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Masonry Walls

Earth Stick & Stone are experts in masonry wall and masonry foundation construction for residential and commercial properties. Masonry walls are typically the most durable part of a building’s support structure. Masonry walls are preferred because they provide exceptional strength, durability, and help control indoor temperature.

There are five main types of Masonry Walls;

  • Load Bearing Masonry Walls
  • Reinforced Masonry Walls
  • Hollow Masonry Walls
  • Composite Masonry Walls
  • Post-tensioned Masonry Walls

Earth, Stick & Stone has expertise in building all five main types of Masonry Walls.

Load Bearing Masonry Walls

Load bearing stone and masonry walls can be constructed with concrete blocks, stones, or bricks. They serve to transfer loads to the foundation from the roof. The weight of the load from the roof being supported determines the required thickness of load bearing walls. If, over time, these load bearing masonry walls start to deteriorate or weaken in integrity, they must be re-strengthened and restored to functionally new condition again.

Masonry Wall Building

Reinforced Masonry Walls

Cinder block masonry walls can be either load bearing or non-load bearing. To enable a wall to withstand lateral forces, such as from heavy winds or forces resulting from a shifting foundation, wall reinforcement, typically with steel rods, can be used. If, over time, cracks develop, they need to be sealed as a necessary part of the restoration. Repairing cracks in masonry walls is our forte and the solution depends on the original masonry foundation wall design.

Hollow Masonry Walls

Hollow (or Cavity) masonry walls, can prevent moisture from entering the building’s interior, by providing a hollow space between outside and inside face of the wall. These walls also help with temperature control inside the building. The hollow space provides insulation, restricting the passage of heat through the wall.

When a wall is exposed to external or environmental moisture for a sustained period and the moisture penetrates through the outer face, the water reaches the cavity or the hollow space and drains downward. It is then channeled through the weep holes back to the outside of the structure. The hollow internal spaces can be coated with water repellent materials to further reduce the ingress of moisture.

In moist climates, frequent exposure to moisture, especially for unprotected masonry, can cause cracks in the masonry block. Shifting foundations can also weaken the structural integrity of the wall. Our masonry workers have the technical expertise to remediate these issues and maintain a solid functional wall.

Composite Masonry Walls

For economy and to improve appearance, a layer of brick or stone can be applied to a masonry block wall. This strategy is called a composite wall, because it is composed of two layers each of a different category of masonry. We both build new composite walls and restore the original appearance of existing composite walls where harsh weather conditions have degraded their original look or integrity.

Post-Tensioned Masonry Walls

For Earth, Stick and Stone, masonry in construction is a creative problem-solving process. When extra strength is required in a masonry wall, for example to resist external stresses such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes, we construct post-tensioned masonry walls. The name derives from the use of post-tensioning rods that are anchored into the foundation.

Post tensioning rods can be run vertically through the holes in the core of masonry blocks or they can be run between the separate composite layers or ‘wythes’ of a composite wall. Once the wall is cured and completed, the reinforcing rods are tightened or tensioned onto an anchoring metal plate that is located on the top of the wall (see illustration).

Post-Tensioned Masonry Walls