Hi all, In my area of Chester County, (eastern PA) we have a lot of homes and garages that were built between 1910 and 1950 using a brick that is sort of a light red and almost pink color. (not normal red color) while it is rather heavy it doesn’t hold up well with time and crumbles/chips easily. I am trying to figure out if this brick is only common to my area or is it in other parts of the country as well. Sorry I don’t have a pic and I have been searching on line but have not found anything. Anyone have any info on this, such as what it is called, where it was made, and any other areas where it was used. Thanks for any help.
Occasionally, bricks of that vintage were not properly “fired” and can easily crumble.
They were also very porous and moisture penetration over the years can take its toll.
Of course, there are many other reasons for this condition, as well.
Lots of them in my area. In fact, I’ve always known them as unfired bricks. You can thread a drywall screw into them.
Thanks Marc, so they made it at least as far west as central PA. maybe farther. Yes they are easy to drill into also. If anyone else has them in their area feel free to reply. I’m still searching for a pic.
My chimney is made of those pesky bricks. Suprisingly, they are holding up pretty well, even above the roof penetration. The flashing on the other hand …
As i understand it back in the day there were “interior” and “exterior” type clay bricks…the more expensive exterior type were fired longer. Builders trying to squeeze an extra buck out of everything they did used the low-fired stuff where they shouldn’t have…and eventually it fails.
Another favorite trick was to use “beach sand” for mortar (it was free!) as well. You can rub it out of the joints with your finger in many cases. Basically it performs about as well as sandstone. Many old coastal homes have it in their piers and foundation walls.
This might interest some: Interesting history of the Brick.