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Masonry has long been a staple in commercial construction due to its durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. However, even experienced builders can make mistakes during the masonry construction process.

Masonry Commercial Construction Mistakes

These errors can lead to structural issues, increased costs, and project delays. In this blog, we’ll explore some common masonry commercial construction mistakes and provide tips on how to avoid them.

1. Improper Mortar Mixing

The Mistake

One of the most common mistakes in masonry construction is improper mortar mixing. The mortar is the glue that holds masonry units together, and its consistency and strength are crucial for the integrity of the structure. Inconsistent mixing, using the wrong proportions, or adding too much water can weaken the mortar, leading to poor bonding and reduced durability.

How to Avoid It

  • Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for mortar mixing.
  • Use the Right Proportions: Ensure the correct ratio of cement, sand, and water. Typically, a 1:3 ratio of cement to sand is used, but this can vary.
  • Consistency Check: Mix the mortar to a peanut butter-like consistency. It should be workable but not too wet.

2. Inadequate Curing

The Mistake

Curing is the process of maintaining adequate moisture and temperature conditions to allow the mortar and concrete to achieve optimal strength. Inadequate curing can result in weak joints and cracks, compromising the structure’s integrity.

How to Avoid It

  • Maintain Moisture: Keep the masonry moist for at least 7 days after construction. This can be done by misting the structure with water or using curing blankets.
  • Control Temperature: Protect the masonry from extreme temperatures. In cold weather, use heated enclosures, and in hot weather, provide shade and windbreaks.

3. Poorly Aligned and Leveled Units

The Mistake

Misalignment and uneven leveling of masonry units can lead to structural weaknesses, unsightly walls, and difficulty in subsequent construction stages.

How to Avoid It

  • Use a Level and Plumb Line: Regularly check the alignment and leveling of each course of masonry units with a level and plumb line.
  • String Lines: Use string lines to maintain straight courses and consistent heights.
  • Frequent Measurements: Measure frequently and adjust as needed to ensure precision.

4. Inadequate Joint Thickness

The Mistake

Joints that are too thick or too thin can compromise the strength and stability of the masonry structure. Inconsistent joint thickness can also affect the aesthetic appearance of the wall.

How to Avoid It

  • Standard Joint Sizes: Aim for standard joint thickness, typically 3/8 inch for most masonry work.
  • Joint Tools: Use joint tools to ensure consistent and uniform joint thickness throughout the construction process.

5. Ignoring Weather Conditions

The Mistake

Weather conditions significantly impact masonry construction. Ignoring factors like temperature, humidity, and precipitation can lead to weakened structures and delays.

How to Avoid It

  • Plan Accordingly: Schedule masonry work during favorable weather conditions when possible.
  • Protective Measures: Use tarps, windbreaks, and heated enclosures to protect masonry work from adverse weather.
  • Adjust Practices: Modify construction practices based on weather conditions, such as adjusting mortar mix in hot or cold weather.

6. Inadequate Flashing and Drainage

The Mistake

Poor flashing and drainage can lead to water infiltration, causing damage to the masonry and interior structures. This can result in mold growth, efflorescence, and structural deterioration.

How to Avoid It

  • Proper Flashing: Install flashing at critical points, such as windows, doors, and roof intersections, to direct water away from the masonry.
  • Weep Holes: Incorporate weep holes at the base of walls and above flashing to allow moisture to escape.
  • Waterproof Barriers: Use waterproof barriers behind masonry veneers to prevent water penetration.

7. Using Inferior Materials

The Mistake

Using low-quality or inappropriate materials can compromise the durability and appearance of the masonry structure.

How to Avoid It

  • High-Quality Materials: Invest in high-quality masonry units, mortar, and other materials.
  • Supplier Verification: Verify the credibility and reliability of material suppliers.
  • Material Specifications: Ensure that all materials meet the required specifications and standards for the project.


What are the errors in masonry construction?

Errors in masonry construction can vary but commonly include:

  • Improper mortar mixing leading to weak joints.
  • Inadequate curing, resulting in weakened structures.
  • Poor alignment and leveling of masonry units.
  • Inconsistent joint thickness compromising strength.
  • Ignoring weather conditions affecting construction quality.
  • Using inferior materials impacting durability.
  • Inadequate flashing and drainage leading to water damage.

What are the most common causes of masonry damage?

The most common causes of masonry damage include:

  • Water infiltration causing efflorescence, mold, and deterioration.
  • Thermal expansion and contraction leading to cracks.
  • Structural settlement or movement impacting stability.
  • Impact from external forces like accidents or natural disasters.
  • Inadequate maintenance and repairs over time.

What is the most common type of masonry wall failure?

The most common type of masonry wall failure is due to:

  • Poorly constructed joints and mortar, leading to weak bonds.
  • Inadequate reinforcement or support causing structural collapse.
  • Water damage and moisture infiltration compromising integrity.
  • Insufficient anchoring or connections resulting in instability.
  • Design flaws or improper load distribution affecting structural strength.


Avoiding common masonry mistakes in commercial construction is crucial for ensuring durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. At Leidal and Hart, we are proud to be recognized as a leading masonry systems specialist, consistently rising to the challenges of the most demanding projects. With a steadfast focus on masonry as our core service, we boast one of the industry’s most skilled and modern masonry crews.

Our comprehensive approach to service begins long before groundbreaking. We collaborate with you from the concept phase through design and material selection, and continue our support throughout the construction process. Our dedicated team of professionals is committed to proactively contributing to your construction project every step of the way.

As a trusted source of expertise in masonry systems, trends, and emerging technologies, we understand the importance of creative, innovative, and effective solutions that stay within budget and are delivered on time. We merge state-of-the-art equipment with our seasoned crews and project teams to ensure your project’s timely completion.

Our extensive experience spans various sectors, including government, corporate, manufacturing and industrial, education, healthcare, religious, retail, parking structures, stadiums, arenas, and special events. Our innovative mindset drives us to consistently find ways to save money, work more efficiently, and deliver the highest quality product possible.

Contact Leidal and Hart today for expert advice and professional masonry services.

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LH Team

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