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Friday 25 January 2013

Reclaimed bricks and Handmade Bricks

Building with reclaimed bricks The appeal of reclaimed bricks is undoubtedly their charm and character. Fully matured and weathered, they have a certain cachet as they are less widely available than new bricks and have a distinct appearance. They can be more expensive than new bricks, which are manufactured to an established standard. One reason for this is considerable labour involved in demolition, cleaning off old mortar, selecting, stockpiling and handling. Reclaimed bricks may be selected for aesthetic reasons, but they must be technically appropriate for new work. Many dealers supply reclaimed bricks graded by quality of appearance, but cannot guarantee durability. Specifiers should therefore check that their indemnity insurance policies cover the specification of reclaimed brick, as these products are not in accordance with a British Standard. Frost resistance, soluble salts, strength, water absorption and size are all items that are covered by this standard. A further consideration might be that spores of dry rot fungus could be present within the pores of bricks reclaimed from some locations. The metric standard brick size was adopted in 1974 and is slightly smaller than the former imperial standard brick. Before 1904 there were no standards, only popularly used sizes. If imperial bricks are used with a standard metric concrete block inner skin, adjustable wall ties may be required to overcome the differences in alignment of the bed joints created between the two. Many specifiers choose reclaimed bricks in the belief that there is no alternative to the distressed state of re-used brick. Several companies continue to make handmade bricks, however using the same methods as brick-makers have done over the centuries, while other companies have developed simulated handmade bricks which are manufactured using modern machine methods. In recent years some manufacturers have developed brick products that look as though they have been reclaimed, with chipped arises, paint remnants and random dark stains. They have the great advantage of being made to conform to British Standards and are competitively priced because they are mass produced.

1 comment:

  1. I usually think of informative content as dull but necessary for learning. Interesting informational articles like this are rare. This material is informational without being boring and intimidating. Thank you. Pointing by Tony Wallace are brickwork specialists working to preserve, restore and improve buildings for over 30 years. We are specialist in the Pointing industry with wide-ranging knowledge and experience on residential, commercial and historical buildings.