Considering that walls function as mere covering and partition of a building, they are usually not the focus of most construction-related discussions. In fact, in actual construction, they are usually built last. Nonetheless, there’s more to these walls than you almost certainly know. Here are some information about them that you might find useful in making decisions for your own construction projects.
They Are Not Always Non-Load-Bearing
Walls are often classified as non-load-bearing, and it’s easy to understand why. If you remove them, the structure would most likely remain standing. But this is not always the case. Most architectural designs include load-bearing walls for added support. This is done to prevent a structure from collapsing on sections where column and beam support is expected to be weak. They provide either a continuous support along the girder or perpendicular to it.
They Come in Different Types
A concrete wall is often made of cement blocks, mortar, and sometimes reinforcement. The cement blocks builders use come in at least four types, each of which provides a different level of support and stability. Depending on their function in the structure, their construction may or may not require concrete forming systems.
- Solid Concrete Blocks – These are cement blocks that do not have holes or hollows for reinforcement, hence the name. They can come in the form of bricks, carved stones, or concrete itself. The only material that connects them is mortar.
- Hollow Concrete Blocks – Often used in small-scale construction, this consists of hollows, which allow the insertion of reinforcement bars. The hollows are later filled with mortar, making the final output compact.
- Lightweight Aerated Concrete Blocks – This is a lightweight, precast, foam concrete building material that provides support, insulation, and resistance to fire and mold. It is less dense than conventional cement blocks but makes a strong, solid material when bound with mortar.
- Fly Ash Concrete Blocks – They are technically a type of hollow block, except they are made from a mix of class C or class F fly ash and water. The high concentration of calcium in the class C fly ash makes the particles cement themselves when mixed with water and dried.
They Need Formwork, Too
In small-scale construction, with most walls anticipated to be non-load-bearing, strategic stacking of the cement blocks is enough to set up the walls. For more stable and finer result, forms can be used. Not only will the additional mortar further bolster the solidity of the walls, but it will also provide a finer finish that may no longer need manual plastering.
In case you find using formwork more efficient and safe for your structure, do so but make sure to comply with existing building standards. For best results, buy concrete wall forms for sale from one of the country’s leading providers, such as LECO. They sure have a range of choices that can help you find the most suitable one for your project.
How to Identify a Load-Bearing Wall, lifehacker.com