Defects in Brickwork

The followings are some of the common defects in brickwork that are found at construction site.

  1. The bricks used were of substandard quality compared to the quality specified in the contract.
  2. No tests were carried out to find out the efflorescence level and water absorption in the bricks
  3. The bricks were not soaked in water properly. Water was only lightly sprinkled on the stack of bricks. The bricks were dry inside.
  4. Joints in the brick masonry were thicker than specified in the contract specification.
  5. Joints in brickwork below ground level were not finished properly as the contractor assumed that these joints would not be seen once earth is filled back.
  6. Vertical joints in brick work were hollow.
  7. The mortar had not gained strength. On scratching by a screw driver, the mortar could be raked out completely with ease.
  8. Raking of joints was not done when mortar was green.
  9. Brick bats were used as fillers and closers.
  10. Mortar was not mixed properly on a platform or in a machine.
  11. The brick layers were uneven and not truly horizontal.
  12. The brick work was not in plumb.
  13. The brick work was done in weaker mortar and not as per structural requirement.
  14. The brick courses on edge were not done where needed.
  15. Gaps existed between door frames/window frames and masonry.
  16. Heavy efflorescence was observed in the brickwork.
  17. The brick masonry in long partition walls was not done without reinforcement.
  18. The holes in the brick work which were left for supporting scaffolding were filled with dry bricks without proper mortar around it and superficially plastered which later became the source of dampness in the building.

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