Here is a profile view of a modern day brick house. These walls are classified as a brick veneer, but the brick is a full width thick.
You can see the void in the wall assembly between the masonry block structure and the back of the brick.
This is known as your air gap. How wide this space has to varies depending on where you are, but I find that 1 inch is a great rule of thumb.
All masonry cladding‘s absorb water, they are very much like a sponge. We install this dead space between the brick and the masonry/wood framing to prevent that moisture from wicking back into the structure.
Most of the time it performs perfectly fine. However, I have had three litigation cases in the past two years involving improperly installed brick veneer that had a filled air gap with mortar from sloppy masons. All three houses had catastrophic water damage, mold, unsafe living conditions.
Such a simple detail is critical to every day performance of your brick house. #brickmason #brickveneer #brick #homeinspection #homeinspector #louisvillerealestate #homeinspectorlouisvilleky #airgap