Tag Archives: failures

Terra cotta: To repair or not?

Terra cotta is generally durable, but when façade rehabilitation is planned, one of the most challenging questions is whether a distress condition that is observed requires repair or replacement of the unit, or can be left as is.

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Failures: All about the support

Displaced, cracked, and out-of-plane brick units were observed at the brick façade of a parking garage in a Midwestern city. The façade of the garage consisted of brick masonry veneer installed over a concrete masonry unit (CMU) backup wall. Openings made during an investigation revealed light-gauge, corrugated brick ties connected the brick veneer to the CMU back-up wall and concrete structure of the garage.

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Moisture in mass masonry walls

In mass wall construction, proper detailing is required so that the wall will shed bulk water. Key details include overhangs that protect the vertical wall below; drips at projecting features such as sills; and sloped skyward-facing surfaces to provide positive drainage.

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