Apr 1, 2013

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What Process is Used in Reclaiming Bricks?

Bricks are made from clay, a natural material found in abundance. Once fired, bricks can last for centuries, certainly much longer than the buildings they are on, especially when they were properly laid in the first place. Many home owners are turning their attention to reclaimed bricks in Cheshire to add a certain old world charm to many of their projects. Fireplace surrounds, patios, walkways are excellent candidates where reclaimed brick can be used with excellent effect.

Reclaimed bricks are bricks which had at one time been used on a previous project. These bricks have a weathered appearance and are very attractive with their chipped edges, worn surfaces and perhaps even a few coats of faded and peeling paint. It is impossible to duplicate the patina of reclaimed bricks, bricks can be made to appear old but they can never duplicate the real thing. Reclaimed bricks are available from speciality building merchants but at times they can be very expensive, you can save considerable money by preparing the bricks yourself, call it “sweat equity”.

How do you go about reclaiming bricks? First of course you have to find a source. The best way is to prowl around your town, keeping a sharp eye out for a demolition project. When you spot a project, do not hesitate in asking the demolition contractor if you can take title to the bricks. There is a good chance he will give you the bricks to save on cartage fees but even if he suggests a price, it will undoubtedly be far less than what you will pay for reclaimed bricks in Cheshire if you were to buy them from a merchant. If you cannot find a potential source, try placing an ad in the newspaper or online. You may find a source for bricks, you may also find an opportunity to keep the bricks in exchange for demolishing an unwanted building on someone’s property. At times a building owner will see the ad and realize that it provides a golden opportunity for him to get rid of what he calls an eyesore.

If you actually remove the bricks from the structure there are ways to go about it. First, wear safety gear, a pair of hard toed boots and eye protection is a minimum, a safety helmet may also come in handy in the event bricks should fall during their removal. With a masonry saw, cut into the mortar and remove small sections of brick at a time, no more than 6 or 8 bricks at one time. Work carefully to avoid broken bricks and work cleanly to make the removal of the mortar easier. If the wall you are working on is load bearing, make sure you use jacks or other means of support while the bricks are being removed.

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