When they say, the earth is surrounded by art, believe them. Art is everywhere, even in construction. Look around you, and you’ll see that almost every structure is made from masonry, making the construction industry questionable without it. However, the strength of masonry wall construction would still depend on the quality of material used.
Aside from its durability, there are a lot of advantages, and unfortunately, disadvantages, too. But this blog will broaden your knowledge about masonry and masonry wall types.
What are Masonry Walls?
Talking about durability is talking about masonry walls. In construction, the word “masonry” refers to the use of mortar to join blocks, stones, marbles, rocks, squares, tiles, and so on. It is the process of combining restricting material with sand results in a mortar. Any construction material can act as a restricting material, such as concrete, lime, soil, etc.
Types of Masonry Walls
Expand your knowledge of masonry walls by reading their different types. Upon reading, you will know what you want for your building or structure. Here are the five types of masonry walls with their functions and advantages:
Load-bearing Masonry Wall
A mason uses bricks, stones, or concrete blocks to build load-bearing masonry walls. Walls that can support a load resting upon them are referred to as load-bearing walls. In layman’s terms, a load-bearing wall is a wall that supports a load on it, which relies on weight construction and foundation structure. Load-bearing walls are those with concrete constructions and a concrete foundation. This type of masonry wall can be both interior and exterior wall.
Further, it is more economical to build with load-bearing walls than with framed structures. You can usually spot this wall type in large buildings, such as housing or tall buildings. Its thickness depends on how much load it has to bear from the roof. It has a significant role in masonry construction since instability might occur in a building’s foundation without this wall. You may choose between reinforced or un-reinforced masonry walls.
On the other hand, there is also a non-load-bearing wall. However, it does not support any weight other than the weight of the cladding or sheathing attached. These types of walls serve no structural purpose and can function as both interior and exterior walls.
Reinforced Masonry Wall
Unreinforced masonry walls tend to have minor cracks and failures because of their incapability to withstand lateral forces during harsh weather conditions. Un-reinforced masonry walls could crack horizontally during an earthquake. And to solve this shortcoming in masonry wall construction, reinforcement in walls is implemented.
You may use any brick, concrete, or other types of masonry material to construct a reinforced masonry wall. These building materials promote increased resistance to deterioration caused by weight-bearing and other forms of stress on other building materials. A typical example of masonry is exterior walls made of concrete blocks or clay bricks. Steel rods are often used with these materials to strengthen the structure, allowing bearing the weight of walls, floors, and windows within a building using a vertical framework.
Further, reinforced masonry wall serves a dual purpose (can either be load-bearing or non-load-bearing walls), then reinforced masonry walls are for you. Reinforcement in walls helps them to provide strength and stability against compression loads and tension forces. A wall may need reinforcement horizontally and vertically, both at gaps and intervals as required. Structural loads and structural conditions determine the size, quantity, and spacing of reinforcement.
Hollow Masonry Wall
Hollow or cavity walls are built using cement blocks and to prevent dampness from entering. Moreover, a cavity wall can also help with climate control since it has hollow spaces between the outside and inside of masonry walls; thus, the heat won’t get through the wall.
Hollow walls can drain down moisture or water through the weep holes. Therefore, this has a high resistance to water penetration. Further, you can apply water repellant coating to these hollow spaces.
Moreover, steel ties, masonry investments, and collective reinforcements are all methods of certifying solid walls.
Composite Masonry Wall
A masonry wall construction that has an improved appearance while being economical. Combining bricks and stones, or bricks and hollow bricks will build a composite masonry wall. This could be everyone’s favorite since it is cost-effective yet aesthetically appealing.
To dig deeper, composite masonry walls consist of two wythes of masonry units that are bonded together. One wall is made of brick or stone, whereas the other is made of hollow bricks. Wythes are continuous vertical sections of masonry with a thickness of one unit. Steel ties or horizontal joint reinforcements are used to connect these wythes.
Post-tensioned Masonry Wall
If you construct a building in an earthquake-prone area, post-tensioned masonry walls would be the best option. They are designed to withstand heavy forces such as earthquakes or wind forces. They are strengthened since post-tensioning rods are embedded into the foundation before these walls are built. Masons place the rods vertically in between wythes or in the core of concrete masonry units.
The post-tensioning process adds axial load to masonry structures, thereby increasing resistance to lateral forces. Observe the bridges, elevated slabs, residential foundations, etc., this type of masonry wall has been applied worldwide for its strength and resistance to forces. One advantage of this method includes more architectural freedom with open spaces in buildings and structures.
Ask an expert
If you don’t know which of the choices above to choose, asking an expert would help. A masonry expert with sufficient knowledge and experience will help you throughout the process. Just make sure to choose a company that offers quality services since this is a big project.