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Discussion Starter #21
Here is a secret that a friend's Dad taught us when we were kids. He restored old cars (30's vintage), and somehow it came up about rust on cars. His theory was that the old cars were build to greater tolerances than new ones, and thus did not allow water to become trapped, as between trim and sheet metal, and this allowed them to dry and not rust.

The same bromide applies to masonry buildings: Do not attempt to prevent water intrusion 100%, you cant, so you must allow the moisture to move. This will prevent the problem of trapped moisture in contact with metal (or wood), and extend the life of the structure.
 

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There are no doubts regarding the importance of details in the design of buildings. So important that one famous architect said God was in the details,another said it was the devil:laughing:,so we can take our pick.


Details are obviously very important to the longevity of a structure. With that said,masonry by its nature absorbs water to greater or lesser degrees. While I agree,a pathway to direct and vent this water is important,the corrosion and popping of the subject stone did not take place in the drainage plane,it took place where the metal and stone had intimate contact. This is a crucial aspect that needs to be acknowledged.


While we can draw some similarities in the tolerances and drainage of metal on older autos,the construction field has an adage or two that correlate with this topic. Two old construction sayings that make sense that come to mind are; If you want to eliminate problems with parapet walls,eliminate parapet walls. If you want to eliminate problems with flat roofs,eliminate the flat roof. I will add a third one to the mix. If you want to eliminate the corrosion of metal in-bedded in masonry,eliminate the in-bedded metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I agree with all of that, and of course this is a flat roof parapet wall building.

For most modern commercial and residential construction, HDG will last for the expected life time of the building, for monumental work, SS is a good option, but the best, 100% masonry, is simply no longer practical.
 

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I agree with all of that, and of course this is a flat roof parapet wall building.



Wow ! Looks like that building got hit with a triple whammy !


Reminds me of a very new,very large church I was asked to access / repair around 30 yrs. ago. The church was a cavity wall with very dark brick,no weeps anywhere,a very hard burned FBX brick. No expansions anyplace,at large expanses of south wall,change in wall heights etc.

The church had more crack lines than lines on a road map. They wanted them repaired. I suggested cutting in expansions,backer rod etc.and holding the architects feet to the fire and get the money from his errors and omission insurance. They said "we are not going to do that,he is a member of our congregation".:eek: I said then I'M not your guy,to cut and point the cracks is like putting perfume on a pig.:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Remember that this is a 60 year old building and the problem did not show up for better than 50 years.

Also, I do not know, but would guess that something changed in the time period where it became a problem. My guess would be a through cleaning (because it is clean) and some type of sealing that locked in moisture.
 

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Tscarborough;2581993 Also said:
There are a whole host of sealers out there. Every manufacturer claims their sealer is the best. Masonry has been around since the beginning of time and in the last 75 yrs. sealer have been promoted as the magic bullet. The reality of it IMHO,if you think you need a sealer,you had better look more closely and address the real issue. Putting sealer on is like putting a band-aid on a sword wound.....not very effective and possibly detrimental . Call me old fashion,or a stick in the mud,I have never applied a shot glass of sealer to masonry.
 

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Parapets and Flat roofs need multi-generational maintenance trust funds that can't be mis-appropriated.
 

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The usage of steel in masonry is of itself an interesting topic. There is no doubt,the incorporation of a little steel provides properties to masonry that yield some amazing results. With that said,it may be a double edged sword.
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With the introduction and improper usage of steel,the incurable obsolescence was built into the building.A product that should last for a millennial (masonry) was brought to it's knees in short order. A pure shame !

Just some thoughts / ramblings.
Jeez Fred now you got me thinking and i have a million "questions" and doubts .

One of the reasons (of many) I build masonry vaults is I figure they will last a millenium. However my lousy ring beam it springs off is going to rust out in 50-100 years isnt it? I should leave "directions" to tear it down in 50 years?

I sometimes put weld mesh in the plaster above a vault roof, maybe in awhile that will fail, and the plaster will come off and I am long dead and the brick under gets damaged and i have a failure.

With a clay brick wall and lime or clay mortar, how bad is a cement plaster on the inside wall? Is breathability on one side enough?
 

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Jeez Fred now you got me thinking and i have a million "questions" and doubts .

One of the reasons (of many) I build masonry vaults is I figure they will last a millenium. However my lousy ring beam it springs off is going to rust out in 50-100 years isnt it? I should leave "directions" to tear it down in 50 years?

I sometimes put weld mesh in the plaster above a vault roof, maybe in awhile that will fail, and the plaster will come off and I am long dead and the brick under gets damaged and i have a failure.

With a clay brick wall and lime or clay mortar, how bad is a cement plaster on the inside wall? Is breathability on one side enough?



These are just some thoughts / observations I have regarding steel in masonry. I feel the key to a long life cycle (many 100,s,of yrs )utilizing steel in masonry is the amount of coverage the steel receives.That is what I was eluding too when I said it has some amazing results but could be a double edged sword. Therein lies the difference in performance of the steel in concrete vs. in masonry. If the steel in masonry is covered by 8" of material (which is considerable more than concrete requirements) I feel the steel has a much greater chance for performing it's role without the intrusion of rust,especially if the steel's coating is HDG or stainless.


As far as the plaster on one side of the wall and breath ability goes,Thomas Jefferson made some observations building Monticello. He said the condensation in wind driven rain was actually a result of indoor humidity,if a small fire was lit,the condensation did not exist. I will say this however,at some point in time,in the mid -west there was a switch to place furring strips and lath on exterior masonry walls to create an air space between the masonry and plaster. It was considered better practice. I will say this though,could that have been a result in the decrease in wall widths ? In the late 1800,s -early 1900,s the trend went from two brick wide walls (16") or brick and a half walls (12") to a one brick wide wall (8") . Could that decrease in wall width have had some bearing on the wall's ability to absorb / control water movement ? I think so.



The buzz word a decade or so here in the States was sustainability in regards to building construction. Lately,a new buzz word has entered the vocabulary ,it is "Resilient Design" . As usual,it has many interpretations. One of the several is,the buildings must survive into the unknown future. They must be capable to withstand problems originating by natural causes and problems that are anthropogenic.
 

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Fundi, the reason most medieval cathedrals still stand is that they were owed and MAINTAINED by the Roman Catholic Church, a resilient 2000 year old organisation...

Paint your steel ring every ten years for corrosion prevention....

Spend more time ensuring our culture survives to care for its property.

Less time building pyramids as monuments to failed societies and dead ended families.

I'd suggest "Why buildings fall down" and Why buildings stand" same guy

FJN, I think Ideal row lock construction was the high end preferred construction for upper class housing ~1880-1915, replaced by structural tile, with brick/stone veneer. Much dryer and warmer than regular solid brick construction.
enjoy.
 

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FJN, I think Ideal row lock construction was the high end preferred construction for upper class housing ~1880-1915, replaced by structural tile, with brick/stone veneer. Much dryer and warmer than regular solid brick construction.
enjoy.


In certain locations,that probably holds true,however, because masonry materials during that era were very regional ,(due to shipping constraints) the usage was based on availability.


In the Chicago area,finding a building from that era backed up with tile is like looking for a hen's tooth. In the heyday,there were 27 separate plants producing a combined 200,000,000 common brick per year (last one closed in 1981). The brick were plentiful and relatively cheap and they were used by the millions.


I offered that example to Fundi for it seems that is the same method he employs.
 

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Chicago area? 685 million/year
two plants alone in Iowa puke out ~100 million/year together, 3 automated lines.

didn't Chicago building codes and insurance writers required Brick and Brick walls, Just as now, Regulations slow adoption of new tech, more so in High Pop high government areas as Cook County.

And of course solid walls for heavy/tall structures or at party walls heated on both sides...

I thought I'd seen the Brick production (2013) was at 50% of its peak # some where.

Tile were/are tough to lay watertight basement walls out of, I'd plaster anything I'd lay below grade & waterproof it
 

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With a clay brick wall and lime or clay mortar, how bad is a cement plaster on the inside wall? Is breathability on one side enough?
Depends on your climate to some extent.
It's a damp one where I live, so it's best to let the walls breathe from both sides.
 

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Chicago area? 685 million/year
two plants alone in Iowa puke out ~100 million/year together, 3 automated lines.



Yes,this is now,we were talking back in early 1900,s,big difference. Back then it took a very large work force,much hand labor,brick fired in scove kilns,not tunnel.


Talk about a backwards situation,back in the day plants had a hard time keeping up with demand. Now,the capacities are huge and the volume of brick consumed is almost exactly half of what they were in the 1950,s. The scary aspect,all this has taken place while the U.S. population has more than doubled !
 
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