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Historic Wall Construction Masonry Walls

The development of the brick veneer process in the early 1900s allowed the look of brick masonry without the increased cost. The size, shape and color of the mortar joints in between the bricks also give masonry walls a unique appearance. Using the wrong products or repair methods on masonry walls can cause severe damage. Mortar is the “glue” that holds the individual bricks together to form a wall. Repointing restores the physical integrity of the wall, and the visual appeal of the building. Portland cement are the three basic ingredients that make up mortar. Young’s modulus up to 30.2% and 13.2% was recorded, respectively. I needed to be willing to learn about traditional masonry construction tools, methods and materials. I needed to find other masons that understood these aspects of my new desire. This building technology began being phased out over 70 years ago with the advent of the brick veneer cavity wall system.

Masonry Walls

The condition of the exterior masonry walls should be inspected closely to see if they are sound or if there are defects that may be a result of deferred maintenance.

The introduction of modern kitchen and bathroom appliances, which generate larger amounts of interior moisture than the appliances they replace, may actually increase humidity/moisture levels within the masonry wall.

During the winter heating season, the thermal dynamic effect of heat passing from the interior heated spaces causes the temperature of the masonry wall to increase, which induces the drying of moisture within the wall assembly.

By the late 19th century, bricks were formed precisely by machines and molded with holes in the middle to ensure that the bricks were baked uniformly — the same principle used to cook donuts and bagels.

If — from the waterproofing point of view — the best solution is to “skin” the exterior brick face, add a waterproofing membrane in the collar joint, and rebuild with a veneer; then the wall will have to be analyzed since this could change the out-of-plane load capacity.

Consideration must also be given to temporary loading conditions. For example, trying to shore up an old masonry building by tying it to a steel structure is likely to hasten its demise by making it too rigid.

Even though masonry buildings breathe, they can’t withstand a steady onslaught of liquid water or ice.

Category: General Masonry, Brick Walls, Mortar
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