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Q. What are Arriscraft Calcium Silicate Masonry Units?

A. Essentially they are man-made sandstone. The main ingredient is sand containing an appropriate silica content. This is combined with hydrated lime and various proprietary elements; mineral oxides are added for colour. This material is pressed into units, then autoclave cured (heated under pressure) to produce a fine-grained masonry unit. We finish the units to produce specific product lines, i.e. Renaissance® Masonry Units and a variety of building stone and brick products. Our process is not unlike that of Mother Nature’s; however, we work to specific standards of quality and consistency!

Q. Do your colours fade?

A. No, they do not fade. We use stable mineral oxides added to our base material to create the desired colours throughout the unit.

Q. Why shouldn’t manufactured masonry products be used at grade?

A. All masonry products are inherently absorptive, a necessary property for the formation of a mortar bond. This tendency to absorb moisture, however, also means that moisture from other sources, such as top soil, melted ice and snow, etc. will also be absorbed by the masonry. As those sources of moisture tend to remain in contact with the masonry for much longer periods of time, they will tend to saturate the masonry unit. This saturation can result in unsightly stains, efflorescence, and in colder climates where deicing salts are used, even spalling of the face of the units.

Q. Can your manufactured masonry products be easily cut, modified, etc. on site?

A. Arriscraft manufactured masonry products are produced using only fine-grained raw materials, resulting in consistent colours and patterns throughout the unit. The material can be easily cut, shaped, variously hand-chiselled, honed or otherwise modified to accommodate site-specific requirements. Some simple guidelines to follow when cutting or drilling the masonry units are: pre-wet the units with clean water prior to cutting or drilling commences; always maintain a continuous source of fresh water to the saw or drill bit during cutting; immediately after cutting or drilling, wash the cut units with a stiff fibre or plastic-bristled brush to remove any remaining sawdust, and thoroughly rinse with clean water.

Q. What type of waterproof sealer do you recommend for use with your manufactured masonry products?

A. Unlike some more porous concrete-based products, masonry units comprised from either clay or calcium silicate should not, as a general rule, have waterproof sealers applied to their surfaces. Their denser, less absorptive structure precludes the use of such sealers. The application of sealers to these materials can in fact retard the natural breathability of the units, and potentially cause damage.

Q. Can we use your manufactured masonry products as a paver?

A. As stated above, manufactured masonry products are absorptive, and as such, should not be used in applications where they will be exposed to large quantities of moisture over extended periods of time. Horizontal applications, such as paving, require the use of less absorptive materials, such as dolomitic limestone, or specialty products such as air-entrained concrete.

For more information, please email us.

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