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RE: CMU California Practice in the 1950's

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GPR is your best bet


D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, SECB

Senior Project Manager

Structural Department


Engineers and Consultants - CMX

200 Route 9

Manalapan, NJ 07726

732-577-9000 (Ext. 308)

908-309-8657 (Cell)

732-298-9441 (Fax)



From: Thor Matteson [mailto:thorm(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 10:43 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: CMU California Practice in the 1950's


Sorry if this is repetetively redundant by now--tried to send on Monday, but was having list issues.  Have not seen other comments on "sounding" CMU walls to find un-grouted vs. grouted cells.




        ---Original Message---




You can tell by "sounding" the wall which cells are grouted.  Tap the wall with a hammer--the grouted cells sound very different than the ungrouted ones.   Note:  If you're not on site, this method doesn't help you much....


I inspected a CMU addition in Lompoc built in the 50s or 60s and it was only grouted where the reinforcing was.


One reason solid-grouting became common is that it's less labor-intensive than blocking off the cells below your horizontal reinforcement--plus you can do high-lift grouting instead of having to grout every horizontal rebar course before continuing to lay block.  If you're using ready-mix trucks, you only bring them in once for grouting when the wall is topped out.


Best wishes,


Thor Matteson