Wall types

Solid brick wall


This is a wall built entirely of bricks fitted closely together. It may be 41 or 9 inches in thickness, depending on whether a single or double bricking is used. Walls of this kind were commonly built between the wars. Their main drawback is that rain fairly easily penetrates them and they are often damp. Frequently, there is no damp-proof course at the foot of these walls and damp may rise from the ground into them. Where a brick wall tends to show damp after rain, both near the ground and higher up, it is likely to be a solid brick wall of this kind.

Cavity brick


This is a better development than the solid wall described above. It consists of two leaves of single bricks, so laid that they are separated from each other by a small cavity. At intervals, small steel strips are fixed across between the leaves to prevent them spreading apart. The air space between the walls acts as a barrier to the passage of damp from the outside to the inside face.

The Concrete Block Wall


Interior division walls in modern houses are often made from hollow concrete blocks. These are light but strong enough to bear the loads upon them. They are, however, surprisingly fragile and can be easily broken by hammer blows. The blocks are quite large, frequently being four or five times as big as a normal brick. Usually their surfaces are plastered, though you may find in some cases plasterboard on wooden frames screwed to walls of this kind. The great advantage of concrete block walls is that they are cheap and take much less time to build than, say, brick walls of similar thickness. They are also good insulators and to some extent also prevent the passage of sound. From the home worker’s point of view they present few difficulties.

The Lath and Plaster Wall

Interior division walls, in older properties especially, may be made with a wooden framework to which thin strips of wood, called laths, have been nailed. Finally a plaster surface is applied to the laths. Such walls sound hollow when tapped gently and they will not withstand the blow of a hammer. From the point of view of decoration they present no problems. They are, however, unlike most other house walls, liable to damage for which repairs may sometimes be needed. Damage by direct physical contact is the usual cause, especially where heavy pieces of furniture have been allowed to strike the wall and shatter the laths. These damaged points may be repaired by removing the damaged laths and nailing fresh ones in place. Plaster can then be applied. Alternatively, a patch of thick plasterboard can be fitted in the hole.

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