Understanding Wythe in Masonry Restoration
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Understanding Wythe in Masonry Restoration

A "wythe" is a continuous vertical section of masonry.

A “wythe” is a continuous vertical section of masonry.

No, that’s not a spelling error. “Wythe” is a term used in masonry restoration to describe a continuous vertical section of masonry. A wythe is one unit thick, and can either be independent or interlocked together with another adjoining wythe. A wythe can serve as either a structural or non-structural component of a building depending on the desired purpose.

Multi-wythe walls can be used as a structural part of a building as a way to increase the thickness of a wall. This can improve the support, protection, and stability when needed. Using multiple wythes allows for one section to avoid exposure to the outdoor elements, making for a more durable structural wall. Using multiple wythes also increases a structure’s insulation capabilities. The area in between two wythes, or the cavity, is an airspace that can be used to provide a structure with additional insulating material. These structures also allow for better weatherproofing, since water that enters the exterior is allowed to escape through the cavity space. Multi-wythes can either use all the same or different types of masonry. One example is the use of an economical concrete block behind a more expensive brick used for a more attractive and appealing exterior surface.

A single wythe that is not used as a structural component is referred to as a veneer. This type of wythe is commonly used to add aesthetics and visual appeal to a building or structure. Brick veneer is one example of a single wythe, and provides more of a siding component to a building than structure or insulation.

For more information about building restoration services, give Abbot a call at 617-445-0274.

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