Masonry is more than just brick and block. One call to Ernest Maier will get you everything you need.
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- Ties and Anchors
- Control Joints
- Joint Reinforcement Wire
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Ties and Anchors
Simply put anchors are a rigid means of support and are usually fastened mechanically.
A tie usually connects to this anchor. A tie is a piece of metal which connects the external & internal walls. It is placed in the cavity wall itself, though the presence of insulation requires specialized ties. If the cavity wall is fully filled with insulation no tie is needed, but the builder must make sure no water passes through the external wall from the internal walls (also applies without insulation). Improper installation may lead to water damage or mold formation within the cavity, leading to structural and health hazards. Ties are expected to be exposed to water, they are often made of steel (which should be galvanized) in order to resist corrosion and for strength.
Expansion and Control Joints
Control joints are typically used in concrete masonry to reduce the occurrence of shrinkage-related cracking. A control joint is a continuous vertical joint filled with mortar, but with a bond breaker on one side so that tensile stress cannot develop across the joint. If control joints are not provided, a concrete masonry wall may crack as it shrinks over time.
Where control joints are provided in such a wall, they widen as the concrete masonry shrinks, preventing it from cracking. Control joints should be provided at regular intervals along the wall’s length and near corners, returns and changes in the wall’s height, support or stiffness. Control joints will not relieve masonry expansion. Although concrete masonry expands during warm weather, it generally expands less than it shrinks. Control joints are often constructed to transfer lateral loads across the joint. Like control joints, expansion joints should be provided near corners in the masonry, near returns or changes in the planes of the masonry wall, at any significant changes in the wall’s height or stiffness, at changes in foundations and at regular intervals along the wall. It is also important to note that wire reinforcement should never cross the control joint.
Commonly referred to as “wire,” joint reinforcement is designed to be placed in the horizontal mortar joints of masonry walls.
Uses: Wire is used to control mortar shrinkage and crack control due to temperature and pressure extremes, and bond intersecting walls. Rest assured, regardless of the quality of the mortar and block, this material absolutely necessary.
- Ladder has a straight cross rod. Ladder reinforcement is typically utilized when rebar is present within the wall as specified by the structural engineer.
- Truss has a diagonal cross rod. Truss wire is approximately 33% stronger than Ladder wire as it includes a transverse wire running the length of the product, but cannot be used with rebar due to this transverse wire. Due to this, it is also slightly more costly.
Dimensions: Wire is always ordered by the block size. When ordering wire for 8″ block, you simple need to ask for 8″ Wire. Out to out spacing is approximately 2″ less than the nominal thickness of the block. Example – 8″ wire will actually measure 6″ wide so it can be placed within the wall.
Wire Gauges: 9 ga= Standard Weight, 3/16″ x 9 ga = Extra Heavy, and 3/16″ x 3/16″ = Super Heavy Duty. In larger gauge wire, the first number is the gauge of the side rods, the second number the gauge of the cross or transverse rod. Always check local building code for specification.
Finishes: Mill Galvanized for interior walls and Hot Dipped Galvanized for exterior walls Galvanization includes the application of Zinc Oxide (.10 oz per square foot of wire for Mill Galvanized, 1.50 oz for Hot Galvanized.) Stainless Steel wire is also available, but is usually utilized in high moisture content areas above 75%, such as a waste water treatment plant.