Why use brick or stone?
For your home or business, masonry stands the test of time.
Masonry, like brick and stone has been the material of choice for 10's of thousands
of years. And it's easy to see why. Availability, thermal mass, fire resistance,
durability and sustainability are just a few reasons. Ancient masonry
buildings were load bearing in the sense that masonry resisted all
of the imposed loads.
Masonry provides the best fire resistance of any building material because it cannot burn, melt or bend in temperatures residing under 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This fact is acknowledged by insurance companies and is reflected in the premiums for insurance on homes, buildings and their contents. The use of fire resistive building materials throughout provides maximum security for future business performance. Many businesses cannot survive the devastation of a fire and the interruption to their normal flow of goods and services.
Savings on Maintenance Costs. A Masonry building requires a minimum of maintenance primarily because masonry does not rust, shatter, warp, dent, buckle or rot, and there is no need for cleaning or repainting. Consideration of the vulnerability to damage of building walls is also important. Whether a careless fork lift operator or strong winds with hail hits the wall, or a heavy object is propped against the wall, masonry can handle the abuse.
Beauty, Durability, & Elegance
What began as a building essential in the Near East and India more than
5,000 years ago, wound its way through the ancient Egyptians, the Indus
Valley civilization and to the Romans. Which definitely left its mark on Western Civilization today. It has amazingly become the all-American building product throughout our country’s history.
The story of The Three Little Pigs is just as true today as it was when it was first written in 1849. Research confirms that genuine clay brick provides superior shelter in three major categories.
Since the primary ingredient in brick is clay which is fired to around 2000 F, it is a non-combustible material. As such, it is an excellent cladding choice to resist or confine fires. In fact, both the National Institute of Standards and Technology and BIA conducted separate fire tests that conclusively demonstrate that nothing outperforms good old-fashioned brick in a one hour fire test and that today’s “advanced” materials, such as vinyl, are engulfed by flames within minutes.
High wind protection
A study conducted in September 2004 shows that homes built with brick offer dramatically more protection from wind-blown debris than homes built with vinyl or fiber-cement siding. The tests found that homes made with brick exceed the 34 mph impact resistance requirement for high velocity hurricane zones in the Florida building code. Brick also exceeds Florida’s impact resistance requirements for essential facilities in hurricane areas. Brick is such a strong and durable building material that your insurance companies may even offer you a discount on your home insurance costs.
Superior moisture control
According to a nationally - renowned, independent building products research laboratory, brick veneer wall assemblies control moisture better than wall systems clad with other exterior materials. Therefore, brick veneer wall systems help minimize mold growth, wood rot and infestation by insects, and corrosion of fasteners embedded in wood better than other wall assemblies.
Brick looks better, for far longer and with less maintenance, than other building materials.
Brick offers lasting value. It doesn't rot, dent, or need to be painted, and it will never tear or be eaten by termites. Its modular units and variety of shapes have resulted in beautiful structures in just about every architectural style, ranging from colonial to Victorian to post-modernist. It is one of the few materials that can actually look better with age. Brick also absorbs noise, giving it an acoustic advantage over other materials - especially helpful in densely populated areas. Maybe this is why readers see ads for “all-brick” houses much more often than ads for “all-vinyl” or “all-EIFS" neighborhoods.
Brick is naturally energy-efficient.
Brick is a building material that has exceptional "thermal mass” properties. Thermal mass is the ability of a heavy, dense material to store heat and then slowly release it. For you, this means that during the summer months your brick home stays cool during the hottest part of the day. During the winter, brick walls store your home's heat and radiate it back to you. Vinyl, aluminum, wood, or EIFS (artificial stucco) are all thin, light building materials that do not have good thermal mass properties. The superior thermal mass qualities of brick have been known for centuries.
Brick is the most sustainable green building material made.
Given the significance buildings have on energy consumption, brick should be part of a comprehensive green strategy because today’s brick includes: Inherently Natural Ingredients. Brick is predominantly made from clay and shale, which are among the most abundant materials available on earth.
Countless Recycling Options
Brick can be salvaged, crushed brick for sub-base materials, and chipped brick for permanent landscaping mulch.
Virtually all of the mined clay is used in the manufacturing process making the recycling and waste containment unequalled by any other building material. In fact, over 80% of our manufacturers re-use their own fired waste material or convert it into other products. And if you decide to pitch it, there is no special handling required because brick is simply earth, so it’s inert.
Brick is the 1st masonry material that can attain a “Certificate of Environmental Claims” from a 3rd party source
The National Brick Research Center, an organization of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University, has developed a standard to verify the amount of recycled content in brick, the utilization of renewable energy in the firing process, and the reduction in the amount of resources used to manufacture brick.
Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing Processes
More than 80% of brick kilns are fired with natural gas, and numerous plants use fuels of bio-based materials from other industrial applications and waste products. Energy sources include methane gas from landfills and sawdust from furniture manufacturers.
and rot-free. While some log or wood-frame buildings tend to crumble into ruin
and decay after 50 years or so, well-built stone structures will often stand for
centuries. You're not likely to lose a stone house to fire either, but even if the
structure's wood frame interior were somehow gutted by flames, you could
probably rebuild from the original stone shell.
Stone is attractive and maintenance-free. Natural stone comes in so many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures that the final appearance of a rock house is limited only by our imagination.
Rock walls will actually help keep you comfortable; they slowly heat during the day, then radiate warmth through much of a cool evening.
Stone houses, additions and improvements can also increase your home's resale value!