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Supervising Stone and Brick Work
What is Masonry Work?
Supervising Stone and Brick Work: Masonry work refers to the building of structures using small blocks which include bricks, stones, concrete bricks etc. This construction method requires considerable physical and mental requirements. Increasing the tasks requirements causes higher likelihood for errors, reworking, safety concerns and productivity issues. Thus, well understanding of building requirements is essential to ensure durable masonry work.
Even when sourced from the same quarry, we still find that natural stones may exhibit significant variation in its qualities. Similarly, bricks are a manufactured product that is prone to unexpected variations throughout the production process.
Mortar, too, is a critical component of masonry building, and its strength and longevity may vary considerably due to numerous factors. As a result, the material selection procedure and building method for masonry work become critical to assuring the structure’s endurance and durability.
The following article discusses the procedures that field supervisors should follow while supervising stone/brick construction work. Additionally, the benefits and drawbacks of both types of construction have been explored.
1. Stone Walls
Construction of stone masonry is accomplished with the use of stones and mortar to fill the gaps. However, stone masonry is not particularly popular at the moment due to its high cost of transportation, the higher expenses related to dressing work, and the need for professional personnel. Additionally, stone walls take up more area than brick walls, which decreases the clear areas of rooms.
Checklist for Constructing Stone Walls
The below checklist should be followed when supervising stone work:
- Use resilient and durable stones that are free of faults like as fractures, voids, veins, and so on.
- Dressing the stones should be done in accordance with the specifications.
- Stones should be well hydrated prior to usage to avoid water absorption by the stones.
- The orientation in which stones are laid should correspond to their natural bed.
- Both the facing and backing faces should be precisely placed. Additionally, both the facing and backing sides must conform to the requirements of the wooden template.
- To fill the heart of brickwork, stone pieces and mortar should be employed.
- The use of thick mortar joints is to be avoided.
- Plumb-bob should be used periodically to verify the wall’s verticality.
- Mortars with an appropriate proportion of sand and cement should be utilized.
- The most critical point is to avoid continuous vertical joints.
- Within 1.5 meters of vertical distance, through-stones should be utilized.
- Masonry should not be unequal in height. As a result, appropriate planning should be carried out prior to laying the brickwork to avoid extra work and waste.
- Under the beams and trusses, large flat stones should be utilized.
- Prior to commencing work, the previous day’s stonework should be clean and free of loose particles.
- Curing should be carried out continually for at least 2-3 weeks to ensure the strength of the mortar holding the stones together.
2. Brick Walls
Brick walls are made out of bricks and a variety of mortars. Mortar acts as the binding agent. Lime and cement mortars are often used to create permanent structures, whereas mud mortar is typically used to construct temporary structures.
Checklist for Constructing Brick Walls
The below checklist should be followed when supervising brick work:
- Utilize high-quality bricks that are consistent in color, well-burned, and of particular sizes and forms.
- The mortar’s water should not be absorbed by the bricks. As a result, bricks should be immersed in water for at least 2 hrs prior to being used in masonry construction.
- When putting bricks in masonry construction, the frog should always point upward.
- The building of a brick wall shall commence at the structure’s end or corner.
- Plumb-bob is used periodically to verify the wall’s verticality.
- The mortar used must adhere to the standards.
- Brick masonry should have a toothed finish at the conclusion of the construction.
- Brickbats should not be overused.
- Brick masonry walls should be elevated uniformly. No wall shall be raised more than 1.5 meters in a single day.
- When the mortar is green, the face joints should be elevated to a depth of 12 to 20 mm to allow for proper pointing or plastering. If there is no need for plastering or pointing, face joints should be struck flush and completed properly.
- Window and door fasteners should be inserted in the brick masonry using cement mortar or concrete during the wall building process.
- Curing should last at least two weeks in the case of brick masonry construction.
- Single scaffolding should be utilized while doing masonry at a larger height.
Pros and Cons of Bricks Walls
- Because the sizes and forms of the bricks are uniform, building does not need expert personnel for construction.
- Due to the modest weight of bricks, dealing with them is very simple.
- The widespread availability of bricks, along with their small weight, considerably reduces transportation costs. Whereas stones are heavy and must be transported from quarries, which are often located in remote areas, making their transportation quite costly and not a viable option all the time.
- All types of mortar may be used in brick masonry.
- Bricks may be used to construct thinner walls. This is not feasible, however, with stones.
- It is simple to create window and door openings in brick masonry construction. As a result, the building procedure becomes straightforward.
- Brick masonry has a much lower dead load than stone masonry.
- Brick masonry uses thin mortar joints, which reduces the total building costs.
- Brick masonry is more resistant to fire and weathering conditions than stone masonry.
- Brick walls are less robust than stone walls.
- Brick masonry construction is less durable.
- Brick masonry construction need plastering, whereas plastered surfaces necessitate color washing. In comparison, stone masonry does not need plastering or painting. As a result, brick masonry maintenance costs are higher.
- Because brick masonry absorbs water, moisture intrusion into the building is a possibility. Such a problem does not exist in stone masonry.
- In general, architects have greater creative control with stone masonry than with brick masonry.
- Monumental structures are made entirely of stone masonry for their aesthetic look.