The Brick Breakdown: Facts About Bricks
What is a Brick?
A brick is a block or a single unit of kneaded clay-bearing soil, sand and lime, or concrete material, fire hardened or air dried, used in masonry construction.
Why use Brick?
Brick is a hard-wearing building material, and it’s able to take the knocks of every day life as well as the weather extremes of the West Australian climate. Clay brick won’t fade, decay, twist, warp, rot, erode or dent and termites can’t eat them. History has shown that no other material shows few signs of ageing. Brick houses don’t need much maintenance, and they do not require any finish to maintain performance, where in most constructions they do not need re-sealing or re-painting.
Brick buildings, especially double brick, have excellent thermal mass – they have the ability to retain heat energy, playing a key role in stabilizing temperature swings and keeping the internal temperature inside the house in a comfortable zone for longer. This means brick houses keep the inside cooler in hot summers and warmer in winter.
The solid density of brick makes for a quieter building compared to lighter weight materials, reducing external sound. In other words, brick reduces outside sound.
Brick walls significantly reduce the chances of a house being destroyed by bushfire, according to the CSIRO survey of houses in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires in Victoria. As Western Australia experiences many fire threats a year, it is important to factor in your building material if you are building in a fire prone area.
Clay brick has a timeless quality while still being versatile. With compact size, textures, colour and shapes you are provided with infinite design possibilities that are made from natural clay and shale – with no two clay bricks identical giving each building its own distinct character.
Caring for your Bricks
Always carefully inspect all bricks, blocks and pavers delivered to your site prior before use. Chipping and breakage can occur during delivery, off loading and installation, but this should not exceed 5% of the completed product, as this product can be used for cuts and in-fills. Sometimes you may find score or minor ‘drag marks’ which occur during the manufacturing process of textured or mexicut face bricks. These ‘drag marks’ are a part of the characteristic of the brick and it does not detract from the overall appearance of the completed project.
Any product quality issues or damage should be called out straight away prior to laying. Every effort is made to ensure product consistency, however it is natural that some variation (such as in colour) can happen between production batches, which is due to the nature of the ingredients used and the manufacturing and firing process.
Sizing and quantity per square metre are nominal – these variances are due to different installation techniques and size variation that occur during the manufacturing processes.
For the best colour blending results some recommend to mix your bricks, blocks and pavers from various packs as you lay. When cutting, ensure that the product is fully wetted (soaked with water) which reduces the chance of surface discolouration from cutting slurry. Ensure all slurry is washed from any cut product before laying and no slurry falls on product already laid.
Cleaning your Bricks
If the brick is continually moist, it may start growing a variety of molds and mosses. This is fairly easy to remedy. Once a year, use a garden hose with a pressure nozzle to spray the bricks while periodically scraping off the moss or mold with a non-metallic spatula.
Featured Image: Aussie Living Homes featuring Brikmakers