Tools for brickwork are crucial for any construction project with brickwork and blockwork. There are fasteners to hold masonry in place, flashing to properly shed water away from brickwork and expansion joints to allow structural movement, alongside decking and formwork for concrete. All brickwork tools are vital to the structural integrity of any residential, commercial or public building.
Brickwork tools also encompass a range of safety building accessories like temporary handrails and roof safety railings or weep holes for ventilation and drainage of brickwork cavity reduce fungal decay and mildew.
To ensure you get the most out of your brickwork project, we’ll provide information on some of the most common brickwork tools available to brickies, labourers and builders to ensure your project is successful and compliant with Australian Standards.
Masonry, Brickwork and Blockwork, What is it?
Anything laid by a stonemason or bricklayer is considered masonry work, which encompasses materials like stone, brick and blockwork walls made from breeze blocks, Thermalite blocks, concrete blocks, or cinder blocks. Blockwork is much faster to install than brickwork making it ideal for interior walls, which are then rendered for a smooth finish.
Brickwork, on the other hand, is often left exposed for aesthetic reasons.
Australian Standards for Masonry
Standards are voluntary documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines set up by Standards Australia that aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable.
AS 3700 – Masonry Structures sets the minimum requirements for designing and constructing masonry elements and must be adhered to by engineers, building designers, bricklayers, block layers, brick and/or block manufacturers and suppliers, builders, building certifiers and surveyors and site supervisors.
Fasteners, Ties, Fixings and Other Brickwork Tools
Also known as masonry anchors, building fasteners are fixings used to fasten or attach another building material to masonry walls. Although Screws are favoured fasteners for many structural applications, they cannot be used with brick stone or block walls.
Specialist masonry anchors like brick wall ties or expansion ties provide a more secure fit and allow for the natural movement and expansion of building materials without failing.
Section 3 of AS 3700 deals with specific design properties of all components for masonry construction, including ties and reinforcing.
Brickwork Red Wall Ties
As a reinforcement for brick and block walls when embedded in cement mortar, red wall ties act as connections and permit in-plane movement to accommodate differential movements in built-up brick/block walls.
Stubby Brick Ties
These right-angle ties are used in brick veneer construction to support brick and block walls implanted in cement mortar to accommodate in-plane movement.
Typically used in double brick construction, expansion ties are galvanised with a zinc coating and feature a patented design for maximum grip while providing the correct control gap (10-20mm) for masonry projects.
To ensure a structure is weatherproof, builders install flashing to prevent water from seeping under the roof. Typically installed in areas most prone to water ingress, roof flashing can be installed over roof shingles and other roof materials to divert water away from brickwork and blockwork. Flashing can also protect structures from rising damp (when groundwater rises through tiny cracks in the brickwork or masonry of a structure) in brick/block walls.
Section 4 of AS 3700 deals with the individual design aspects of masonry construction, from moisture prevention to control joints, mortar bonding, connections, sills and corbelling.
Malthoid flashing is an organic fibre felt completely saturated in hot bitumen, then coated with further selected bitumen and finished with a dusting of fine powder to prevent sticking when rolled. This rugged and flexible bitumen-coated felt is inert to lime and other alkalis found in cement and mortar.
Although many products are designed to replace lead flashing, lead is still ideal for roof flashing. The softness and ductility of lead flashing are attached closely to roof contours without splitting or cracking, while its weight prevents lifting or shifting due to wind forces. And if you know anything about lead, you know how durable it is, capable of withstanding environmental stressors for hundreds of years.
Concrete construction requires expansion joints to reduce stresses, fractures or cracks in the structure. Expansion joints are essentially a cushion between adjacent concrete sections, helping to minimise any damage that structural movements may cause.
Metal Slip Joints
Similar to expansion joints, a metal slip joint is installed where brickwork and concrete meet to enable low friction movement between the different materials due to the expansion and contraction caused over time.
Permanent Decking and Formwork
Unlike temporary formwork that is removed once the concrete is laid and cured, permanent formwork acts as an additional stabiliser and added protection for precast concrete. Used as permanent formwork with excellent spanning capabilities, installing permanent formwork composite slabs reduces the need for extra concrete and reinforcement costs.
Safety is paramount to any construction project, so buildings are covered in scaffolding and safety rails to protect workers from falling. Temporary handrails can be purchased in large quantities and are ideal for use on all job sites.
Weepas For Brickwork
A weep hole is installed in brickwork to improve ventilation and drainage of the cavity to reduce fungal decay and mildew. Australian Standards require all brickwork projects to have weep holes installed in external walls.
Brickwork and Blockwork Building Supplies
Tools for brickwork and blockwork building supplies for masonry construction come in many forms.
Fasteners, ties and fixings hold masonry and other structural materials in place, flashing to direct water away from vulnerable parts of the roof, plus expansion joints to reduce the impact of stresses, fractures or cracks in the structure. There are weep holes to improve ventilation and drainage, alongside permanent formwork for added stability and safety rails for fall protection.
With such a wide variety of brickwork accessories, it pays to shop online with suppliers that offer everything you need off the shelf and ready to go. No matter what you need for your next masonry project, seek out the best brickwork tools by shopping online for building materials and hardware in Australia.