Originally Posted By: rmeyers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Be careful, this is a major issue, as you don't want to mis-identify the basic structural system of the building.
Using brick patterns alone, to identify solid masonry can be mis-leading. Solid masonry bonding patterns are often immitated in veneer systems to get the appearance of older masonry systems.
The wythes or layers of brick in solid systems can be 2 or 3 or more layers thick and may also be backed with clay tile (in older construction) or CMU's in newer applications.
The Carson Dunlop site is a good source of information, but compares brick veneer to the older solid masonry. There are also newer hollow masonry systems that use metal bonding materials, weep & flashing details and improved insulation properties.
Unfortunately, the presence or absence of weep holes are also not a definitive indicator of veneer vs. solid since both newer systems, if properly done, should have similar details. Weeps in both systems are often lacking or too low and obscured by landscaping and grading.
Things to look for in full masonry wall construction:
Absence of stud wall framing
Furring strips instead of stud wall
Electrical in conduit
Probe around electrical box for clues (wall thickness) carefully!!
Exterior brick detailing as mentioned in earlier posts
Window and exterior door jamb details
Older plaster over solid backing (solid when tapped on - not hollow)
Older plaster - staining / efflourescence due to moisture penetration
Interior structural walls may be solid masonry
Look for any exposed floor or ceiling connection details (attic & bsmt)
Exposed gable walls in attic may be clay tile, CMU's or brick
Typically higher heating costs due to lower energy efficiency
Examine any wall penetrations that may offer clues - gas, elec, vents
I'm sure there are other tips that may also be of use in confrming the systems, but these are some that come to mind.
Good luck on your future inspections Wilfred. The more you do, the easier it gets. This is generally a good site for helpful HI information interspersed with a generous amount of entertaining BS. The challenge is sorting it all out!! ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)
HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!