Brickwork simply involves laying bricks one over the other in a particular pattern to form a wall. The bricks are kept together by applying a paste of cement, sand with water, also called cement-sand mortar. It is essential that you keep a check on your mason while he is doing the brickwork for your house.
Following are some of the important aspects to be considered in masonry work or brickwork:
Soaking of Bricks:
Bricks are soaked in water for a sufficient period till the water penetrates throughout the brick. Alternatively, bricks may be soaked in stacks by profusely spraying clean water at regular intervals for at least six hours. This prevents any absorption of water by bricks from the mortar. Dry bricks absorb the water from mortar, thereby reducing the hydration, bonding and strength development of mortar.
Laying of Bricks:
Bricks are generally laid in English bond pattern with a mortar of mix 1:6 (1 cement: 6 coarse sand), unless otherwise specified. The thickness of joint should not exceed 1 cm. Brickwork is done in uniform layers. All connected work is done to nearly the same level. No part of the wall during construction shall rise more than 1 metre above the general construction level.
For half brick walls, bricks are laid in stretcher bond pattern. If required by the architect, 2 MS bars of 6mm diameter are embedded in every fourth course. The mortar used for reinforced brickwork should be of the mix 1:4 (1 cement: 4 coarse sand) or as specified.
Finishing of joints:
The face joints are raked to a minimum depth of 10 mm daily till the time the mortar is green. This provides a proper key for the plaster. Where plastering or painting are not required, the joints are struck flush and finished at the time of laying. The face of brick/fly ash work is cleaned daily with a wire brush and all mortar droppings are removed.
This process involves spraying water on the brick walls to increase the strength of the brick-mortar bond. Usually, it is done for a minimum period of 7 to 10 days.