Masonry construction is one of the oldest methods of creating built structures. However, the brick wall has changed considerably since the first fired clay bricks were laid nearly 8,000 years ago. To address problems and considerations with modern brick masonry, it’s important to understand the components of the wall assembly, how they behave, and what can go wrong.
Based on the information presented in this article, readers should be able to:
- Identify the basic components of a brick veneer cavity wall and explain their function as part of the larger assembly, in order to investigate the principles guiding the structural, weather protection, and aesthetic design of the wall system.
- Develop an appropriate inspection and maintenance program for brick masonry facades, including cleaning, repointing, sealant replacement, repair, and remediation of structural and waterproofing distress, so as to promote the longevity and integrity of the assembly
- Describe applicable codes and standards governing the design and construction of brick veneer cavity walls, to evaluate the conformance of existing masonry facades with consensus industry guidelines and established requirements.
- Recognize the observable symptoms of common types of masonry distress and accurately attribute the outward signs of trouble to the underlying problem, so that remedial work resolves the root cause of distress or failure.