Watching a professional mason doing bricklaying may seem like it’s a simple process to the layman. It’s only when you get down to it that you realise that you may have underestimating the complexities of bricklaying. It is therefore that you understand the process in its entirety before you even start laying your first row of bricks. Here are some tips that you should bear in mind while bricklaying.
The bricklaying process requires that you follow certain rules. One of the most important ones is to ensure that vertical joints are staggered. If all the bricks on the second row of bricks are exactly as the ones below, your wall will be very weak.
The vertical gap between bricks creates a weak link on the wall, and should be avoided at all costs. Getting a straight wall can seem like a headache, but you can use a string line to guide you as you lay the bricks. You should also check the flatness of your wall by using a spirit level as often as possible. This will prevent one part of your wall from being higher than the rest.
You will need something to support you as you lay bricks once your wall reaches a certain point. Keep good and sturdy scaffolding on hand for this purpose. The scaffolding type you will choose will depend on your project.
Bear in mind that bricks are never perfectly square and therefore you should ignore minor discrepancies you may notice while laying the bricks. You will hardly notice any of them once the wall is finished.
As you lay your bricks, it is inevitable that you’ll need to cut some of the bricks to size in order for them to fit, especially at the joints. Cutting your bricks should be done using a chisel.
As always, safety should come first with any DIY project and you should make sure that you are wearing protective gear at all times. Wear goggles to prevent flying debris from harming your eyes and use gloves to protect your hands from cuts and bruises.
Mark where you need to cut your brick and place it on a firm ground or base. Use the sharp edge of your chisel and use a hammer to cut through the brick.
After you finish laying each course of brick, ensure that you smooth off the mortar around the seams. This will ensure that your wall is plush and looks professional. If you spot any holes in your wall, fill these up to ensure that there are no weak points. You will have to water your wall as it dries for a few weeks.
You should also know the sand to cement ratio for your mortar. The usual ratio is around 4 units of sand to one unit of cement. The mortar is the glue that holds the bricks together and therefore should be done just right. Ensure that the consistency of your mortar is neither too wet nor dry.
Laying bricks isn’t as difficult when you know how it’s done. However, before you start, make sure that you have the proper safety equipment in place, understand the brick laying process in its entirety and don’t neglect the finish.