I have a non structural 8\'\' CMUvFire Wall approx. 38\' long x 12\' high, it is reinforced with a BB at the top with 2 # 5 bars and vertical every 32\'\' # 5 bar. I asked the question if a vertical control joint would be needed in this wall, as nothing was shown.
The response was to seek the advice as to what is recommended, can you please advise?
Thank you for contacting us with your question. TMS 402/602-16 (Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures) does not address locating control joints (CJ) in concrete masonry walls. In the Commentary for TMS 602 in Figure SC-7 on page S-51 samples of constructed joint types are shown. The figure for a Fire-Rated Control Joint is the one to be used. I would highly recommend placing rebar and grout in the cells on either side of the CJ. In TMS 602 Part 2 the commentary for sections 2.5 A&B it is recommended to use NCMA TEK 10-02D. This is the Empirical Method for determining the location of CJ in concrete masonry walls. It gives a ratio formula of 1.5:1 or not to exceed 25lf maximum. In your case that is a 12'-0" high x 38"-0" long wall. Using the ratio the spacing would be 18'-0". One CJ would not be enough and 2 would be required. They could be placed as the architect decides or if he does not locate them you could decide the location based on panels not to exceed 18'-0". I would personally put a 17'-4" panel centered and a 5'-4" panel on either side because that would be modular blockwork. There are two additional TEKs that could be reviewed by the architect. They are TEK 10-01A which is a general discussion of control joints in concrete masonry and TEK 10-03which is the Engineered Method. A quick rule of thumb is locate a CJ at any change of the mass of the wall and/or not to exceed 25'-0".
I hope this is helpful. Thank you for contacting us and using one of the many services available. You can call me at 352-494-8955 if necessary.
All COLORED block made in Florida Contains integral waterproofing. The assumption you MUST make is that if the block is not colored it will not contain integral waterproofing. EVERY block that is used in a single wythe installation SHOULD contain integral waterproofing --- even if it is going to be painted or sealed. So…. If you are designing a single wythe wall that does not contain integral color be sure to request integral waterproofing!! ONE more thing --- EVERY single wythe wall SHOULD be painted or sealed.
Remember – Single Wythe -- Integral Waterproofing --- Painted and Sealed -- ALWAYS.
I am looking for guidance and I am hoping your organization can point me in the right direction.
I had a home originally built in 1972 extensively remodeled (90%+) in 2012 and brought up to what I believe were 2007 Florida Building Codes. Recently the home has experienced catastrophic failure of the stone facade. I am in the process of exploring my options as it relates to construction defect and I have had several masons come asses the damage. The mason who originally did the work is no longer in business, but the GC who re-built the home is. I am trying to identify in code where the missteps were in the installation. It appears that a scratch coat was applied directly over an unclean and painted stucco (original to the 1972 home) surface (see photos). In time, this has resulted in a de-bonding of the scratch coat and the stone facade and mortar falling off the home, exposing the original painted stucco. My limited understanding is that this would have been a violation of ASTM C 926 reference 5.2 “...and shall be free of form oil or other elements, which would interfere with bonding.”. I have had masons who have inspected the damage who also bring up that it does not appear a bonding agent was used. At this point the GC is wanting to simply remedy the failed area with new stone and admit no fault. However if the entire stone facade was installed using the same incorrect methods (see pictures) it is just a matter of time before the bond fails. Furthermore, I think it is unlikely that the GC will be able to match the stone as it was manufactured stone with pigmentation that has been baking in the FL sun for nearly 8 years. My ask is, if you could advise on what codes may have been violated with this installation and / or if you have a recommendation of an engineer / GC (based in N C FL) that I could hire to document said violations? I appreciate your time in reading my story, reviewing photos, and consideration of a response.
Thank you for contacting the Masonry Association of Florida with your concerns. You are correct that it appears that the Scratch coat of mortar has de-bonded or delaminated from the original painted stucco. While paint is good weather proofing it will also prevent cementitious material from bonding. Here are some considerations that need to be included in any repair discussion.
I wish you the best of luck in resolving this issue. If we can be of further assistance please contact MAF. Be safe.
Jerry Painter, FASTM
In stucco on block What are the control joint spacing requirements for stucco on block? "Control joint spacing in masonry is usually between 20’ to 25’ on center. Joint spacing and location in stucco is dependent on whether the stucco is directly applied to the solid substrate or is placed onto lath which in turn is attached to the wall.
In the case of directly applied (called “direct applied”) stucco the bond between the stucco and the solid substrate (in this case concrete block) is the most important thing. With good bond the thin layer of stucco will crack in any place the solid substrate cracks. Thus, there should be a control joint in the stucco at any location that you find a control joint in the block. There are no other control joints required in direct applied stucco.
In stucco on lath, the ASTM 1063 code requires a control joint at a maximum spacing in walls of 18 ft o/c both horizontally and vertically enclosing an area no more than 144 sf. The area enclosed by the control joints cannot have a length to width ratio greater than 2 ½ :1 . The control joints in the lath are not require to line up with the control joints in the block because in this case the stucco layer is independent of the wall to which it is attached."
There is no specific “up” or “down” direction that block have to be laid in. You may hear a masonry say that block are manufactured “upside-down”. This means that the block molds are slightly wider on the bottom than the top. The reason is common sense – so you can lift the mold off of the freshly compacted block. The mason will usually turn the block over before he picks it up so he is holding the thicker portion of the web. It is simply easier to grip and hold the thicker end. Structurally, it makes no difference.
What is the best mud-set mortar system for the support of heavy masonry pavers that are being used on a circular drive way with heavy vehicular traffic….Fire engines, Airport buses, Vans and large, expensive SUV’s and Pick-up trucks… See illustrations below:
“Best mud-set mortar system” is a red herring because you don’t "mud set" or grout pavers unless it is for looks – like a pedestrian path you want to look like a brick wall laying on the ground. For heavy traffic applications you place the pavers on a sand bed over a concrete or compacted road rock base. Then you fill the cracks between the pavers with sand. The shape of the pavers and the sand cause them to interlock (which is where the name “interlocking pavers” comes from).
Grouts used in heavy traffic application are subject to crushing and subsequent failure so are avoided.
If you put the pavers over a solid concrete base you have to include weep holes to drain away the water.
For circular patterns where you encounter radial forces you want good "in plain" interlocking to prevent shifting and a herring bone pattern is usually recommended.
I am always hearing about the Perm Rating of walls and wanted to know if perm rating of masonry walls is something that is a big concern in Florida?
The Perm rating of stucco is a red herring. Climate zones 1 and 2 strictly LIMIT the perm rating of vapor barriers because you don’t want to trap moisture in the wall. Standard stucco is a Class III Vapor Barrier with a perm rating between 5 and 10 which would also make it a Vapor Permeable which is better yet in Florida. Stucco is accepted as a suitable weather barrier throughout the code – and that is what you are looking for in climate zones 1 and 2 – a weather barrier – not a vapor barrier. Check out 1405.3.1 and 1405.3.2. The code is RESTRICTING the perm rating of vapor barriers – not requiring low perm barriers. Stucco, and CMU, serves as a good weather and air barrier. If you are keen on low perm vapor barriers then move up North. We don’t need them in Florida.
Correct code to use to certify CMU for a project designed under a previous edition of the FL Building Code.
Our project calls for 2 hr rated block and was permitted under the 2010 FL Building Code. The engineer is not approving our submittal because the manufacturer is certifying the block under the 5th Edition, 2014 FL Building Code. He is saying that the block must be certified and tested under the 2010 code? What is going on?
Your reviewing engineer is being a bit obsessive over a moot point. Table 721.3.2 in the 2007 FBC with 2009 revisions is EXACTLY the same table as 721.3.2 in the 2010 FBC which is EXACTLY the same table as 722.3.2 in the 5th Ed FBC which is EXACTLY the same table as 722.3.2 in the current 6th Ed FBC. And I do mean EXACTLY the same table. There have been no changes in this table for the past 30 years or more. 4 inch Eq Thickness of limestone agg gets you a 2 hour rating in 2007 and in 2019 - period, end of story. Additionally, the C140 testing procedures have remained exactly the same over the same 30+ years. The project was permitted under the 2010 FBC and thus is ALLOWED to be constructed under the requirements that governed at the time it was designed and reviewed (so you are not required to completely redesign the project under the current codes). It is my understanding that this does NOT mean that everyone supplying materials to the job have to climb into a time machine and retro backwards 10 years to resurrect and construct the job by historical - and out of date - standards.
That being said, your standards in the certification are not correct either way (neither 2010 or 2017. My view is that you should be testing and certifying your product under the current code (2017) and that the engineer of record should accept the current codes and standards governing construction in Florida. The question is moot because the governing procedures, and tables, have not changed.
Don I have a GC client that’s asking me a question that I cannot answer.
For a 1 hour / non load bearing masonry wall that would be between two floors, do you need to have any special caulking (fire or other) at the top on the masonry wall, besides the mortar joint.
This is new to me so let me know your opinion on this.
As long a there is a full mortar joint the face shell thickness on both sides of the wall there should be no question about the overall fire rating of the wall. Consider that the entire wall is FILLED with joints filled with mortar the face shell thickness of the wall. The joint at the top of the wall would be no different.
I am building a home in the panhandle and am having an argument with my architect on how much insulation to add to the walls. Do you have some basic rules of thumb I could use in determining insulation requirements?
Most of the energy lost in a home is through the infiltration of outside air into the house, the hot water heating system, the efficiency of the AC unit, heat gain through the ceiling from the attic space and through the windows. The opaque exterior walls really do not contribute that significantly to the heat gain/loss, usually in the range of 6% – 10%. That being said, a modest amount of well-placed insulation can pay for itself in 2 – 3 years of energy savings.
The most common type of masonry insulation is foil backed paper stapled between the furring strips. This adds about an R3 of insulation and is the minimum amount recommended. The great thing about Florida is your temperature gradient is, by and large, small – usually less than 20 degF and for much of the year less than 5 degF. The maximum insulation recommended anywhere in Florida is ¾” Poly Iso with a foil backing. The non-foil side is glued or attached directly to the masonry and the furring strips go directly over the foil backing creating a ¾” reflective air space between the foil and the drywall. This arrangement gives you an approx. R7.8. You might want to use this on a large expanse of west facing wall where the heat gain in the afternoon can be more intense.
Any more insulation than the R7.8 is a dead loss money wise and will NEVER pay for itself in energy savings. You can prove this to yourself by simply running the analysis in Comcheck or energy gauge software. You will quickly see that the exterior walls are not where your energy loss occurs.
Jerry Painter, FASTM
Don Beers, PE, GC