Unfilled mortar joints in brick masonry weaken walls, increase leakage, breach a contract, violate the law, and break tradition, any one of which can get a contractor in serious trouble. The bricklayers' union, masonry contractors, architectural and engineering professionals, and materials researchers all agree that unfilled mortar joints should not be permitted. Yet void mortar joints have been the bane of the brick industry for more than a hundred years. UNFILLED JOINTS PERSIST Unfilled head, bed, and collar joints are not unusual. Masons know how to fill mortar joints. All they need is some encouragement from management to do it. The need to build quickly and efficiently ought not to compromise quality workmanship. A contractor can lose a lot of money due to unfilled joints, as his lawyer will testify. IMPROVE TRAINING AND REQUIRE INSPECTION So what can be done to solve the problem? Improve the quality and quantity of vocational education programs. Use the top-quality mason training materials that are available from the industry's trade associations. And, the most effective solution to the many problems created by unfilled mortar joints is rigorous onsite observation by knowledgeable inspectors.