Masons and building product suppliers have been adapting to evolving codes for years. Many have developed simple solutions to ensure quality in masonry homes and ease the inspection process. Here are a few examples.
Precast concrete lintels
Precast lintels provide strength and wind resistance, especially over window and door openings. Their “U” shape design supports predetermined gravity load capacities and helps expedite concrete masonry construction. They form a composite beam system that has added load carrying capacities when filled with concrete grout.
- Quality Precast Co., 800-752-1730, www.qualityprecast.com
Mason Bond is an adhesive used for concrete blocks, bricks, and decorative stone. It comes pre-mixed and ready to apply in caulk-size tubes or larger application equipment. The product recently gained compliance verification from the International Code Commission.
- ITW TACC, 800-503-6991, www.itwtacc.com
These inserts, invented by a mason contractor, make the completion and inspection of concrete block walls less painful. The metal panels are inserted into block inspection holes, replacing plywood covers. Holes in the panel's design show when block cells are filled with concrete.
- Pickett Steel, 352-787-5142, www.pickettsteel.com
Hip roofs are becoming more common in new Florida homes than gabled roofs, and embedded truss anchors are being used to provide additional lateral wind resistance. This engineered method properly attaches roof trusses to concrete and masonry walls. The products are designed with staggered nail patterns for greater uplift resistance.
- Simpson Strong-Tie Co., 860-925-5099, www.strongtie.com
Narrow flange masonry hangers were developed to secure wooden beams used in overhangs, such as porches or patios. Their slotted steel design bolts beams to adjacent masonry more effectively than nails alone.
- USP Structural Connectors, 800-328-5934, www.uspconnectors.com
Rebar locking system
The Rebar-Lok system allows masons to build walls without lifting blocks over pre-placed bars. A polystyrene casing houses a built-in tie wire, which the mason mortars into place as a wall is built. Once the block is positioned, the mason inserts the rebar and pulls a tie wire to engage the system, automatically centering the rebar before grout is poured.
- Polylok Inc., 888-765-9565, www.polylok.com
Steel lintels provide flexural strength and span openings up to 38 ft. They are easy to transport and install, with no lifting equipment needed. The lintels are available in various lengths, radiuses, and custom sizes.
- Powers Steel & Wire Inc., 888-525-0108, www.powerssteel.com
Read the main article, "Winds of Change"