reclaimed antique brick
Brick in construction plays a vital role. Traditionally bricks were made of clay. The history of bricks goes as far as the beginning of time. These blocks of ancient construction were used by the Roman, Egyptian and Indian civilizations. Interestingly, antique bricks and blocks used in construction by them are still intact and hold the architectural marvels.
Considered environmental friendly as a building material, a brick is general a rectangular block made of clay, shale, slate, concrete, calcium silicate or stone. It is manufactured by mixing sand with water and then pressing it into steel molds. These raw bricks are then heated at a high temperature of 1000° C which provides the strength to the bricks. Bricks are great insulators as well. The interesting thing is brick stores the heat of the sun and transfers it in the room for several hours after the sun has set.
No two bricks look alike in the shape, size, and composition. Blocks are mainly made of concrete. Blocks are larger in comparison to bricks. They come in both solid and hollow format. Blocks are used mainly in load-bearing walls where strength is very important.
There are mainly five types of bricks.
Common Burnt Clay Bricks: This is the most common form of brick used in construction. It is made by pressing raw material in steel blocks and then heating them in the kiln. These are used for general construction work and do not have a special attractive appearance.
Concrete Bricks: These bricks are made of concrete. The colored concrete bricks are manufactured by adding color pigments. It is often used in facades and fences.
Sand Lime Bricks (Calcium Silicate Bricks): This type of brick is made by mixing sand, fly ash and lime followed by a chemical process during wet mixing. The color of this brick is gray. The shape is uniform and has a smoother finish.
Engineering Bricks: These bricks are made by heating the raw material at extremely high temperatures. It has limited water absorption thus useful in locations where water damage can be a possibility.
Fly Ash Clay Bricks: These are made by mixing fly ash with clay and then heating the raw material at high temperature. These bricks have to be manufactured with care as they tend to expand if the raw material has impurities.
There are two main types of blocks that are solid and hollow. The hollow blocks are further divided into 8 different types.
Stretcher block: These blocks are used to join the corners of the masonry. These blocks are generally laid down parallel to the face of the wall.
Pillar block: These blocks are used in case of piers and pillars. They are also known as double corner blocks.
Corner block: These blocks are used at the end of the masonry which can be a window or a door.
Jamb block: These blocks are used at the location where there is an elaborated window opening in the wall.
Partition block: These blocks are used in building partition walls. They have a larger height than breadth.
Lintel block: These are used for the purpose of the provision of beam or lintel beam. It bears the load coming from the top of the structure.
Frogged brick block: These blocks have a frog on the top side. It helps to hold the mortar and develop a strong bond with the top laying block.
Bullnose block: These blocks are similar to corner block but with rounded edges.
Whether you have had your building facade repaired or not, it is essential that any defective brickwork is repaired. This will prevent moisture penetration which is a major cause of mold and mildew. It is just as important to prevent insect, rodents, and reptiles from getting access to the interior seeking a warm and damp place to reside.
Repairing your historic bricks is majorly important not just for your well-being but also for your long-term investment in your property. Another common problem for your brickwork is moisture saturation. This is caused by severe weather, defective guttering or sprinkler systems that have been placed incorrectly. A combination of these things can further aggravate if not be the original cause of these problems.
Antique bricks are considered by many to be the strongest construction materials ever made by man. They have been used since the 1800’s because of their durability and long shelf life they can significantly help in increasing the value of a particular building.
There are certain conditions that can develop with reclaimed bricks due to environmental factors. Common problems like white scum on the bricks’ surfaces, lime and acid staining, frost attacks and breaking down due to the age of the bricks. Unless you want to completely replace the walls you are best off considering brick restoration. There are many professionals that can do this for you. They will examine the damaged areas of your walls and then determine which materials they will need to carry out the brick restoration process.
There are a few things that need to be considered before you actually hire a brick restoration specialist. Make sure the company you are hiring are fully certified and qualified to do the job. Ensure that everything they do is legal and certified by the local council or government. Another point to consider is the cost. Search online and compare the costs of different companies. Check the levels of service they are offering as they will vary in price and service. You need to make sure you get the level of service you need for the right price.
Look for a company that has a lot of experience with historic bricks and masonry work as well as having the right skills, this will make the work easier and faster. Brick restoration is not something you should overlook and you will definitely need an expert to help you restore the beauty of your home.
For the purpose of restoration and new house projects, it is sometimes helpful for contractors and/or homeowners to know the age of the bricks used. Antique masonry bricks have histories that can be traced back to the early 1800’s. There are a couple of secrets to determining the era of materials used in your home or project at hand including some self-inspections techniques as well as some ways to solicit expert guesses.
To begin, examine for surface details. Historic bricks from early construction periods may contain straw or grass marks, will likely have uneven shapes, and will be larger than modern day bricks. Though antique bricks can still be handmade today, they are costly, time-consuming, and otherwise inefficient, so it is likely that these characteristics are those of more historical masonry.
Sometimes just feeling the bricks will reveal some uniqueness that will help verify the era in which it was made. Those made after the sixteen hundreds will have a frog. This is an indentation that was meant to hold the mortar. This feature will be absent on water struck or solid brick which will also be smooth, and uniform reflecting pressed production.
Manufactured bricks, in short, those that are not handmade and therefore more modern, will usually be stamped or otherwise marked with a company name, logo, or location of the quarry either on the frog depression or on the face of the brick itself.
Other tricks to help identify the period in which a brick was made include color and surface textures. If there are variations in color and/or fold lines, there is an indication that a clamp kiln was used. Clamp kilns were used in early manufacturing and this unevenness in hue and texture is a tale-tell sign of the era.
Most modern products are cut from lengthened and pliable clay materials after which they are dried in a closed kiln are nearly two-thousand degrees.
If you are working with an expert like Old South Brick, they can help make your project stand out from the others. However, you can take a sample of the brick to a local masonry yard and solicit expertise in determining the age. They may be able to do a chemical analysis in an attempt to identify its construction process and contained materials.