Adobe Walls

(Small block regular in shape made of ordinary clay mortar mixed with sand and straw, cut in the shape of a brick and sun-dried). Adobe walls were built according to the same rules of brick walls, being in most cases only used in poor houses or in sandy soil areas, where perhaps the access to other materials was not that easy. This type of construction although it is one of the oldest is not very common. We can see it mainly in Setúbal and Algarve.

The moulding of the blocks is made whit a rudimental wooden mould, usually made by the worker and called "adobeira".

The wall thickness in this kind of constructions is about 35cm.

The disadvantages are its vulnerability to the attacks of rodents and lack of stability as far as earthquakes and lateral strain caused by covering weight fluency is concerned. To counter these weaknesses they were frequently reinforced by intoducing abutments or buttresses. So it was not suitable for the construction of big buildings.

Adobe should only be pastered and treated with burned lime plasters or through direct whitewashing so as to be protected agaist the influence of the atmosphere, especially against water.

As it is ruined by water, it could only be made upon normal stone foundations, generally schist about 0,60cm above the ground, from which the wall was built. Thus avvoiding rising humidity.


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