How Do Brick Walls Gain Stability?

How Do Brick Walls Gain Stability? image by kevinrosseel/morguefile, xandert/morguefile, moneysaver67/morguefile

Measurements & Level

Before laying the first brick down, it is important to get the right measurement. The right measurement will lead to a more stable establishment because it ensures that the bricklayer will use the correct amount of bricks and mortar for the project. It is also important to use proper measurement in order to maintain the correct angle of the corners and frame locations that eventually will result in an even or balanced spacing to stabilize the brick walls. A construction worker would also need to perform a load-bearing calculation of the project. Some architects and building engineers do this by using a specific formula to calculate the amount of weight a building can carry. This calculation includes the weight of the bricks, mortars, internal wall materials, flooring and roofing materials. As the process of bricklaying proceeds, it is important to continue measuring to make sure sides that need to be equal in measurement will end up even. It is also important that all through the process to check on the level by using straight edges, levels, fixed right-angles and plumb-bobs to ensure stability.

Reinforcement Materials

Aside from preparing the necessary tools to lay down the bricks beforehand, it is also necessary to prepare materials to use for reinforcement. Prepare line-bands to use later on to join the corners. To anchor the bricks or corners in place, you can use course irons. Use a moisture-proof barrier to help in preventing moisture from entering the brick walls. Overtime, moisture or water-seepage can ruin or damage a wall, which can also lead to a more serious problem that may result in the collapse of the brick walls. There are available chemical barriers that you can add to the base work. You can also use heavy-gauge embossed PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or aluminum sheets that you can buy in rolls. It is also important to prepare the frames that you would need for doors and windows. Prepare the timber braces and pegs to hold the frames in place until you finish the project. Use galvanized steel masonry ties to tie the brick walls and timber posts or frames together to reinforce the structure.

Bricklaying Techniques

To support the thickness of the walls above, the base sections should be cross-bonded and brought up. Check the level of the base carefully before laying down the next courses of bricks. Then, lay each course of bricks using horizontal and vertical setting techniques. In laying bricks horizontally, make sure to produce overlaps. Do this by representing the length of brickwork panels with a number of full bricks plus half or a third of a brick. Doing so will provide an alternating groundwork to make the wall more stable. Cut the brick lengthwise when doing the vertical plane. Do this when laying bricks to do each floor level, window and door height. Use the correct mortar consistency by making sure that the mortar used is thick and sticky enough to hold the bricks into place. Check the quality of your work each time. Make sure to monitor the accuracy of each horizontal and vertical plane at all times to ensure that everything is balanced and stable.

Maintenance

Always maintain your brick walls. Make sure to repair cracks and crumbling mortars. You can replace old mortars with new ones to keep the bricks from falling off. Apply sealant on bricks and mortars to prevent moisture or water seepage. Remove creeping plants that can damage the bricks. Some trailing plants may cause the bricks to cracks. If there are signs of major damages such as, crumbling and major cracks, replace them as quickly as possible. For major structural damages, you may need to add steel bracing and additional foundation reinforcement to keep the walls from crumbling down while you do the repairs.

About this Author

Josienita Borlongan is a full-time IT Manager and a writer. Borlongan writes for eHow, Garden Guides, Business.com, OnTarget.com and ModernMom.com. She is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a Cisco Certified Network Associate. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Saint Louis University, Philippines.

Photo by: kevinrosseel/morguefile, xandert/morguefile, moneysaver67/morguefile

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How Do Brick Walls Gain Stability?