Brick masonry is a sturdy form of construction where bricks are systematically placed in a mortar to create a solid structure. Brick is one of the most durable and versatile building materials used for both commercial and residential homes. Masonry buildings not only go up fast but are also designed to last for a long time. The technique used in construction, as well as the performance of the entire brick masonry, offers many benefits to a homeowner. It delivers a structurally sound building with unique attributes that improve life cycle costs. This article provides in-depth information about brick masonry and its benefits.
Understanding the Nature of Brick Masonry
Masonry units are often bound together by cement mortar to create a structure. The bricks are made of hardened clay and can be manufactured through dry press, soft mud or wire cut. In the soft mud process, clay and sand are mixed with water and ash or lime to create a mud-like consistency. It is then compressed by hydraulic presses into steel molds before the bricks are fired in ovens to make them strong.
This process is quite similar to dry press only that the latter uses a thicker mixture of drier clay and more hydraulic power to compress the mix into the molds. Unlike the soft mud, the dry press process achieves edges that are more defined and is priced a bit higher. The color of brick is derived from the heating process and may vary depending on the various minerals added to the mixture.
Benefits of Brick Masonry
- More Durable
Brick masonry has been used for many generations to build structures because it is incredibly strong. The rich heritage of historic buildings all over the world bears strong evidence as to the durability and suitability of brick masonry. Brick buildings are known to be strong enough to withstand various natural elements ranging from heavy rains, snow, and wind. It comes with no surprise that reinforced masonry can even withstand mild earthquakes. Clay bricks form a super-strong bond when fired at extremely high temperatures and are comparable to metamorphic rocks.
- Energy Efficient
An energy-efficient building attracts low maintenance costs because it relies less on artificial techniques of heating and cooling. Bricks have a high thermal mass, which makes them one of the most energy-efficient building materials. They can absorb and retain solar heat energy for some time before releasing it slowly to the environment. The retained heat maintains consistent temperatures in the interiors and works as a natural barrier against elements. Reinforced bricks are more energy efficient compared to those that have not been reinforced.
Cost is one of the main factors you need to consider if you want to build a structure that is more durable and long lasting. Brick masonry is an affordable option among other popular building materials because of the availability of clay, sand, and other minerals used in its composition. The masonry units are manufactured and delivered within a short period and can always be adjusted to suit job-site conditions even when the construction project is still in progress. The variety of colors, textures, and finishes eliminates the need for additional wall coverings. Its higher durability means you will have fewer repairs, which translate to lower costs of maintenance.
- Fire Resistance
Unlike houses made of wood, brick masonry does not burn under fire. Therefore, it helps protect your valuable things including the building and its contents. Fire separation walls and masonry firewalls are inherently fire resistant, noncombustible, and economical to construct. Professional architects can design masonry units to maintain their structural integrity for several hours of fire exposure.
- It is Sustainable
Bricks are made from clay and organic minerals, which are widely available from their naturally abundant sources. The long-lasting life cycle of brick masonry offers environmental and health benefits because bricks are re-usable and free from contaminants. All these factors make brick the ultimate material in economical and responsible home building design.
Brick masonry adds a distinctive style to any home and its natural color creates striking contrasts that are appealing to many homeowners. Brick is energy efficient, which makes it ideal for modern buildings, as it reduces the cost of heating and cooling your home. The solid walls are created for dynamic family life and are designed to last for several years with very low maintenance. Brick masonry is an ecological form of construction that is more durable than cast, wood, and other building materials.