In masonry buildings, openings such as doors and windows are often spanned with steel lintels or shelf angles. If not designed properly, these support elements can start to sag and crack the brick wall underneath. Per code, structures with brick veneer over 30 ft must be supported with a shelf angle at each floor. This detail typically allows insulation to run behind the tip.
Pro Angle Masonry Charleston is used in various building construction applications. It is very important to have a well-trained and knowledgeable inspector who can verify masonry construction meets the project design requirements. The inspection process is often complex and requires detailed knowledge of masonry construction and testing procedures. That is especially true for load-bearing masonry.
Inspection of masonry construction includes a thorough review of the construction documents and onsite building monitoring. The inspector should also be familiar with various construction materials and procedures. Many masonry structures require precast concrete components, and the inspector should also know the requirements for these items.
A qualified individual independent of the contractor usually inspects masonry construction. This person may have a professional engineering license or be a certified masonry inspector. The inspections are designed to ensure the quality of the masonry and that it meets the requirements of the contract documents.
Generally, a level A (IBC Basic) inspection requires verification that the masonry construction conforms to the plans and specifications. This level of assessment is typically necessary for empirically designed masonry, glass unit masonry, and masonry veneer used in facilities defined as nonessential by the code. Level B and C inspections are required for essential facilities.
When inspections are performed, the inspector should look for:
The thickness of the masonry units. The condition of the mortar joints and their appearance. The size of the reinforcement and its placement. The quality of the grouting operation. The observation holes, if any, are installed in the correct locations before high lift grouting. The inspection report should include a summary of the observations and recommendations made by the inspector.
Brick and stone arches, spans, doors, and windows can cause problems if improperly constructed. The weight of the masonry material above the arch or window can create stresses that transfer to side columns and walls. It can result in sagging and cracking of the masonry structure. Professional masons can prevent these problems by installing steel angle irons that transfer the weight of the masonry to a structural member below it.
Masonry is a specialized skill that enhances homes, buildings, bridges, and public works projects. The work involves heavy materials like bricks, concrete blocks, and natural or manufactured stones. This type of construction can pose several serious health and safety hazards. For instance, exposure to silica dust can lead to lung disease, bone damage, and disfiguring lacerations. Injuries and illnesses can also be caused by malfunctioning tools or equipment and falling loads of materials. Masons need to adhere to recommended safety procedures to avoid such risks. These precautions include wearing protective gear such as gloves, eyewear, and a face mask or respirator. They should also prevent dry-cutting masonry, as this can increase silica dust exposure. An angle grinder with a diamond-tipped blade is best for cutting masonry and other materials. The operator should be trained in handling this kind of equipment.
While maintaining tight construction tolerances is desirable for the appearance and structural integrity of a building, unforeseen factors may require masons to vary head and bed joint thicknesses slightly from the original plans or specifications. Such variations are permitted to a certain degree, depending on the project.
An angle grinder can be dangerous for inexperienced contractors or homeowners not skilled at handling the tool. It is essential to follow proper safety procedures, including ensuring the instrument is turned off and the blade has been properly removed before setting it down. In addition, operators should wear appropriate protection while working with an angle grinder.
Many masonry projects involve the installation of brick or stone over arches, spans, and garage doors. These structures can be very heavy, which can cause the system to sag. To prevent this from happening, professional masons build steel angle irons into the network to transfer the weight of the masonry.
Masonry is a craft that requires a great deal of skill. It’s a trade where a person can start by mixing mortar and graduating to laying bricks and blocks and eventually channel that experience into becoming a lead hand or foreperson. Having this expertise will help you keep your house looking its best while keeping it safe and sound.
A good mason is skilled at laying bricks and stones and understands the geometry of a stone or brick wall, how it can be built to resist weathering and erosion, and the chemistry behind the materials. These skills are important for homeowners, as well as businesses, to have. Masonry repair contractors in Charleston can take care of any repairs or maintenance needed to ensure your home is protected and looks beautiful.
In addition to a strong knowledge base, experienced masons can adapt to new products, improve ideas and techniques, and be honest about their limitations. It is a crucial part of any career, and masonry is no exception. The NCCER recommends that masons find a mentor to assist them with the transition into the industry and provide guidance that is hard to replicate in classes.
Mistakes in the field are not uncommon, but there are ways to prevent them from becoming major problems. One of the most important is always to wear protective equipment. Although it may be tempting to forgo wearing personal protection, this can be dangerous and could result in injuries that could derail a mason’s career.
Paying attention to a project’s details and following the architects’ plans is essential during construction. A clear understanding of the structural requirements will help avoid mistakes. For example, The architectural drawings showed a shelf angle at a certain height, but no detail showed that a sealant joint should be left under the arch.
Masonry is more than just a decorative element in a home; it’s one of the structural components that keeps the roof up and keeps rain out. If you need help with your masonry, it’s important to call an experienced contractor like Pro Angle Charleston.