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Equipment Materials

Brick Information

Brick Information
1. A Guide to Brick . . .
Brick is made of fired clay and is available in an array of colors, textures and shapes. Its color is derived from the clay or from additives. In either case, the color is as permanent as the brick itself.
There are two basic brick types – face and paver. Bricks are made in many different sizes, but most outdoor projects can be planned and built using standard units. These measure 3 5/8″ x 2 1/4″ x 8″, and weigh about four pounds each. Both the Mortarless Barbecue and Lawn/Landscape edging projects use standard bricks.
For mortarless paving, Redland produces a 4″ x 8″ paver. The Four-by-Eight Paver gives you a simple two to one ratio and makes installing popular patterns such as basketweave and herringbone even easier. The Patio in a Day project uses these handy paving bricks.
2. Why Brick Is Best . . .
67.8% of homeowners prefer brick. Selecting brick for your home’s exterior is a wise choice. Because it offers the highest resale value, require less maintenance and is more durable, it is by far a better investment than vinyl, wood, or aluminum siding. The benefits of brick are considerable when compared to the less desirable exterior alternatives. Along with the strong preference for brick among homeowners, there are many other aesthetic and economic benefits that make the selection of brick not only the best looking choice, but also the most practical.
- Brick Homes have higher resale value
A home built with brick has a resale value approximately 6% higher than a comparable home without brick. The small initial investment for brick more than pays for itself over time.
- Brick offers better fire resistance
Made from natural clay materials, brick is the most fire-resistant of all siding materials. Home insurance rates are often lower on brick homes.
- Brick Homes are easy care
No cleaning or painting is required with a brick home. You will recoup your initial investment for a brick home with money saved on maintenance in a relatively short time. Brick will not warp, crack, rot, corrode, split or dent, and doesn’t mind the weather. In fact, the look of a brick home actually improves throughout the years, looking more distinctive as it ages.
- Brick homes conserve energy and save money
Brick homes shut out noise and pests as well as the chemicals used for pest treatment. As a natural sound barrier, brick also insulates your home from outside noises and adds to the quality and comfort of living in a brick home.
- For a few dollars more, you can have the best brick for your home
Don’t settle for anything but brick for your home. And what’s more, insist on genuine molded brick from Cushwa Brick.
3. Brick Wall Basics . . .
There are many kinds of brick walls, but only three need concern a home buyer.
The most common brick wall used in houses is a “veneered wall”. Facing brick is placed outside the frame of the house and the brick veneer is attached to the frame by metal ties or by grouting it to mesh attached to studs.
The other common type of wall used in houses is a solid masonry “bearing wall”, which means that the wall carries the weight of the house. With this type of wall, there is no frame behind the brick. Instead, the brick, and usually a “back up” of hollow masonry units or brick, provide both enclosure and structural system.
In some cases, a house may have a brick “cavity wall” (which is frequently a bearing wall as well). This is a wall in which a space is left between an outer and an inner width of brick. The space is usually filled with insulation. Most often, this type of wall is used when it is desirable to have an exposed brick interior wall. However, exposed brick interiors can be constructed using inside veneered or bearing walls.
In townhouses, brick walls frequently serve as bearing walls, supporting the weight of the structure. In addition, “party walls” which separate one townhouse from another provide sound control and fire resistance. Brick, because of its density and mass, cuts down on the passage of sound, and because it is made of fired clay, it provides excellent fire resistance. In addition, if a party wall is brick, it can be left exposed as an interior decorative highlight.
If you are looking for a townhouse, look for a project where the party walls are of masonry, and where the masonry party walls extend all the way to the roof. This will help provide additional fire protection.
4. Caring for brick . . .
While one of the main advantages of brick is its low maintenance cost, there are some things you should know to keep your investment looking its best.
- Before cleaning brick, test it for absorption by thoroughly wetting a section with clean water. Use a garden hose if possible. If the brick becomes darker all at once, clean only a small area at a time, otherwise you can clean up to 100 square feet at a time. In warm weather, it’s also a good idea to clean in smaller sections.
- Always saturate brick with clear water before applying cleaning agents and rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
- Use wooden, plastic or rubber buckets, wooden scrapers and stiff fiber brushes to clean brick.
- In most cases, stains can be removed by scrubbing with a stiff brush dipped in a strong solution of household detergent and warm water.
- To remove smoke stains, make a smooth, stiff paste of trichlorethylene (a refined solvent) or any dry-cleaning solvent, and purified, powdered talc. Apply this paste to the stain with a trowel and scrape off when dry. Repeat until the stain has disappeared and then wash the area thoroughly with clear water.
- Fresh paint stains can be removed with a commercial paint remover or a solution of two pounds trisodium phosphate, available at paint and hardware stores, to one gallon of water. Apply the mixture to the stain and allow to dry. Remove with a wooden scraper and wire brush. Rinse with water. For older paint stains, you may need to use steel wool or a steel brush. Be sure to protect unstained areas from any chemicals you use.
- Oil stains can be removed with a paste made of one pound of trisodium phosphate and one gallon of water. Add a small amount of powdered chalk to thicken the paste. Spread about 1/2″ of paste over the stain and let it dry. Remove dried paste with a wooden scraper and wash the surface with clear water.
- Plants and vines growing over brick walls hold moisture and can cause mortar cracking and brick discoloration. To remove them, use a reputable weed killer, following the instructions on the package. Be sure to protect any areas not bothered by growth.