Moisture/Thermal Movement of Clay Bricks – Movement in Domestic Buildings
Structural engineers design, plan and research structural elements and structural components to ensure safety of buildings and occupants. Consideration is given to the various structural elements, the durability of those materials and their performance under stress and structural loads.
One such scenario where structural elements show a short coming if not applied correctly, is the movement of clay bricks due to moisture absorbtion and thermal influences can cause movement in domestic buildings.
Other structural elements formed out of materials which are subject to moisture changes will react similarly. Clay bricks delivered straight from the kiln will undergo an expansion as they absorb moisture and will continue to be affected, albeit to a lesser degree, by changing atmospheric conditions. Such movement in domestic buildings, more often than not, results in cracking of the wall, as allowance for movement is rarely provided in low-rise buildings.
The cracks will generally appear at changes in the section of the walling, i.e. at openings, at changes in the thickness or height of the wall, perhaps where chases are cut, or where piers or partition walls are built.
Structural engineer in Canberra ACT:
The above information is for guidance only.
If you need on-site assessment, contact Antoun from ANH Consulting Engineers about your particular problem or for footing design that suits your site condition.