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jlamascus 02-17-2010 01:50 PM

Mortar OR Dry Stack
I am working on creating walls for an animal shelter. If you know anything about housing animals, you will know that stick framing equals roaches, rats and moisture problems.

These walls need to be concrete. Also, cost is of the utmost concern.

I ran across an article discussing "dry stacking". It appeals to me. It has two distinct benefits I see immediately.

1) Expert labor force reduced to one foreman.
2) Time requirement is minimal.

There is another benefit as well. In constructing a wall for housing animals, the surface of the wall must be smooth. That means a mortared wall would have to have a smooth surface applied over it. Since dry stacking uses a smooth coating anyway, it would eliminate an extra step required for mortared walls.

Both walls would require the same foundation and rebar every four foot.

My current question is regarding "Interlocking Block Systems". I don't think they are needed. It would only increase cost. As I understand it, dry stacked walls can be built using standard CMUs. And, the cavities do not need to be filled -- except where there is rebar (just like a mortared wall.)

Any thoughts?

concretemasonry 02-17-2010 03:08 PM

Unless you use a surface bonding coating on both sides, a dry stack will have little strength., especially laterally. Mortar is not needed, but it adds to the vertical strength.


Brickie 02-20-2010 07:11 PM

I've built quite a few of these over the decades. My 90lb German Shepherd can easily knock over a dry stack wall like you are describing OP. Dry stacking is a complete waste of time & money. Build the walls with CMU's layed in mortar. The bed joints & head joints should be flush & not struck.

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