The QBCC has recently investigated a number of complaints and issues about the inappropriate use of gun nails used to secure framing anchors and the like.
Over a number of years our industry appears to have gravitated away from hand-driving the special purpose connector nails supplied by bracket manufacturers, and tradesmen are instead securing these brackets using power-driven fasteners, such as gun nailing.
QBCC audits of work under construction has revealed a high-level of non-compliant fixings with inadequate tie-down capacity where tradesmen have used gun nails to secure framing anchors, straps and the like.
Issues such as inadequately-sized nails, inadequate edge distances and close groupings of nail fixings leave tradespeople with little chance of providing compliant connections.
The incorrect use of gun nails is also of significant concern to truss fabricators and manufacturers of tie-down connectors, who expend significant funds designing and testing their products to ensure they perform as expected in high-wind events.
Product manufacturers in Australia have a very good record of standing behind their products and assisting building contractors who use and install their products to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The QBCC cannot understate the need for building contractors to ensure that you comply with a manufacturer’s tested system and installation recommendations to avoid the risks of a failure.
There is real concern within the QBCC that the inappropriate use of gun nailing tie-down connectors may lead to catastrophic failures of roof structures in high-wind events if this practice continues.
In consultation with manufacturers, Timber Queensland and other stakeholders, the QBCC has determined that if it observes building contractors continuing to use gun nails to secure tie-down connections, that the QBCC will deem the work defective and require immediate remedial works to be undertaken to remedy the situation.
The QBCC trusts that by releasing this information that building contractors have been forewarned about this problem and the position of the QBCC. The QBCC also trusts that if necessary, contractors will adjust their practises on-site to avoid any issues arising in relation to these concerns.
The QBCC is also informing private certifiers and engineers of our position and the need for their vigilance when conducting frame inspections and the need to ensure correct fixing of these critical tie-down connectors.
(Excessively close grouping of gun nails)
(Gun nail fixing between ribbon plate and top plate)
(Gun nail installed with inadequate edge cover, resulting in splitting of top plate)