Brick is one of man’s oldest manufactured products. History shows that sun-baked bricks were used in the construction of buildings over 6 centuries ago. Since shelter has been – and will always be – a basic need to humans, use of bricks will always persist. Even though they are less popular than they used to be, bricks are still utilized as a structural material in different structures such as buildings, pavements, bridges, arches and foundations. If you are considering using bricks in construction, it’s best that you familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of using them.
Advantages of Using Bricks in Construction
- Cost Effective: They have lower maintenance costs compared to various other building materials such as wood. In the case of clay bricks, the raw material (clay) is also readily available, thus affordable.
- Long Lasting: Compared to wood, bricks last longer as they are not susceptible to decay or destruction by insects.
- Can withstand the elements: Compared to wood, bricks suffer less destruction in the event of storms.
- Fire resistant: Bricks made from clay are non-combustible, making them less susceptible to burning compared. Moreover, their resilience helps contain fire in a room, thus prevent extensive damage.
- Lower insurance premium: Due to their resilience to fire, decay and bad weather, brick houses are usually charged lower insurance premium compared to those made of more susceptible materials like wood.
- Regulate temperatures: They have better thermal mass than various other building materials, thus have the ability to regulate temperatures. Heat and cold take more time to travel through the thick mass, aiding in insulation. This helps save on your energy bill.
- Environment friendly: Bricks made from naturally-occurring materials (shale and clay), are considered the most environment-friendly building material. They also undergo an eco-friendly manufacturing process as most brick makers utilize natural gas and other bio-based materials in their kilns.
- Reusable and recyclable: Bricks are recyclable and can be used on other projects such as landscaping.
Disadvantages of Using Bricks in Construction
- Labor intensive: They take up a lot of time and effort to process and use in construction.
- Inconsistent quality: It’s not always possible to get consistent quality with bricks.
- Water absorbent: Clay bricks absorb water and can cause efflorescence if not exposed to air.
- Encourage mold growth: The fact that bricks absorb water and have rough surfaces contributes to mold growth when not cleaned properly.
- Quality decreases over time: Their color tends to fade with time and prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Hard to clean: Cleaning brick surfaces can be a daunting task.
- Less tensile strength: Compared to buildings made of natural stone, brick homes are less sturdy and are more susceptible to extreme weather conditions.
The good thing is that there are ways in which the various inadequacies of bricks as a construction material can be overcome. In case your bricks lose color, get cracks or decay over time, you can consider brick pointing Sydney in order to restore both their durability and attractiveness.