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What Is Masonry?

Retaining Walls Charleston SC is a building construction that uses brick, concrete blocks, or structural clay tile and is held together with mortar. Expert masons know how to use the best materials and lay them perfectly to create strong, long-lasting buildings.

Provide steel lintels for openings when not provided with masonry headers.

Concrete blocks are manufactured in various sizes, shapes, and colors to meet the needs of various construction projects. Often referred to as concrete masonry units (CMU), they are made from a combination of Portland cement, aggregate materials such as sand and gravel, and water.

The mixture may be molded by hand or with a block machine that compresses the material into a square shape. The resulting concrete block can be solid or hollow. In some cases, recycled concrete or byproducts of industrial processes are added to the mix, which can lower the overall weight and cost of the block and contribute to a structure’s LEED certification.

Cement is a basic component of most concrete blocks, but the manufacturers also add other chemicals called admixtures to alter its curing time or increase its strength. The resulting product may be tinted with color pigments or coated with baked-on glazes to achieve unique visual effects. The glazes can also help protect against damage from chemical attacks or slow the moisture absorption rate through the wall.

Different blocks are designed for use in various places in a building, including over windows and corners. Some are thicker than others, and some have more or less insulation. Many have grooves and channels that help direct water and vapor away from the mortar joints, which reduces the risk of leaks.

While cinder block is a traditional building material, modern producers have developed an extensive array of options to meet the needs of the building industry. Lightweight blocks, for example, are a popular alternative to regular concrete blocks because they require less mortar and can save money on foundation costs. The lintel blocks used to support the tops of doors and windows are another example of a special block type.

Some architects, like Terra e Tuma, Natura Futura, Agustin Lozada, or Takao Shiotsuka Atelier, have experimented with new ways of using the concrete block, making it the protagonist of the space and giving it a unique appearance and texture. Their work encourages other professionals to find creative and interesting uses for this versatile construction material.

Concrete blocks create various construction projects, including walls and chimneys. They are also used to build patios, driveways, fences, and gardens. They can be made from multiple materials, such as sand or clay, and are available in many sizes. They are also easily handled and cut with a saw or hammer. Compared to traditional bricks, concrete blocks require less cement and steel for production. This makes them a more environmentally friendly choice for masonry projects. In addition, they can help protect the environment by reducing pollution caused by coal-burning furnaces.

There are several types of concrete blocks, each with a different purpose. For example, a stretcher block is a concrete masonry unit that creates a CMU wall’s long, running courses. These blocks are hollow and have vertical webs to provide strength and reinforcement. They are typically held in place with mortar. Other types of concrete blocks include corner and lintel blocks.

Corner blocks, such as door or window openings, are used at the ends of a masonry project. They have one flat end that locks in with a stretcher block, and the other end is rounded for aesthetic purposes. These blocks are also known as frog blocks because they contain a depression along the top, which helps the mortar bond more tightly with the block.

Lintel blocks have a deep, curved groove on one side. This groove is filled with concrete for reinforcement once the block is placed. These blocks are used to make lintels over doors and windows. They can also be used to make bond beams for second floors over existing ones.

Concrete blocks are manufactured in various shapes and sizes to fit almost any space in a building. They are also made to withstand elements like rain or snow. This ensures they can be easily installed in a building without losing shape or structural integrity. Using them in a building saves money on energy costs since they have a high insulation value. They also reduce the need for plaster, making them a cost-effective solution.

The mortar that binds the bricks or stones of a masonry structure is a workable paste composed of inert cementing materials like mud, lime, and cement mixed with fine aggregates such as sand. It is often augmented with mineral or chemical admixtures for increased strength, permeability, or color stability. These additives help the mortar adhere to the building blocks or other masonry structures and reduce bleeding, shrinkage, and cracking during curing.

The workability of a mortar is important because it allows workers to shape and mold the surface of a wall or other masonry structure as needed. It also helps the worker fill and seal any irregular gaps between masonry units to make the finished structure as strong and tight as possible.

Mortar also provides a soft bed between different layers of masonry units to ensure the overall structure is strong and even. Masonry tends to be stronger in compression than in tension, and a soft bed can help prevent structural damage caused by over-loading a masonry wall. In some cases, builders take advantage of this fact by using arches above doors and windows to allow the arch to bear the load of the walls above it while transferring only the floor or roof loads to the lintel.

Most people involved in the construction industry have a rough idea of the difference between types M, S, N, O, and K in mortar. Still, many need to become more familiar with the differences between categories. The type and category of mortar used can greatly impact the longevity of a brick wall. Choosing the wrong type or mortar category can cause bricks to crack and decompose prematurely.

The proper type of mortar for a specific project should be specified in the contract documents, and it is important to consult with an engineer or other professional to be sure that the correct mix is selected. The amount of water in a particular mortar mixture will vary, and it is important to get this right to ensure that the mortar is as workable as possible.

Stone is one of the most durable masonry materials. It resists wear and tear that can ding or scratch wood and even damage brick walls. It’s also resistant to bending, wrapping, splintering, and denting, making it an excellent choice for homes or businesses that need high-quality construction and a beautiful aesthetic.

Stone masonry is typically done using traditional hand tools, although a few techniques are used. These include the ashlar and rubble, block, and veneer stone methods. The ashlar technique uses stones with flat surfaces that can be laid dry, while the block method involves creating a concrete form and then filling it with rock to make a solid structure. The block method is often used for modern masonry, including industrial-style buildings and commercial structures.

For a more uniform look, stone masonry is done by arranging the stones into courses or layers of different heights. This makes creating a straight wall with exact dividing lines between the different course heights possible. This masonry technique is called “fine” or “coursed” rubble masonry.

It is often possible to lay the stone for sills, jambs, and lintels before they have been quarried to save time. This helps to ensure that the proper size is available for each piece of work. To help with this process, it is common to use strips of wood the same length as the joint thickness between two adjacent stone pieces. These are then removed once the mortar is hardened.

Some of the earliest examples of masonry were built from stone. This is because it was the only construction material at that time that could be made to stand up to the elements. While stone is no longer the primary construction material for most of today’s buildings, it continues to be a popular choice for those looking for a more classic look.

Whether you’re looking for stone heads and cills or more elaborately molded features like a cornice, portico, balustrade, benches, or street furniture, BBS can supply you with the right products to get your project off the ground. We’ll create product-specific working drawings based on third-party supplied architectural drawings and provide advice on the right stone, color, and finish to deliver a successful building project.