Qualities of Good Bricks
When it comes to brick contractors in Tulsa, OK, they would always tell you that the structure of a brick is vital for a proper and sound build. One cannot simply mold any clay material straight from the ground and use it as a building material. Similar to that of other building components, the “that will do” mentality would never cut it. If you want a sound structure and secure the inhabitants’ safety, then you have to choose materials that are of high quality. Bricks are no exception; in fact, brick manufacturers have to abide by safety standards implemented on a nationwide level. If they fail to meet the requirements, they are not qualified for distribution.
With all this, there are still some isolated cases where bricks do not pass inspections yet end up being sold in the open market. These materials are potentially dangerous and can cause major problems during and after the build. So how can one look for good quality bricks? What are the qualities of good bricks in general? Here are some of the features of good quality bricks:
The color is a good indicator of a well-hardened brick. Well-hardened bricks turn into a dark copper hue. This is due to the manufacturing process wherein bricks are being burnt in a kiln for hours until it dries. There are a number of videos available online that show the transformation of clay after being hardened. It usually starts as an orange or reddish clay color and gradually changes color depending on how long it lasted in the kiln. Usually, you can tell good bricks from their color. If the brick is still light in color, you can bet it’s not hardened yet.
Brick manufacturers have to abide by a strict law that encompasses brick development in terms of strength. The minimum strength of a brick should be at least 3.5 N/mm2 as per IS code and should range from 2000 – 5000 pounds per square inch. If it does not meet the ISD code for strength, the bricks cannot be sold to the public market as they might compromise the structural integrity of a building. Not only that, but resident safety will also be at risk. Normally, if you are to buy bricks on the market, they have already passed inspection, so you don’t have to worry about buying low strength bricks.
Brick contractors in Tulsa, OK will always buy from manufacturers who test their bricks for comprehensive strength. This test is done to ensure that the bricks rolling out of the factory are hard enough for construction. Now it’s not ideal for the contractor to do the test themselves as they have already bought the material, so manufacturers test it beforehand. They generally choose 5 random samples from the batch they made and use machines that apply pressure on the bricks. They, then, measure the psi of each specimen. In simple terms, psi is the units used to measure hardness of bricks. Once a piece of brick meets the legal standards of brick hardness, the batch can be deemed worthy of distribution.
This quality can somehow be identified with the help of the overall manufacturing of brick itself. Earthen bricks should be compacted together and not leave any holes within the brick itself. The more compact the material is, the less likely that sound would be able to pass through. Now, remember that “soundproof” doesn’t actually mean that it’s 100% soundproof but more like sound-suppressing. So if you still hear external noise coming in and through your brick structure, don’t be jumping into conclusions just yet. If it’s muffled, it’s alright, but if it’s sharp, then the bricks you got are probably not of good quality.
When it comes to water absorption, good bricks should not absorb more than a certain percentage of water by weight. First class bricks, for example, should not exceed 20% of water absorption while second class bricks should not exceed 22% by weight for a period of 24 hours. You may not have the opportunity of submerging a brick sample for 24 hours, but it is vital for one to understand how important this quality is. If you have brick walls and it gets soaked in water due to rains, the structural integrity of your brick wall would be compromised if it absorbs more water than it should.
Some qualities may be identified by simply looking at the bricks or touching it, but some need special equipment to be determined or the brick has to undergo certain processes in order to be confirmed if it is indeed one with a good quality. Even so, bricks these days are constantly being monitored and subjected to specific tests to prove their quality before being sold on the market. In that case, you don’t have to worry about buying low-quality bricks.
But if you really want to make sure that you are using good quality bricks, it would still be better to hire professional brick contractors in Tulsa, OK to do the job for you. Not only do they handle the project, but they also provide the materials needed. Here at Brick 1 Masonry, we provide you with quality materials as well as quality work. If you have a project in mind, give us a call and let’s discuss how it can be done. We guarantee the materials we use are of high quality and have passed safety regulation standards. If it’s brickwork and masonry you need, No one beats Brick 1 Masonry.