BIA recommendations are based on successful past performances of these systems. It should be noted that in most cases residential buildings are constructed with overhanging roofs and are generally positioned in close proximity to similar structures. Consequently, these homes have a lower exposure to high winds and heavy rains.

Commercial buildings usually have a greater exposure to wind loads than residential structures, are typically taller, and are positioned a considerable distance from adjacent structures.

When corrugated ties are used in residential construction, however, it is important that the tie be bent closely around the screw. If there is a significant vertical offset between the horizontal portion of the tie and the nail attaching the tie to the wood stud, the resulting eccentricity creates bending in the tie. Bending induced in the tie as a result of this eccentricity greatly reduces its capacity.

BIA Technical Note 28 states: “The nail attaching a corrugated tie must be located within 5/8 in. (16 mm) of the bend in the tie. The best location of the nail is at the bend in the corrugated tie, and the bend should be 90o.”

In many cases, residential ties are 26 or 28 gauge. BIA Technical Note 28 states: “Corrugated steel ties, at least 22 gauge, 7/8-inch. (22-mm) wide, and 6-inches (150-mm) long, as shown in Fig. 3(d), have historically been used to attach brick veneer to wood frame backing. However, corrugated metal ties are more susceptible to corrosion than wire ties. Adjustable ties provide better load transfer and permit differential movement in taller structures.”

I do not recommend the use of light gauge corrugated ties, even in residential construction. However, as a minimum, the BIA recommendations should be followed. Commercial type ties should be strongly considered in residential structures with large wall areas that are situated adjacent to open areas.