Efflorescence & New Building Bloom

During construction, water gets inside a wall system and causes initial efflorescence, or “new building bloom.” Remain calm: the wall will dry and the efflorescence will go away. Powdery or chalky white deposits or stains sometimes appear on the surface of masonry buildings. Called “efflorescence,” these deposits occur when water reaches and dissolves soluble salts…

Fire Safety and Balanced Design with Masonry

Of all possible construction systems, masonry offers the utmost protection against fire. Masonry materials—brick, concrete block, stone, mortar, grout and tile—don’t burn, and therefore don’t contribute fuel to a fire. Masonry maintains its structural integrity at high temperatures, and heat transfers slowly through its mass. Depending on its configuration, a masonry wall can remain intact…

Cold Weather Masonry Construction

Successful cold weather masonry construction requires knowledge of code requirements, workforce and planning capabilities, along with the capacity to be flexible and innovative. Building codes mandate certain procedures when constructing masonry during cold weather when the ambient air temperature is 400F and below. The requirements are grouped within temperature ranges, and while the provisions are…