Photo courtesy of Jakerstin Bracing, Inc.
"The contractors we talked with agreed that existing systems were heavy and cumbersome to install on masonry walls," says Damian Lang, Owner of EZ Grout. "They required a minimum of two or three people to install them, and could not be installed through head joints as the wall was being built. Because bracing was such a difficult task, many looked for ways to 'shortcut' instead of bracing properly. Our system is designed to eliminate that headache."
Headaches are gone for the mason contractor, while backaches are disappearing for the crews. All of the new bracing systems offer engineered and tested products, fast and easy installation, and the requirement of only having to brace one side ? although both sides can be braced as well. Add the bonus of only having to use one or two crewmembers, and you've got yourself a winning combination.
Many of the companies also offer engineering assistance so that you can brace the most common to most unusual wall configuration.
Photo courtesy of Dur-O-Wall
"The fact that mason contractors only have to brace from one side of the wall allows them to continue work much more easily than having to brace both sides, like with wood plank or cable bracing," says Vinny Mendes, Regional Sales Manager for Dur-O-Wal. "Also, unlike the standard plank bracing, our system is engineered and has been known to reduce insurance costs."
Although making wall bracing easier and more cost-effective for mason contractors and their crews is an enticing enough reason to switch to one of these products, increasing safety is the overall goal.
"Although testing isn't cheap, we wanted to be certain the braces were tested to not only meet, but surpass the needs of a typical job site," Lang states. "Testing was an important part of bringing this innovative alternative to the masonry industry."
Photo courtesy of EZ Grout
Hodsdon says, "The safety factor is terrific because the minute you tip them up, having a nice strong back on the wall, you are in compliance."
Finally, after a quick set-up and attaining a safe job site, the products wouldn't be complete without the ability to pack them up and move on to the next job with ease.
"When the contractor is finished bracing, the main parts of the Hog Leg system can be delivered to and from the job site in a lockable storage rack that is less than eight feet wide," says Lang.
"Crews can carry the bracing off, put it in the back of the truck, and off you go. It's pretty slick," Hodsdon says. "Of course, that is a biased opinion."
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.