Construction / Home Improvement

Why Opt for Interlocking Dry-Stacked Masonry Units for Constructing Walls

When it comes to wall construction, masonry is the primary material of choice because of its excellent qualities. It requires less energy to produce and demands less technical training to build. It is also extremely durable and resistant to rot, fire and insects, allowing it to last for years.

 Nonetheless, it requires minimal upkeep, capable of maintaining its timeless appeal even with just occasional washing. Perhaps one of the major problems associated with using masonry is that constructing it usually entails the use of mortar. While one would think that this traditional component acts as an adhesive to hold the masonry units together, it actually has nothing to do with adhesion.

Rather, it serves as a bed that fills the joints of the masonry units to make the structure watertight. Although mortar does play a good role in protecting masonry walls against water damage, their use actually makes the process of wall construction more time-consuming.

 In fact, when working on a straight mortared masonry wall, a worker could only lay an average of 150 to 200 blocks per day. The process is slow because horizontal and vertical reinforcements and grouting have to be applied. Apart from the slow construction time, a lot of workmanship troubles are also related to the use of mortar, including improper tooling, omission of horizontal wire reinforcing, incompletely filled head and bed joints, etc.

Constructing Walls

All these could affect the performance of the masonry walls over the long term, resulting to increased maintenance requirement and need for repair. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with any of the aforesaid problems. By using interlocking dry-stacked mortar units for your project, you will be able to eliminate the problems associated with using mortar.

Interlocking dry-stacked masonry units in brief basically, interlocking dry-stacked masonry is a system that allows for mortar less construction. It is available in many different configurations, with the most sophisticated units having shell alignment features that allow for easier alignment and levelling. Some units are also fabricated with tabs, slots or keys on both their horizontal and vertical edges, so they lock together when installed.

 Apart from addressing the limitations posted by mortared masonry units, there are a number of other good reasons why interlocking dry-stacked masonry make for excellent building materials for wall construction. Below are some of them.

Allow for speedy construction one of the major draws of these innovative masonry units is that they could greatly reduce the amount of construction time. Given that they do not require mortar, workers can put in more units in the wall for a short period of time.

In fact, in the amount of time a worker would take to lay 250 to 400 mortared blocks, you can easily lay around 600 or more units of interlocking dry-stacked masonry. Also, the interlocking features of such units significantly enhance their alignment and levelling. As such, dependence to skilled labor is reduced, allowing even a semi-skilled worker to install the units without difficulty. Allow for flexible construction without sacrificing performance Depending on how the wall systems would be used, construction using interlocked dry-stacked masonry can be done in three different ways: plain, surface-bonded and grouted. Plain dry-stacked construction is best used for foundation walls, retaining walls, partitions and load-bearing walls.

 Here, the units are stacked up without using any adhesive material, so the final output is not intended for human occupancy. Surface-bonded walls require the dry-stacked units to be finished with cementitious or acrylic bonding with plastic fibers or fiberglass mesh on both sides. Walls built using this construction can be as high as 21 feet.

 Grouted construction, on the other hand, have the cores of the units partially or fully filled with grout, giving the walls greater load capacity and heights. With such options for construction, you can build walls based on your desired design, while also taking into consideration the strength and stability requirements in the area you live in. And in the case of plain dry-stacked construction, erection of the walls during cold weather is possible.

Require minimal upkeep As opposed to mortared masonry that needs to be repointed to maintain the health of the wall, assist in its waterproofing and enhance its appearance, interlocking dry-stacked masonry does not require such intensive maintenance.

Once the units are put in place, they would only require occasional washing to preserve their beauty. Likewise, if they have to be removed, demolition is not necessary as the units can be unplugged one by one. As such, the units can be reused, so long as they are still in great shape.

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