Soaping Masonry Saint John NB

What are soaps in masonry walls and when are they used? The term "soap" is often used to describe masonry units in Saint John cut to reduce their depth. The Brick Industry Association (BIA) defines soaps as "A masonry unit of normal face dimensions having a nominal 2-inch. thickness." In actual construction, I have seen soaps cut down to a depth of 1 inch.

Hardman Group Ltd
(506) 383-4242
1633 Mountain Road
Moncton, NB
 
Master Drywall Services
(506) 383-7689
225 Commerce Street
Moncton, NB
 
Alternative Concrete Technologies Ltd
(506) 657-7404
32 Frederick St
Saint John, NB
 
Pascon S General Masonry Ltd
(506) 672-5502
2417 Ocean Westway
Saint John, NB
 
Wildwood Masonry Ltd
(506) 632-1034
68 McIlveen Dr
Saint John, NB
 
A.J. Allain & Sons Ltd.
(506) 381-1923
Moncton, NB

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Montford Masonery Inc
(506) 653-7888
Saint John, NB
 
Wildwood Masonry Ltd
(506) 632-9194
Saint John, NB
 
Fundy Masonry Ltd
(506) 634-3906
Ragged Pt Rd
Saint John, NB
 
Acadia Bricklayers Ltd
(506) 743-5336
Bouctouche, NB
 
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Soaping Masonry

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Source: MASONRY CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE
Publication date: January 1, 2002

What are soaps in masonry walls and when are they used? The term "soap" is often used to describe masonry units cut to reduce their depth. The Brick Industry Association (BIA) defines soaps as "A masonry unit of normal face dimensions having a nominal 2-inch. thickness." In actual construction, I have seen soaps cut down to a depth of 1 inch.

They are often used where a reduction in depth is needed to conceal obstructions within the masonry wall. Soaps are used in front of bolts, flanges of embedded lintel beams, or to cover the projecting edge of the slab.

Soaps can present problems in wall systems. They are very difficult to anchor because of their reduced depth. The problem is particularly prevalent if there are multiple adjacent courses of soaps in a wall. Also, because soap units are positioned at the exterior face of the wall, compressive loads within the exterior wythe must be transferred through these soaps. Masonry loads within the soaps do not coincide with the loads in the center of the wall. This situation can result in buckling. Soaps within masonry veneers should be avoided.

I have also heard the term soap used to describe units cut to reduce their height. The use of units with reduced height should not impact the structural stability of the wall or negatively impact durability.

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