Reasons for defects in brick masonry

Major sections of the building are developed with bricks. While brickwork is going on as well as after completion of brickwork, there may be some specific defects in brick masonry work which should be immediately identified and proper measures should be initiated to avoid them. The defective bricks can damage the structural strength and longevity of the building.

Defects may arise for different reasons like inferior design or specification as well as sub-low-grade materials and lowly standards of workmanship.

Given below, some of general defects in brickwork which occur at construction site.

1. The inferior quality bricks are used inspite of the quality mentioned in the contract.
2. No prior investigation is made to verify the efflorescence level and water absorption in the bricks

3. Lack of initiatives to drench bricks in water accurately. Water is lightly sprinkled on the stack of bricks and the bricks are dry inside.
4. Joints in the brick masonry are deeper and differ with the specification in the contract.
5. Joints in brickwork underneath ground level are not completed accurately due to the assumptions by the contractor that these joints will be invisible as soon as the earth is filled back.
6. Vertical joints in brick work are empty.
7. The mortar does not contain enough strength. If motar is scratched with a screw driver, the mortar could be fully raked out easily.
8. Raking of joints is incomplete when mortar looks green.

9. Brick bats are applied as fillers and closers.
10. Mortar is blended improperly on a platform or in a machine.
11. The brick layers are irregular and alignment is not correctly horizontal.
12. The brick work is not carried in plumb.
13. The brick work is accomplished in feebler mortar and it does not follow structural requirement.
14. The brick courses on edge is not accomplished where needed.
15. There are gaps amid door frames/window frames and masonry.
16. Heavy efflorescence is seen in the brickwork.

17. The brick masonry in extended partition walls is not carried devoid of reinforcement.
18. The holes in the brick work necessary for providing support to scaffolding are filled with dry bricks devoid of appropriate mortar around it as well as carelessly plastered which create dampness in the building in due course.

Article Source :

Reasons for defects in brick masonry