The basic formula for brickmaking has not changed in thousands of years: Rich, natural clays and shales are primary ingredients.
When you shop for a new home, you may find a product that looks like brick but is actually concrete. The sales literature may try to disguise its origin with a phrase such as "cultured limestone." There is no disguising, however, certain important characteristics of this product:
Artificial color. We all know the natural color of concrete: dull gray. It takes colorant and additives to give concrete a pleasing color. Weather and natural ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause these artificial colors to fade over time.
Tendency to shrink. Concrete brick shrink as they "cure," and visual inspection cannot determine whether or not a concrete brick is ready to be laid into a wall. When concrete brick were first used in the homebuilding market in a large volume, they were often rushed to job sites immediately after manufacture. Where "uncured" units were laid into a wall, cracks often appeared in mortar joints as these brick continued to shrink, pulling away from the mortar. While brick walls are not entirely waterproof, open cracks in mortar joints can allow a considerable volume of water to enter the wall cavity.
Why take the risk?
Acme Brick does not make brick from concrete. We start with rich clays and shales, carefully selected for color and durability. Because they are derived from nature, Acme Brick colors stand up to weather and nature without fading. If anything, weather tends to enhance the beauty of an Acme Brick house. Hard-firing ensures that a clay brick will not shrink like a concrete substitute.
Does it cost more to buy a home built with Acme Brick? In many cases, Acme Brick are available at no extra charge. Occasionally, you may be asked to pay an upgrade, but even in these cases, the difference amounts to no more than a few extra cents per day. Your builder will be glad to answer any questions that you might have about the exterior of your new home.
There really is a difference in quality between concrete substitutes and genuine clay brick. Insist on the genuine quality of Acme Brick.