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Old orange brick...


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  • Old orange brick...

    Took down some brick from this 140+ year old house. There were two layers. Stored most of them in the barn basement, but left about a dozen out in the weather for a few months. Was VERY surprised to see one of them looking like soggy oatmeal kinda sagging. Picked it and a couple others up to find they were mushy! Orange, half-dried mud!! Yet, others were as hard as, well, brick. Where could I go to find info on old brick such as this? I'd like to know if it's a random brick thing or if the inner brick was not built to weather like the outer layer would be. If there was a purposeful difference, what would it be, and how can I tell from looking at them? I want to use them for some scarred up brick on other parts of the house...

  • #2

    I am not a mason and there is probably a great technical explanation , but here is my simple one... You have discovered that two types of brick are used in construction, durable and non-durable. The durable ones were used on the outside and were baked during manufacture to make them stronger. It is often impossible to tell them apart when they are in good shape. It is only when the non-durable fails that it becomes obvious. I would not recommend reusing these mixed salvaged bricks for anything structural. Good luck, Jim
    'Just a handyman trying to help'


    • #3
      Jimmer has it right as in the inner are definatly less durable. The outer bricks are called face bricks and have a fired "face" to them whereas the inner bricks are called common bricks and are made to be softer. The article below will explain alot to you about these and how to repoint if you ever need to. You can do a ton of damage in repointing with the wrong stuff.

      You should also consider protecting those old bricks just in case you feel like replacing them. Salvaged antique bricks are a prized commodity.