The Brick Reclamation Process
Brick reclamation is as old as brick manufacturing itself. The preservation of brick assists brick restoration projects and historical preservation efforts, alike.
There is an unwritten code among masons. Each has their favorite vintage, and each honors the craft of brickmaking by gathering discarded brick and storing them. Some masonry companies have stockpiles in their warehouse; but more often they are shared with a favored brick vendor so they can be made available to any who might need them.
We have a fine brick-making history in this country dating back to the early 1800s. If you have a personal stockpile of brick that you would like to offer for brick reclamation projects, we would be happy to assist.
A Mason's Vanguard
Since brick's permeability differs according to the year it was manufactured; brick masons and brick companies stockpile every recoverable brick they can find. Not only will they be matched to current brickwork projects for porosity, but also for color, size and style. Besides, brick restoration is fun. We are able to locate almost any style brick and obtain perfect matches, (or nearly so), for your project. Our long list of brick suppliers have vintage and modern brick patterns attained from masons just like us, whose clients elected to redesign their chimneys, mailboxes, or retaining walls after fire damage, collisions, or other catastrophic events. This means we are extremely likely to locate a brick that matches both the era and color of your original brick.
Brick Matching Criteria
When matching brick for your project we carefully consider the following:
If your brick is more than 20 years old it is seldom matched with modern brick because each will swell and contract at different rates, cracking the surrounding mortar.
If your brick is more than 20 years old its dimensions may be less than perfect. This is a great look when vintage brick are placed together, but combining perfectly-shaped modern brick with older pieces can sometimes result in a section that looks "different" from the rest of your project. (Skilled masons will chip away at replacement brick pieces in order to match the character of existing brick).
We will always attempt to Match your Brick rather than REPLACE it!
Our Masonry Experts can recut damaged brick or turn them inward to exact repairs.
You are putting your project in the hands of truly skilled masons when you call on us.
Determining when to Start Over
Our masons are expert at repositioning and recutting damaged brick so the final project is attractive and professionally finished; but there are occasions, (such as some collisions), when replacement is a more economical solution:
Weighing the Costs
>Reclaimed brick can sometimes be more expensive than modern brick. In those instances, it may be wise to utilize a vintage-patterned modern brick to recreate your project.
>Modern mortars are, for the most part, stronger than the sand-and-limestone mortars used with vintage brick. Their resistance to moisture and cracking can save you money on maintenance in the years to come.