Brick is primarily comprised of clay-based materials that’ve been pressed or extruded and fired to create a masonry unit. The raw materials used in the brick contribute to its properties and aesthetics. Brick from different time periods exhibit different properties – a result of improvements made in the manufacturing process over time. Other brick unit types include concrete, calcium silicate, or those that are comprised of raw materials different than clay-based materials. Brick has, and continues to be, a durable and long-lasting material.
Clay brick that are hand-pressed and fired at lower, less uniform temperatures often have low compressive strength, high porosity, and high water absorption. Conversely, modern clay brick that are extruded and fired at higher, more uniform temperatures often have high compressive strength, low porosity, and low water absorption. It’s critical to understand the properties of the existing brick on your project so that compatible replacement bricks are selected. Variations in properties can affect the overall performance of the masonry wall system. These masonry systems include load-bearing mass wall construction, transitional, barrier, and cavity wall systems. Existing wall assemblies may also present different unit configurations, movement accommodation, water management details, and anchorage depending on the materials used and construction era.
For successful historic and existing projects, it’s important to prioritize repairs based on the structure’s conditions and project team goals. Project strategies differ per project and can be selected from a variety of repair options. Refer to our restoration best practices page for additional information, details, and resources. Below, find brick repair and restoration options for consideration on your project.
Brick that are cracked, spalled, or damaged are commonly replaced during repair and restoration projects and not repaired in situ. The overarching goal of brick replacement is to find a brick that matches the existing brick aesthetically and has similar properties of strength, density, porosity, and water absorption. If replacement brick are too strong and dense in a wall assembly with weaker, more porous, brick, they can cause premature future failures of the historic or existing brick wall assembly.
IMI’s free project support, technical assistance, and education is here to help you at any stage in your building’s lifecycle.
Our multidisciplinary team draws on decades of experience developing solutions for high-performing masonry and tile projects.
Why settle for anything less than the best when it comes to the installers on your project? BAC craftworkers train throughout their careers to become building enclosure experts and masters of their craft.
When you want to have confidence that you’re working with qualified, experienced crews on your project, you can specify for well-trained craftworkers.
Here are some of the training, certificate, and certification programs you may want to specify for brick restoration projects.
Traditional craft skills and contemporary repair techniques are critical to the preservation of historic buildings and structures. This in-depth certificate gives BAC craftworkers integrated knowledge of historic masonry preservation.
Proper flashing is one of your building’s best defenses against moisture. BAC craftworkers stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and building code requirements with IMI’s Flashing Upgrade Training Program.
Grouted and reinforced masonry provides added strength to your building. BAC craftworkers learn the latest advances in grouting procedures and code requirements in this course.
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