Brian's House Building Blog

Three Essential Guidelines for Building with Bricks

by Peyton Sanders

If you are planning on building any structure in your home using bricks, you should think about hiring bricklaying services. Bricklaying does not require specialised training, especially if you are building a small, non-structural surface. However, experts have more experience in the field. Therefore, they will guarantee enhanced aesthetics and optimal durability of the brick structure. If you are committed to building with bricks as a DIY project, you should use the outlined tips to ensure success.

Select Suitable Sand Mortar

You should choose the correct sand for your mortar for your bricklaying work. The sand will determine the strength and stability of the mortar. If the material is not ideal for the application, the risk of premature failure will be high. For example, bad sand will cause the unusual shrinkage of the mortar. This degradation will compromise the structural integrity of your structure. You should inquire from you bricks supplier about the sand recommended for your chosen bricks for the best results.

Use Cured and Dry Bricks

You should ensure that your bricks are ready for installation before proceeding with your construction. Typically, when bricks are prepared or formed, they are wet. When these units are cured, they will lose the moisture used in manufacturing. As a result, there will be significant shrinkage. If the bricks are installed before they have shrunk and stabilised, the built structure will fail prematurely. If you are planning on using traditional bricks, the shrinkage will be not a problem because the units are artificially cured. However, if you are using modern bricks such as products made using wood and concrete matrices, you should check the 'use after' date to avoid mishaps.

Install Control Joints

Masonry units should be installed with control joints at intervals. In general, the articulation joints are designed to allow the natural movement of blocks without structural damage. You should remember that your structure will shift periodically due to the movement of the building. Also, the bricks might expand due to changes in ambient conditions. If the building has control joints, there will be no risk of structural disintegration. You should install the articulation points at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer.

You should keep your bricks clean as you install them to eliminate the need for extensive clean-up in the future. Ideally, you should cut off the excess mortar after laying the brick to prevent smearing. If there are smears, you should clean the residue immediately before drying. Otherwise, you will need to plan for pressure washing.