5 Things To Know About Brick Houses

Brick houses are typically long- lasting, durable and attractive properties.  Nevertheless brick houses, as with all properties, do require periodic maintenance. At Blackwell Masonry, we have experience with many different kinds of structures, and below we list 5 features that you should know about working with brick. 

                                                     Image Courtesy of Fruggo

                                                    Image Courtesy of Fruggo

1. Brick Is Tremendously Durable

Brick is one of the most durable construction materials on earth and has been in use for hundreds of years. If you have ever hiked the Great Wall of China you will be able to testify to this fact as large portions of the wall were built during the Ming Dynasty, between the 1300's to 1500's. In many European cities, there are also many examples of brick buildings that have withstood the test of time.

2. Brick Composition

Bricks themselves are formed from clay that is mixed with other materials, such as seashells, small stones, colourings, lime or various other items that help to provide strength and longevity while enhancing appearance. The brick composition are dependent on the local materials available locally and so many types of bricks can be seen worldwide. Once the materials are mixed extremely high temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees Celsius are required to fire bricks.

3. Mortar Requires Maintenance

While bricks require little in the way of maintenance, the mortar that holds them together deteriorates more quickly, typically only lasting 50-100 years. Mortar eventually succumbs to the elements and the ravages of time, cracking, chipping and even separating from the bricks themselves. This not only makes the property unsightly, it can contribute to structural damage and create health and safety hazards. Damaged mortar requires removal and replacement, and is best handled by professionals. If the home has historical value it becomes even more important to match the new mortar to the existing mortar. At Blackwell Masonry, we have decades of experience in tuckpointing and repairing brick homes and other brick structures.

 

4. Painting Brick Is Unwise

Some homeowners choose to paint brick rather than repair it. While it may be a less expensive answer in the short term, we believe it is unwise. Once painted, the owner is caught in a constant cycle of repainting as the paint will crack and peel, requiring repainting. Furthermore, it is difficult and costly to remove paint from brick effectively, meaning that the owner is left with the constant expense of repeated repainting. 

"I wanted to let you know what a pleasure it has been to deal with your company. Thank you for setting a good example of what customer service looks like." - Wanda W

5. Replacing Bricks

Occasionally, bricks themselves become damaged or go missing entirely. Matching missing bricks is not as difficult as it sounds as many masonry suppliers carry a wide range of styles, colours and varieties, making it possible to even match the brickwork on historical buildings. If you have a challenging repair, don't hesitate to contact the Blackwell Masonry team for a free estimate. Most projects can be completed in a day or two. We operate in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge area.

Sources:

Brick Maintenance

Brick Repair: The Hard Facts

Painting Brick - A Warning