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Building Technology
 
Exposed brickwork
Hi to everybody,

I am building a house at Madurai. I intend to have exposed brick work. Fleming bond is being used. Masons here are not skillfull in exposed brickwork. I have shown them illustrations of Mr. Laurie Baker's brick work and tried to explain it to them; the result is not that good, but satisfactory.

I need clarifications on the following:

1. At present, I instructed masons to leave a groove at the joints and later intend to do the pointing when the total buiding is complete. Is this OK?.

2. How to avoid efflorescence?

3. What is the right ratio of mortar mix for exposed brick work?

Thanks.
Manickam Pillai Sivakumar
Responses
 
Exposed brickwork
There are separate (skillful) masons for exposed brick work. Their rates are higher. Getting that result with ordinary masons is difficult.

For recessed pointing, you have to leave a substantial groove during brickwork.
For raised pointing, the groove that your masosn are leaving is enough.
But just make sure that the brickwork is cleaned thoroughly by a dry/damp cloth to clean it of the cement/mortar marks, whatever your exposed brickwork treatment is.

A generally suggested treatment against efflorescence is the traditional 'imli-pani' treatment...Otherwise, there is no other option but to get good quality bricks, or to do finishing after at least one season of rains, when, hopefully, most of the efflorescence may have gone.

The right ratio depends upon loading and the thickness of walls.... Ask a structural engineer.
Chitradeep Sengupta
Exposed brickwork
Thanks Mr.Chitradeepji,

You have always responded promptly to the queries. Could you please elaborate on the imli-pani treatment? Right now my masons are cleaning with a broomstick (made of coconut leaf ribs). Is it OK?

Regards,
Manickam Pillai Sivakumar
Exposed brickwork
Dear Mr.Chitradeepji,

I am awaiting your advice on the traditional imli pani treatment. Some of my frineds are recommending cleaning the bricks and applying varnish thereof. Your views please.

Regards

Sivakumar
Manickam Pillai Sivakumar
Exposed brickwork
Imli-pani in Hindi means Tamarind water.I don't know of the technique.
Boovarahan Srinivasan
Exposed brickwork
Manickam, Efflorescence comes from the salts deposited by the evaporation of rising ground water (aka rising damp). Therefore if you have a Damp Proof Course at the foot of the wall the ground water is unable to rise above the Damp Proof Course.

In the UK the traditional Damp Proof Course was a layer of Slate, but today modern DPCs use bitumen felt similar to roof tile underlay.

Postscript: I think you mean Flemish Bond not Fleming Bond. Flemish refers to a cultural area within Holland.
Frank John Snelling
Exposed brickwork
Thanks Mr.Frank. I have already completed the house in 2006. I have provided DPC but still efflorescence appears. Could you suggest me websites/books which details on exposed brickwork technique. In fact , i intend to attend exposed brick masonry training program in India.
Manickam Pillai Sivakumar
Exposed brickwork
efflorescene we avoide by using water for constuction from a tank ,where we keep 15 to 20 bricks for a day to absorbe lime and florides from water.
Dushyant Nathwani
Exposed brickwork
Dushyant, You mean you soak the bricks to flush out excess salts,etc?
Frank John Snelling
Exposed brickwork
no,lime from water used for construction is absorbed by the bricks kept in water ,hence pure water for consruction and no efflorecence on the walls of exposed brick work.
Dushyant Nathwani
Exposed brickwork
Dushyant, Thank you, so I assume you use naturally occuring hard water (within limestone regions).
Frank John Snelling
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