Brick has been in use in construction for thousands of years. In the United States, there are plenty of old houses and buildings made of brick. Like all buildings, time and weather affect these houses. Bricks are not immune to damage due to different causes. Old buildings made of brick require repair, especially in Connecticut, where there is a wide variation in the weather.
Bricks are Preferred Building Material
Modern bricks construction has not changed much in centuries. There are different kinds of brick blocks, each according to the materials used. The materials are usually whatever is commonly found in the construction area. These include mud and straw, sand, lime, and others. As a building material, it has several advantages. Bricks require minimal maintenance and can last 45 years, or longer. However, when individual bricks may sometimes need repair or replacement.
Brick is used in both the interiors and exteriors of buildings. It is a good insulator which can help save in heating costs. It is economical to produce, and its production has a low environmental impact. It has good compressive properties which make it a good material for ordinary buildings. It is highly fire resistant, making the material of choice for wood fire ovens. It is also reusable, where bricks from an old torn down structure can be used in constructing new structures.
Water and Bricks Don’t Go Well Together
In construction, mortar is used to bind bricks. This fills up the spaces between bricks and when it dries up, it helps strengthen the construction. Both brick and mortar absorb water and then releases it to the air. It dries out through the brick’s open surface. When the water inside the brick does not get released to the air, it dissolves the various minerals in the brick and transports this to the surface. Called efflorescence, it looks like the brick was bleached and has changed color. One cause of efflorescence is the freeze-thaw cycle of water due to change in weather. Water freezes inside the brick and does not thaw fast enough. A side effect of this is that the individual brick develops a soft center and becomes powdery. The freeze-thaw cycle can also result in breaks and cracks visible along the structure’s exterior. Whether there is a break, crack or efflorescence, the brick has become structurally compromised, and the wall has to be repaired.
Brick Masonry Repair
Cracks and runs are common problems with brick walls and structures. Repairing brick masonry requires a thorough understanding of the construction, and how to remove individual bricks or sections for the wall without tearing the whole structure down. An inspection is done of the cracks before repairs. Bricks also experience sun damage resulting in uneven colors. During renovations, these different colored bricks can be removed and replaced, restoring the wall to its original look and condition.
Bricks are strong materials which can last a long time. However, there are instances when it needs to be repaired due to damage, breaks, or cracks. When repairs are needed, expert professionals are called in to repair walls and structures and replace individual bricks. These instances are few and do not occur very often. Keeping a brick wall beautiful is an easy task, especially when professionals are called for assistance with maintenance and repair.