While the great debate wages over the terms “expansion joints” vs. “control joints,” no one denies that they are both forms of “movement joints” and are necessary to prevent cracking in clay masonry veneer walls. Thus, it’s important to understand the types of movement in clay-based masonry veneer walls and how to control the cumulative effects through the proper design of movement joints.
It’s been said, “either you or nature will decide where to locate masonry movement joints, either way they will occur.” And while architects tend to like straight, clean lines for building movement, nature is not so particular. Unplanned movement in masonry walls often results in broken masonry units, unsightly cracks, and water intrusion into the building. Movement occurs both vertically and horizontally and occurs at different rates in dissimilar materials. Good design of movement joints requires the aesthetic placement of joints in locations necessary to accommodate anticipated movement.
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