Author:  Ernie Alexander is a bricklayer by trade and owner of Alexander Masonry, Inc ,a masonry contractor in the Indianapolis, IN area of the United States.  Mr. Alexander has over 27 years experience in the masonry construction industry.  Being based in Indiana, where extremes in temperatures and moisture take their toll on brick and stone, has given Ernie a desire to put forth solutions from a practical (in the field) stand point.  National and local codes seek to mandate solutions to problems, but sometimes its easier to see the solution to a problem from out in the field rather than from behind a desk.

In 2003 a class action lawsuit was filed against a large national builder constructing homes in the Indianapolis area. resulting in a 24 million dollar settlement.   Due to improper building techniques,  involving the installation of the brick veneer, many homes were having moisture and mold issues.  Although the “improper techniques” were largely blamed on the masons, there were issues that had their beginning long before the first trowel hit the mortar board.

For instance, national and local codes call for a 1″ space between the back of the masonry veneer and the exterior sheathing of a house.  Builders typically have the space at the top where the brick will tuck behind a trim board  set a 4″ to 4 1/4″.  This sets the distance from the face of the brick to the exterior sheathing because the brick wall must be plumb from that point down.  The front to back dimension of a modular brick (the most common size) is 3 5/8 ”  Subtract 4″-3 5/8″  and you get 3/8″!  Far less than the 1″ airspace mandated by codes and that is assuming that the framing is perfectly plumb and straight!

This and other issues  with moisture in masonry led Mr. Alexander to invent and help develop a new product which allows for a freer flow of air behind the masonry veneer wall, The BrickVent Moisture Control System.  BrickVent  takes the intent of the code, regarding drainage and ventilation of masonry walls, and puts forth a viable solution.

Ernie continues to examine issues that might plague the consumer, educate that consumer from a layman’s  perspective, and offer helpful solutions!







One Response “About” →
  1. With record snowfalls — I’m wondering if my lawn will turn into a lake in the spring and if I should dig under the snow to the weep holes and insert some sort of temporary plug (caulking perhaps?) to minimize water flowing in (my basement flooded previously because I had inadvertently covered them with soil). Seems like I’d need a plug attached to a flat piece of wood to keep the water pressure from forcing the plug out and then be able to remove it when the water subsided?


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