Greengates Builders Merchants

What Improves With Age and Comes In Many Varieties?

Brick has long been a favourite building material. It’s not only beautiful to look at, but it also has excellent susta­ina­bility credentials and it’s hard to beat on price.

On versatility and pure aesthetics, few rivals come even close. Made from an abundant natural material, clay bricks bring buildings to life with a wonderful mixture of subtle tones and textures. There are hundreds of different varieties of bricks produced in the UK alone, from handmade bricks and specials to extruded and stock bricks. Bricks blend easily and naturally with their environment and complement other building materials and furthermore, brickwork can be adapted as a building changes use.

As we have been building with brick for thousands of years, its technology is well understood: how to use it to keep a building dry, what kinds of bricks to use in different environments in order to cope with expansion and contraction, what physical and chemical effect different mortars can have on brickwork.

A recent survey of 900 homes found that brick structures can have a lifespan of 500yrs or more. In sharp contrast, some of the panelised homes now being constructed only have a design life of 50yrs or less.

The maintenance of brick is minimal: repointing may be necessary after 70yrs, but in contrast to other materials, brick will not rot, rust, erode or decay yet improves with age. Wind, rain and snow will not damage it. Indeed weather merely mellows it. So as brick ages its looks improve and when the time comes to knock it down it can be crushed and recycled on site.

Brick is one of the most successful building materials ever devised. On aesthetics and price it is hard to beat and moreover it is the most mellow, most sustainable of building materials.


Come to Greengates Builders Merchants, Lancashire now to see the wide range of bricks we have to offer. We also have a brick library containing over 400 bricks and a fantastic brick matching service.

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