Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, building stone such as marble, granite, travertine, and limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and cob. Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern in which the units are assembled can significantly affect the durability of the overall masonry construction.
Masonry is commonly used for walls and buildings. Brick and concrete block are the most common types of masonry in use in industrialized nations and may be either weight-bearing or a veneer. Concrete blocks, especially those with hollow cores, offer various possibilities in masonry construction. They generally provide great compressive strength, and are best suited to structures with light transverse loading when the cores remain unfilled. Filling some or all of the cores with concrete or concrete with steel reinforcement (typically rebar) offers much greater tensile and lateral strength to structures.
Benefits of Building with Masonry
- Fire Protection - The fire protection benefits of concrete masonry are recognised by the Fire Service and the insurance industry. The extra ability to resist fire comes from the type of aggregate used, and the equivalent solid thickness of the masonry units.
- Structural Durability - Masonry construction provides solidity, permanence and a real sense of substance. Following the Canterbury Earthquakes, there were no reported failures of correctly reinforced and constructed masonry homes. Reinforced concrete masonry should not be confused with the unreinforced masonry that was commonly used pre-1950s.
- Sound Control - Concrete masonry is an ideal sound barrier, providing reduced sound transmission relative to the size of the wall.
- Energy Efficiency - One of the most valuable advantages of concrete masonry is the cost savings derived from its capacity to store energy and to delay the passage of heat. This unique feature, known as the 'thermal mass effect', allows masonry buildings to be designed with less additional insulation. Hence, material costs and energy consumption can be reduced, and the comfort of living space is improved.
- Cost Effectiveness - The use of reinforced masonry can result in substantial savings for buildings of up to ten stories. For the construction of structural walls and buildings, the need for formwork and associated labour is eliminated. The savings result from the speed and simplicity of using concrete masonry as a structural frame (load bearing and shear walls with horizontal diaphragms), as well as exterior skin and space divider. Masonry is also a very low maintenance and durable building material which will provide additional savings in the long run.
Quality Block Basement & Foundation Repair pride themselves on their masonry craftsmanship.