Masonry refers to any building construction made from concrete and other elements. Most commonly, masonry is the construction of buildings from individually constructed units, that are usually bound together with mortar; however, the word masonry also can refer to the individual sections of the buildings themselves. Masonry is used in a wide variety of buildings and structures. Masonry may be utilized for the construction of homes, public structures, parks, museums, government buildings, industrial buildings, private homes, and much more. Masonry may also be used for the repair and maintenance of these buildings.
Before the invention of cement and the use of steel-based aggregates, masonry was the only construction material commonly used for structures. Masonry is composed of materials such as sand, gravel, and rock, with each component held in place by natural or man-made compressive forces. Masonry may consist of walls, floors, and foundations. The most common materials used in the construction of masonry structures are rock, brick, stone, concrete, glass, steel, and concrete, with gypsum as the only mortar used in commercial masonry projects.
One of the most important things to know about masonry is that it consists of compressive loads that must be balanced against thermal conductivity, permeability, and structural stability. In general, masonry structures are more susceptible to structural failure at thermal mass than conventional structures, due to thermal conductivity and the presence of compressive stresses. Thermal mass is a measure of how much a material’s weight is in reference to its weight in solid form, whereas permeability measures how easily air and water can pass through a material. Compressive stresses, on the other hand, are applied to any piece of masonry that requires support, such as columns and floor systems.
In terms of design, masonry construction relies heavily on patterning and lightweight construction methods, with the use of larger cladding or bricks on small frames being the most common. Masonry is typically laid out with some form of raised paneling or some other form of an internal frame built up over a base material such as concrete or stone. This structure serves as the foundation upon which the building is constructed. The interior of the masonry units is typically made up of plaster, while the exterior is usually made up of natural stones such as concrete blocks, sandstone, or flagstone. Masonry buildings may also include skirting systems to protect from weather conditions.
One of the most important considerations for all masonry construction projects is the use of reinforced masonry material. Rebar is a special type of plastic mortar designed to strengthen the wall. When applied to a masonry wall, reinforced masonry material is comprised of two or more plastic sheets tied together with high-tension wire. This method of construction helps make the wall stronger and more resistant to external pressures.
There are several reasons why a masonry restoration project may be necessary. One of the main reasons is due to vandalism. Over time, moisture and other factors can cause stone blocks to deteriorate. Over time, these deteriorate and become loose, therefore leaving gaps in the wall. This leaves gaps in the floor, which can cause foot traffic to damage the surface, causing it to become unstable. If the masonry repair is not made soon enough, the damage could ultimately become irreversible.
Another reason for masonry walls needing some type of repair is the inability of the wall to support itself. For example, if the wall is built with concrete blocks, the blocks will slowly start to break away from the wall because they have no tension strength built into them. Even if the bricks have adequate tension strength, they are still not strong enough to hold the weight needed to hold them in place, because bricks have a low tensile strength factor. Without some type of repair, this failure can quickly lead to catastrophic damage.
To prevent such catastrophic failure, masonry walls need to be properly maintained. If there are cracks or openings, then concrete lintels or steel lintels should be installed within those areas. The problem with lintels is that they are very easy to break through because they have poor tensile strength. However, if the steel lintels have been properly installed and reinforced, then there is a much higher chance that they will hold their ground against force, preventing the bricks from falling. The problem with cracks, on the other hand, is that they can spread quickly throughout the wall and this can cause additional damage to your walls.