How Masonry Construction Withstands Severe Weather Conditions

Jan 6, 2020

Community buildings are subjected to constant changes in weather conditions, that we often take for granted— and that’s a good thing. If we don’t notice the impact of rain or snowstorms on our homes and businesses, it means the building’s architects and builders did their jobs correctly. Though the right building materials will vary between projects, masonry construction is a common building choice. Here, we outline how masonry construction stands up to wind, floods, and heat.

Tornado-Force Winds

Much of the US experiences high-speed winds that may sometimes turn hazardous. While extreme wind forces can knock over buildings, the real danger comes from loose materials that become dislodged and blow into other structures at over 100 miles per hour. This is why, for a building to be considered tornado-proof, it must also be missile-proof, according to the National Concrete Masonry Association. 

Several investigations conducted by the Portland Cement Association found that masonry construction, especially when reinforced, can withstand the impact of debris carried by high-wind forces with minimal structural damage. Additionally, masonry construction is often used when constructing storm shelters for this very reason. 

 

 

Heavy Rains and Flooding

Flooding can be very detrimental and leaves lasting effects on buildings. While the force of the flood can cause structural damage, additional problems with rotting and molding arise once the waters recede— mold, being the number one cause of building deterioration, according to Echelon Masonry

Structural CMU, also known as cinder blocks or breeze blocks, can stand up to pressure from shifting earth and is resistant to mold and rot. A well-built masonry construction wall system can help prevent issues from excess moisture caused by heavy rains and flooding and can safeguard a building’s structural integrity over time.

Desert Heat and Arid Climates

Desert climates tend to be very hot during daylight hours, and significantly cooler at night. This major fluctuation in temperature poses a challenge to contractors building in these regions. 

Stone and brick masonry construction can help regulate building temperatures throughout the day. These materials have a high thermal mass, which means they can absorb heat from outside during the hottest parts of the day and slow it from transferring indoors. When exterior temperatures cool off a night, these materials release the stored heat into the building, helping to offset the drastic change in temperature. In addition to providing more habitable conditions to occupants, maintaining stable interior temperatures reduces energy usage and increases efficiency as well. 

While contractors chose construction materials based on a variety of factors, including regional weather patterns, masonry construction has been known to consistently perform well when subjected to the elements.

Why Choose Phoenix Masonry?  

Phoenix is an experienced contract masonry services provider. We are passionate about the entire construction process, from design to planning, to execution, and we bring that passion to every job site.

Are you looking for masonry construction services from an experienced masonry contractor who’s invested in your community? Contact us for a bid today.