Masonry Supports – Provide a Horizontal Movement Joint

masonryMasonry supports, or shelf angles, provide a horizontal movement joint within masonry walls. This seminar will discuss design and construction considerations, including movement control, moisture management, thermal performance, optimizing shelf angle location strategies, and accommodating structural tolerances. Check out for more information.

Simple, effective angle bracket system designed to suit varying cavity widths. Suitable for either concrete framed structures with site-drilled expansion bolts or steel framed structures with coated setscrews.

Brick masonry walls attached to a concrete frame tend to shrink and expand at different rates due to temperature changes, moisture expansion, elastic deformation, and settlement. These differential movements are provided in a masonry wall assembly through horizontal and vertical expansion joints, shelf angles, and adjustable veneer anchors.

Relieving angles (also known as masonry support or corbels) transfer the weight of the masonry to the main building structure and allow space beneath the masonry for building movements to occur. They are installed at intervals along the wall elevation, typically at each floor level. The frequency and number of relieving angles in a wall system depend on several factors, including the height of the building, the size, and location of windows, the type of lintel or header, masonry anchorage, and the code requirements for structural movement tolerances.

While the purpose of relieving angles is clear, properly installing these metal elements can be difficult to accomplish during construction. That is due to the long lead time for galvanized or stainless steel relieving angles and a tight schedule for installing brickwork. In addition, a lack of communication and coordination between the contractor and structural engineer during the design phase can result in a mismatch between the masonry loads and the structure’s load capacity.

A common deficiency of relieving angle installation is using a sealant (typically mortar) under the underside of the relief angle. It can restrict water drainage from the masonry wall and prohibit it from meeting energy codes. In addition, the lipped bricks are often installed directly above the underside of the angle, requiring that they be cut to fit. This detail usually leaves a gap under the arch that is not sealed and may leak and deteriorate over time.

An alternative to a sealant is a flexible membrane such as Armatherm FRR or other structural thermal break material. It significantly reduces the linear transmittance of the thermal bridge and allows for the removal of the rigid metal flashing used for waterproofing.

Shelf angles are steel angle irons installed in masonry veneer buildings to support brick above a masonry opening. New construction requires them to reduce the likelihood of collapse and damage due to excessive vertical movement. They are typically installed on each floor and support the brick above that story. Like lintels, shelf angles must be engineered and properly sized to ensure they meet the strength requirements for their design. Lintels and shelf angles should also be stiff to minimize masonry cracks caused by excessive deflection.

Many multifamily building projects require steel shelf angles to achieve high energy efficiency levels and comply with state energy codes. However, these structural elements form significant thermal bridges that can reduce the wall’s R-value by up to 50%, creating costly energy losses. To limit upfront material and long-term maintenance costs, SWA recommends that these elements be limited in frequency and, where possible, offset to further reduce the thermal bridging impact.

SWA’s field review of this project found that the last course of brick under the shelf angle was cut to “fit” the pitch instead of being sized to a proper mortar joint. It resulted in excessive expansion and spalling of the bricks at the toe of the shelf angle and inadequate drainage of the area.

Another problem observed was improper shimming of the shelf angle. It allowed water to infiltrate and corrode the steel angle, which could not support the brick above. This condition is commonly referred to as “lipped brick” and can be caused by poor installation, inadequate mortar joints, condensation, or improper protection of the steel angle.

SWA’s engineering services review of this project included 3D thermal modeling to understand the impact of various design solutions for addressing masonry thermal bridging caused by shelf angles. Specifically, modeling focused on the influence of a stand-off shelf in an angle connector geometry, thermal properties, spacing of the connectors, and insulation thickness on the performance of the thermal break. This information will help SWA develop a more effective solution to address masonry thermal bridging in future projects.


Masonry support systems are horizontal ledges that transfer the load of brick or stone veneer buildings onto the main structure. They are typically located at the perimeter of a building and all openings, including doors, windows, and vents. The masonry supports are also designed to allow for differential movement between the brickwork and concrete frame by providing a space or gap at the supporting level that allows for movement.

Brick masonry is known to expand, while concrete tends to shrink. Provision for movement between the two materials is achieved by a system of vertical and horizontal expansion joints, shelf angles, adjustable veneer anchors, and concrete and steel reinforcement. Inadequate or improper mounting may lead to corrosion of embedded steel elements such as lintels, anchors, and ties, which can subsequently cause deflection cracks in the masonry veneer or structural distress in the concrete frame structure.

Typical failures of masonry support systems occur when the bracket angle is either fixed too tight or not tight enough. It can be due to a need for more detailing and specification of the required bolt size or better installation practices. It is common for builders to fix the masonry support as they go along rather than at an early stage in construction, and this can result in the bracket being skewed or incorrectly fitted.

The most common masonry support systems consist of continuous thin-angle supports, welded brackets, or individual bracket angle supports. The welded system is the most economical to design and supply. It consists of various sizes of stainless angle brackets, depending on the loading being fixed back to the structural frame at system centers. These are then loaded into the stands and adjusted. The system can be improved on-site by the use of shimming. However, this should only be used up to the maximum thickness of the outside diameter of the fixing bolt or 16mm, whichever is less.

AnconOptima masonry support systems include:

  • Laser-cut brackets.
  • Two-step angles with pre-marked fixing zones.
  • Locking wedges to ensure the correct contact.

The system is compatible with Ancon Thermal Breaks, which minimize heat loss through cold bridging and improve the U value of the wall assembly. The standard methods referenced, AnconOptima 10, 12, and 14, can support uncategorized masonry loads up to 10kN, 12kN, and 14kN per meter, respectively.


Masonry has several types of joints, and each performs a different function. Concave joints are the most common and provide excellent resistance to water penetration, whereas rodded or V-shaped mortar joints offer less protection. Struck or raked joints tend to degrade more rapidly, while beaded or extruded joint profiles produce an old-fashioned and formal look but may not be as durable as other types of joints.

Different joint styles also produce varying degrees of masonry weathering. A concave joint, which extends past the surface of the brick, typically sheds more moisture than any other type of joint and provides the best overall masonry weathering performance. On the other hand, the beaded or v-shaped joint does not extend far enough from the face of the brick to properly shed rain, resulting in a wall that collects water and can lead to structural and aesthetic problems.

Movement joints separate the masonry wall into segments, which minimizes cracking that occurs as dissimilar materials expand or shrink. In angled masonry walls, movement joints are usually provided in horizontal directions (as opposed to vertical) and must be spaced at least 0.375 inches apart. Considering their differing expansion tendencies, the spacing between the movement joints should be adjusted to allow for anticipated dimensional changes in the concrete frame and the brick veneer.

In addition to movement joints, a minimum of two expansion joints should be provided for angled masonry walls laid in running bond. These expansion joints are required to prevent the corners of the masonry units from contacting each other, which can cause shear and differential movement between the brick and concrete frame, resulting in random wall cracking.

All expansion and head joints should be finished using a tool rather than by hand raking, as this produces a more compact, clean, and resilient finish. The joints should be sprayed with water or a diluted masonry sealant before application of the adhesive to improve adhesion and minimize the potential for deterioration.

Drywall Repair

Drywall Repair Basics

Small holes from picture frame nails or doorknobs are an easy DIY fix. Anyone can make this repair quickly and efficiently with a patch kit, spackle or joint compound (aka mud), and a putty knife.Drywall Repair

Larger dents or holes require mesh drywall tape to reinforce the repair and prevent future shifting. This is a good time to identify wall studs, which will help with other repairs later on. However, if you need help from experts, contact Drywall Repair Las Vegas now!

The drywall is very strong but can still crack if it’s not properly installed or subjected to stress. Cracks are usually found on the seam where two sheets meet. Normally this type of crack is cosmetic and easily repaired.

When a drywall sheet meets another, it gets sealed with paper tape to prevent water and other materials from seeping through the joints. Over time the tape can pull away from the drywall and create a small crack. If left unchecked the crack can widen and could eventually cause the drywall to collapse.

To repair a drywall crack, remove any loose material in the area and apply an appropriate size patch to the wall surface using a putty knife. Then, use an electronic stud finder to locate the studs on either side of the damaged area. Remove the damaged drywall, taking care not to cut into the studs.

If you’re repairing a corner, start by removing the metal edge strip called a “corner bead.” This can be done with a power saw or by hand. This is because a lot of things can dent drywall corners—from running the vacuum cleaner to a kid flinging a toy. Once the corner bead is removed, use a putty knife to spread a skim coat of joint compound over the bare spot. Let it dry, then sand it smooth.

Cracks that appear vertically near doors and windows are usually caused by settling in the house frame. This is normal, but if the cracks continue to grow it’s a sign of structural damage and should be checked by an experienced contractor.

Nail pops, or nail heads pulling away from the studs, are fairly common in new homes and can be fixed with a little joint compound. It’s important to fix them before they get out of hand because the nails hold drywall together and if they come apart it can make the drywall weak and more likely to crack.

If the crack is very shallow, use an electric sander to smooth the wall surface, then apply several skim coats of compound and sand each one smooth. This will make the crack less noticeable once it’s sanded and painted.


Holes in drywall are a common problem that can be caused by anything from a cat or dog scratching or gnawing at a wall to rodents or insects burrowing through the surface. They can also be caused by a nail or screw that’s come loose, creating a hole that needs to be fixed before it becomes larger and creates additional damage in the area.

Small holes can be repaired with spackle or joint compound (ask your local hardware store what’s best for you), a putty knife and a sanding block. Anything bigger than a nail hole requires the use of mesh drywall tape as well, which can add strength to the patch and help prevent cracking in the future.

If you’re dealing with a large hole, the first step is to make sure that no electrical or plumbing lines are running through it. Shine a flashlight into the hole to see if there are any wires or pipes.

After ensuring that there are no hidden wires or pipes in the wall, cut out the section of drywall surrounding the hole using a utility knife. This will give you a clean edge to work with when repairing the hole.

A stud finder can help you locate the studs on either side of the hole, which will give you a guide for how large to cut the section of drywall. Once you’ve removed the section of drywall, screw in wooden boards to act as supports at the top and bottom of the hole, like you would when framing out a wall.

The next step is to cut a piece of drywall that’s about twice the size of the hole, then place it over the holes and trace the outline of the old drywall onto the backside. Carefully cut along the lines you’ve drawn with a utility knife, being careful not to cut through the front paper.

Once the new drywall patch is in place, apply several thin coats of joint compound to the entire area and sand in between each one. This will give the patch a smooth finish that will blend in with the rest of the wall. Once the patch is completely dry, you can paint over it to match the color of the rest of your walls.


If your drywall is stained, it’s important to repair the stain before painting. This will give you a better looking finished product. Stains on drywall are usually caused by water damage, mold or mildew. These problems need to be addressed as soon as possible, to prevent further damage. A professional can assess the situation and perform any necessary repairs.

If you have a light stain on your drywall, you may be able to clean it up with a mild cleaning solution and water. However, if the stain is more serious and dark, it will likely require a professional. Dark stains are typically signs of long-standing moisture and can lead to mold or mildew growth. It’s important to repair these stains as quickly as possible, as they can be very hazardous to your health and will also affect the air quality in your home or office.

Drywall Cracks

Cracks in drywall can be caused by many things, including changes in temperature and humidity, settling of the building or poor installation techniques. In most cases, cracks can be patched by using a joint compound. The cracks should then be sanded and primed to seal the repaired area.


Holes in drywall can be caused by many things, such as accidents or the removal of fixtures or hardware. In most cases, holes in drywall can be patched by using a patch from another piece of drywall. The patch should then be nailed into place, sanded and then primed to seal the repaired area.


If you have a light stain on the surface of your drywall, it’s important to repair the stain prior to painting. This will give you a better finished product and will make the wall look more professional. If the stain is more serious, it will likely need to be removed and a new piece of drywall installed.


If moisture gets absorbed into drywall, it can lead to mold and mildew growth. This may cause a foul smell, and it also poses health risks for family members. Mold spores may be ingested, and some types of mold can even pose respiratory issues. It’s important to have this issue addressed as soon as possible.

Often, mold and water damage can be prevented by taking a few simple steps. First, you should address the source of the problem. This could be a leaking pipe, condensation from an air conditioning unit, or a sink overflow. Once you’ve fixed the problem, you should take measures to dry out the area. Opening doors and windows and using fans to circulate the air will help speed up the process. It’s also a good idea to use a dehumidifier, as this will lower the humidity and further help with drying out the affected areas.

Once the area is dry, you can patch any holes or cracks in the drywall. Make sure to use a high-quality drywall compound that is moisture resistant and stain blocking. It’s also a good idea for you to use a moisture-resistant primer on the entire wall, and be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.

One final step to prevent future drywall problems is to add a layer of polyurethane foam to the surface of the wall. This will create a barrier that prevents moisture from entering the wall and can be especially effective in homes with high humidity.

Moisture is a huge culprit when it comes to drywall problems. Excessive humidity can cause the wood framing of a house to swell, paints to bubble or peel, and even drywall to crack or crumble. This is due to the water-soluble joint compound used on drywall, which deteriorates when exposed to excessive moisture. It’s important to have any moisture issues evaluated and resolved as soon as they occur, or they may result in irreversible damage to the home’s structural integrity. If left unchecked, a small moisture problem can easily turn into a large-scale drywall removal and replacement project.

Carpet Cleaning

How Green Carpet Cleaning Can Help Your Carpets Last Longer

Carpets are gorgeous, but they also trap dirt and stains. Frequent vacuuming is great, but that isn’t enough to keep your carpets looking new.Carpet Cleaning

Professional at Carpet Cleaning El Dorado Hills CA uses special machines to clean your carpets deep. They start by pre-vacuuming your carpets to make sure that the dirt doesn’t get re-grounded into the carpet during the cleaning process.

Dirt is one of the most common reasons that carpets lose their luster. It doesn’t just look unsightly; dirt also wears on the fibers of your carpet and can cause them to become matted. Regular cleaning can stop this from happening and help your carpets last longer.

Vacuuming regularly is one way to help stop dirt from sinking into your carpets, but this alone isn’t enough. Daily oily residue from the rooms in your home, family pets (if you have any) and even the outside world can “lock-in” to the fibres of your carpet. Over time this can actually change the colour of your carpet and create unsightly “traffic lanes”. Regular cleaning can prevent this from occurring and keep your carpets looking fresh and new.

Many people think that the best way to tackle stains is to simply rub them, but this can actually make them worse. Rubbing and digging at a stain can push it deeper into the fibres of your carpet, making it more difficult to remove. Professional cleaning can ensure that your carpets are cleaned as thoroughly as possible, leaving them with a fresh and clean appearance.

Carpets are a catch-all for dirt, with dust mites, pet hair, dead skin cells, bacteria, mildew, volatile organic compounds and more all clinging to the fibres. This can lead to allergies and breathing problems for anyone living in the home or workplace. Regular cleaning can help to stop these allergens building up and improve the overall air quality in your environment.

When it comes to removing these contaminants, the most effective method is hot water extraction, or steam cleaning. This involves technicians pre-conditioning your carpets with a solution that loosens up the stains and dirt before using a high-pressure hose to rinse away the dirt and residue. This method can leave your carpets with no left-over dirt or detergent, and can also get rid of lingering odors caused by food spillages, smoking, production or automotive fluids and greases. Keeping your carpets regularly cleaned can help to remove these unpleasant odors and make the space more pleasant for those living or working in your home or business.

Pet Hair

Pets are a part of the family but they can leave their mark on your carpet. Their shedding fur gets caught up in your carpets and can cause them to become dull and discolored. Regular vacuuming is essential to keep hair under control but you can also try using a rubber rake, which helps loosen the embedded hair and is easy to clean out after use.

Another great tool for getting rid of pesky pet hair is a hairbrush with stiff metal bristles. Brushing your carpets regularly will remove the majority of the hair strands and prevent them from becoming embedded in the carpet fibers. When using either a hairbrush or a carpet rake, make sure to use short strokes in various directions to ensure you are getting all of the fur. You can also use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get rid of the deep embedded hair.

A wet cleaning method is also effective for getting rid of pet hair and other stains on your carpets. This type of cleaning uses water and carpet cleaner to draw out the stains and hair, leaving your carpets looking as good as new. This method is also helpful in removing odors from the carpet, which are often caused by pet urine.

There are many things you can do to minimize the impact of your pets on your carpets, such as grooming them, training them and providing them with appropriate scratching surfaces. This will not only cut down on the amount of shedding but it can help reduce allergies as well. Regularly washing blankets and beds will also help to eliminate dirt and odors, keeping your carpets in top condition.

A pet’s dander and hair can worsen allergy symptoms, making itchy and watery eyes, coughing and congestion all too common. By having your carpets deep cleaned 2-4 times per year, you can greatly reduce allergy symptoms and improve your indoor air quality. Adding a deodorizer to your carpet can help to neutralize any lingering odors as well. Another easy and affordable way to remove dust and pet hair from your carpet is by spraying it with anti-static spray, which will prevent the hair from bonding with the fibres.

Stubborn Stains

Stains on carpets and rugs can be unsightly and if not dealt with properly, they can damage the fibers of the rug or carpet. This can lead to weakened fibers that break down over time, causing the carpet or rug to wear out prematurely and reduce its lifespan. Stains can also have an unpleasant odor that can be hard to get rid of.

If you want to avoid stains, the first thing to do is vacuum regularly. This process sucks up dry soil before it can grind into the carpet fibers and make it difficult to remove. Vacuuming is also a good preventative measure because it can help keep dirt from becoming embedded in the fibers of your rug or carpet.

When a stain does occur, immediately blot the affected area with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. Don’t rub the stain, as this can push it deeper into the fibers. Instead, gently blot the stain to lift it from the carpet or rug.

Then, apply a commercial cleaning product directly to the stained area. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you are using. After applying the cleaner, blot the area again until no more of the stain appears on the absorbent cloth or rag. Then rinse the area thoroughly with cold water until all traces of the stain are gone.

If the stain is a dye or marker stain, use a commercial product designed to remove these types of stains. You can also make your own homemade cleaner by mixing one part distilled white vinegar with one part cool water in a spray bottle. Finally, blot the area again until it is completely dry.

Oil and grease stains can be tough to get out of your carpets. You can try saturating the spot with carbonated water or club soda. Then, blot the area again with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. You can also sprinkle cornstarch over the greasy stain and let it sit overnight. Then vacuum up what remains in the morning.

If you are unable to get a stubborn stain out of your carpet, it may be time to call in the professionals. If the stain persists after following recommended home cleaning methods, it is most likely due to a chemical spill or permanent ink and will require professional assistance.


Carpets are like humans, they need a bit of TLC from time to time to keep them healthy. This includes regular cleaning, a deep clean from time to time and avoiding damaging chemicals. You wouldn’t use damaging chemicals on your body so why would you put them in your home? Using green carpet cleaners will keep your family safe, improve air quality and extend the life of your carpet.

Chemicals found in most carpet cleaners can be dangerous to people, pets and the environment. They emit vapors that can irritate people’s eyes, nose and throat. These toxic fumes can also trigger asthma and allergies, especially in children. Long-term exposure to these dangerous chemicals can lead to heart disease, respiratory problems and even cancer. Some chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, causing nausea, dizziness and fatigue, as well as liver and kidney damage.

The PH level of carpet cleaners is very important, as it affects the effectiveness and longevity of the carpet. Acidic cleaners can cause the colors of multi-colored carpet to fade, while alkaline cleaners can erode fibers. To avoid this, choose carpet cleaners with a neutral or slightly acidic PH level.

If you’re not sure what PH level to look for, choose a cleaner that doesn’t use too many “buffers.” This will help maintain the PH balance of the cleaning solution and prevent it from becoming too acidic or alkaline.

It is a good idea to check for the green certification on carpet cleaning products, as this will ensure that they are safer for the environment, your family, and your pets. Green-certified cleaners are made of plant-based ingredients that are biodegradable, safe for humans and animals, and don’t contain any harsh chemicals. They can also be odorless, leaving your carpet 80% drier than traditional steam cleaning methods.

In addition to choosing the right chemicals, preventing heavy staining and soiling through frequent vacuuming and prompt cleaning of spills can greatly reduce the need for carpet cleaning. Also, choosing a carpet cleaner that uses less water will limit the amount of chemicals dumped or poured into the water supply and can affect the entire community.