Rock walls are a significant feature of the Hawaiian landscape. You will find that some of the longest-standing structures were built with lava rocks using the dry stack method where no mortar is added on this island. Today, you will find beautiful rock walls in different parts of Hawaii, from commercial and residential properties alongside highways and roads. Here, we discuss all you need to know about the rock walls in Hawaii.
Who Builds Rock Walls
Masons are the ones who will build your rock walls, whether it is a mortar wall or dry stack walls. Some stonemasons specialize in this job, and they are the ones you should use. The best rock wall masons can be found on Hawaii Big Island. This area is a volcanic region, which means lava rocks are in abundance on the island. This material can be used to build all kinds of rock walls and terraces that you may have in mind. Over generations, Hawaiians, Samoans, and Tongans masons have built these walls and passed the skills down. However, if you plan to build this wall, do your findings to make sure the person you’re using has the skills and experience they claim to possess.
Methods of Building Rock Walls
Two methods are commonly used. They are:
Mortar Wall Method: This is when cement is used to join the rocks and give the wall a firmer hold. Some masons are experts in this particular type of rock wall, and you will easily find one because this method is the most common method for building rock walls.
Dry Stack Method: Rock walls are one of the oldest man made creations, and people have been building them long before cement was discovered. The method used for making these rock walls and which is still in use today is dry stacking. The Hawaiian name for this type of wall is Uhau Huma Pohaku. This type of rock requires more expertise than mortar walls because the wall structure usually determines how long it stands. When properly built, dry stack rock walls can last for centuries or even millenniums. Most of the iconic walls today were made using dry stack methods. If you want a rock wall that looks completely natural, this type of rock wall is the best choice.
Rocks Used For Building
The Hawaiian Blue rock is the rock that is mostly used for constructing rock walls. This rock has a smooth finish and is easy to mine, which is what makes it the mason’s favorite. There are different ways to get the rock. One could buy it from landowners, harvest it from private property or purchase it from the quarry. Blue rock can be used for all kinds of construction, from rock walls to pavers.
Another rock that is commonly used is lava rock. There are so many of them, but the Pahoehoe lava ranks as the best. However, you can only find Pahoehoe on Big Island.
You will find different rock walls across various parts of Hawaii, and if you are looking to build one too, you just need to get a good mason.