Masonry shear : Repair Service Greater Montreal

Masonry shear, its causes, how to prevent it, and how to address it.

Masonry shear, also known as a moving wall, is a common issue in masonry construction that can lead to structural damage if not addressed promptly. In this section, we will explore what masonry shear is, its causes, how to prevent it, and how to address it.

What is Masonry Shear? Masonry shear, or a moving wall, occurs when a masonry wall moves horizontally and independently from the rest of the building. This movement can cause significant structural damage and compromise the integrity of the entire structure.

Causes of Masonry Shear

There are several factors that can contribute to masonry shear, including :

  1. Soil Settlement : Soil settlement is a common cause of masonry shear, as it can cause the foundation of the building to shift and move.
  2. Inadequate Footing : Inadequate footing can also lead to masonry shear. The footing is the part of the foundation that distributes the weight of the building across a wider area. If the footing is not properly designed or installed, it can cause masonry shear.
  3. Structural Design : Poor structural design can also contribute to masonry shear. For example, if the masonry walls are not properly connected to the rest of the building, it can cause them to move independently.

Preventing Masonry Shear

Preventing masonry shear involves proper design, construction, and maintenance of the building. Here are some steps you can take to prevent masonry shear :

  1. Proper Foundation Design : The foundation design should be appropriate for the soil conditions and the weight of the building.
  2. Adequate Footing : The footing should be designed and installed properly to distribute the weight of the building across a wider area.
  3. Quality Masonry Construction : The masonry walls should be properly designed, constructed, and connected to the rest of the building.
  4. Regular Maintenance : Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify any potential issues with the building's structure before they become serious.

Addressing Masonry Shear

If masonry shear has already occurred in your building, there are several methods for addressing the issue, including :

  1. Stabilization : Masonry shear can be stabilized by installing steel reinforcement or bracing the wall to prevent further movement.
  2. Reconstruction : In some cases, the masonry wall may need to be reconstructed to properly address the issue.
  3. Foundation Repair : Repairing the foundation can also help address masonry shear issues.


Masonry shear is a serious issue that requires prompt attention to prevent further structural damage. By understanding the causes and taking preventative measures, property owners can avoid costly repairs and potential safety hazards. Regular inspections and maintenance, along with addressing any issues as soon as they are noticed, are key to maintaining the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of masonry structures for years to come.