A masonry structure is high-quality, attractive, maintenance-free, long-lasting, durable and retains its value. For successful on-site masonry work, and to build a masonry structure with care and quality, you need good masons, good bricks and good quality mortar. It is often thought that these are enough. But to achieve a good masonry structure, you need more. Even smaller facade masonry projects from company Behemouse Oy need masonry ties, opening beams, reinforcement, plinth cavity, masonry ties, scaffolding, electricity, extension cables, water and various tools for handling bricks and mortar. The mason usually has his own hand tools, but depending on the contract between the builder and the mason, the builder will have to purchase some products. Masonry and its ancillary works have traditionally been very 'old-fashioned'. In recent decades, new tools and quality products have been introduced to facilitate both the bricklaying itself and the ancillary work.
The brick facade to be masoned is bonded to the frame of the building. Masonry ties (brick ties, ramps, scrambles) are used for this purpose. Many different types of masonry ties are available on the market, depending on the object to be masoned. When choosing a masonry bond, consideration is given to the frame structure, insulation thickness, air gap, brick size and the height of the structure to be masoned. There is a choice of fixed or 'movable' masonry units. Today, the material of the masonry is usually stainless or acid-resistant steel. Many types of masonry also allow the thermal insulation to be fixed to the frame structure. As a good rule of thumb, approximately 4 masonry ties/m2 are required, with more required in gaps, near expansion joints and other special areas. It is worth noting that often several different types of masonry bond are required for a single-family house, for example for the frame part of the structure and for the 'end triangle' part.
Opening cross beams and reinforcement
In façade masonry, window and door openings can be bridged in a number of different ways. For example, AMU cross beams are currently available on the market in hot-dip galvanised and stainless steel. Both materials can also be powder-coated in a colour such as brick, mortar or window frames. AMU crossbars are available in sizes for different widths of openings and different sizes of brick. The beams are delivered to the site in custom sizes, making it easy for the bricklayer on site to select the right size for window, door or other opening transitions. AMU lintels provide a strong and neat finish to facade masonry. Brick lintels are also available on the market from brick manufacturers. It is also good to pay attention to the additional reinforcement in facade masonry. Tie rods are installed at the joints of the masonry to increase the strength and ductility of the masonry structure and to prevent cracking. The need for additional reinforcement will be determined by the site's own structural engineer. There is a dedicated product developed for reinforcing masonry, Bistål High Strength Reinforcement.
Masonry alignment equipment
In order to carry out masonry work, the mason needs guides (leads, liners), for example, in every corner of the house to be masoned. The guides in the corners ensure that the corner to be bricked is straight. The line wire, which is drawn between the guides, is used by the bricklayer to lay bricks and to ensure the straightness of the wall to be bricked up. Traditionally, these masonry leads are made of wood, but nowadays aluminium masonry leads are available. Aluminium (AL) masonry units can be used for a wide range of applications in partition, façade and frame masonry, in both low and high structures, to align the masonry. It is straight, easy to install and, thanks to its telescopicity, can be adjusted to the height of the structure. The aluminium masonry runner is long-lasting and durable, and can be used hundreds of times. The AL masonry base is available with a variety of fasteners and wire transfer components to suit the needs of the site and the mason. AL Masonry Base is made of steel fasteners and wire harnesses. The wire transfer fittings allow the brickwork to be finished during the bricklaying process, keeping the brickwork neat in the corners and minimising rework. Doorway guides are available for doorways and large window openings. In some special situations, such as balcony slabs, a partition guide can be used for alignment.
Scaffolding and handling of bricks and mortar
It rarely occurs to a bricklayer that if he bricks, say, 500 bricks a day, he will have moved up to 2500-3500 kilos of bricks and mortar "by hand". In order for a bricklayer to be able to carry out facade masonry, the wall edges and scaffolding have to be in the correct position. Different machine rental companies offer different options for scaffolding solutions. For example, traditional Haki scaffolding has been replaced by mast cranes. These allow the mason to work with better ergonomics than traditional fixed scaffolding. The equipment needed to handle bricks and mortar must also be appropriate. Handling and moving heavy masses manually to the mason's workstation is not practical. Various tools and equipment for handling and moving bricks and mortar are available on the market, such as brick cutters, brick chippers, brick trolleys, mortar grinders, wheelbarrows, mortar trolleys, mortar trolley-barrows and mortar trolley-bases.
In order to achieve a good finish, the masonry workplace must be arranged to suit the weather conditions. It is a good idea to be prepared for changes in the weather as the masonry work progresses. In the event of rain, the masonry site should be sheltered under tarpaulins. For excessive sun, it is a good idea to consider a 'changing shelter' on the shade side. It is a good idea to prepare for cold weather by heating the bricks, using weather shelters, radiant heaters and water heaters.
A quality result through good design
Many people think that masonry work is slow. Good organisation and advance planning of the masonry work will save time and money.
By planning the masonry workstations, masonry work can proceed as planned, with as few interruptions as possible, to the benefit of all. It is worth noting, for example, that the same scaffolding can be used for the installation of eaves and fascia boards, etc.
To ensure a quality finish, it is also a good idea to visit the mason's previous masonry projects. A good mason will be happy to give you the addresses of the sites he has worked on. You can also request a mock-up wall before starting the actual masonry work. This way, you can be sure of the quality of the mason on your project. The beautiful, high-quality masonry finish you will look forward to for a long time. What's more, a masonry facade is a durable, maintenance-free wall structure that retains its value.