“Masonry” is the word used for any type of construction with mortar as a binding material to individual units of bricks, stones, structural clay tile, and marble.
Masonry work also encompasses several processes that go hand in hand with it, such as the erection of scaffolding and trestles, and includes:
- Cement repairs / coatings
- Chimney building/repairs
- Poured concrete stairs and walkways
- Erecting stone / brick / retaining walls
- Laying bricks/blocks / stone with mortar
- Pouring of columns / support pads / concrete foundations
- Concrete or stone driveways and much more…
Masonry wall building is probably the most common form of masonry work. Masonry walls are the most durable part of any building and they provide strength to the structure. But before you can start looking for a masonry contractor, it’s important to understand the different types of masonry walls you may be dealing with.
Different Types of Masonry Walls
Based on the type of individual units and their functions, the different types of masonry walls your property will consist of include: load-bearing, reinforced, hollow, and composite masonry walls. More importantly, the mortar used to construct these walls is not the same cement mix used for patios, sidewalks, and driveways. The mortar mix used in masonry contains lime, sand, and gypsum.
However, as with any building project, a lot comes down to the quality of not only the materials used but also the workmanship. Always look for a certified mason and licensed builder who is fully bonded and insured.
Load-bearing masonry walls
Load-bearing masonry walls are constructed with bricks, stones, or concrete blocks. They directly transfer loads from the roof to the foundation and can be both interior and exterior. By contrast, a non-load-bearing wall is only responsible only for holding up itself and is often used as a partition only.
Reinforced masonry walls
Reinforced masonry walls can be load-bearing walls or non-load-bearing walls. The use of reinforcement walls in masonry helps it to withstand tension forces and heavy compressive loads. Unreinforced masonry walls are prone to cracks and failure under heavy compressive loads, differential settlement of foundations, or even earthquakes. However, reinforced walls can withstand these while also having the ability to stand up to the daily pounding of lateral forces during heavy rain and wind.
Hollow masonry walls
Hollow masonry walls, or cavity masonry walls, are used to prevent moisture from reaching the interior of the building by providing a hollow space between the outside and inside the face of the wall. These walls also help in temperature control as the hollow space restricts heat and cold from passing through the wall when the wall is exposed to moisture for a sustained period. These hollow spaces may be coated with water repellent coating or damp proofing to further reduce the ingress of moisture.
Composite masonry walls
These walls are constructed with two or more units such as stones or bricks, and hollow bricks and offer a versatile solution for a variety of construction situations. However, this type of masonry wall construction is generally done to offer a better appearance as well as reduced overall costs.
In composite masonry partitions, two wythes of masonry models are built bonding with every other. At the same time, one wythe can also be brick or stone masonry whilst the other can also be hollow bricks. A wythe is a continuous vertical part of masonry one unit in thickness.