Chicago bricks, also known as common bricks, are a popular choice for building and landscaping projects due to their durability and classic appearance. However, like any building material, they can experience problems over time. Here are some common issues to be aware of when using Chicago bricks:
- Staining: Chicago bricks are porous and can absorb stains from spills, dirt, and other substances. This can be a problem if the bricks are not regularly cleaned and sealed.
- Efflorescence: This is a white, powdery substance that can appear on the surface of bricks due to the presence of water. It is caused by the migration of water through the bricks, which can carry minerals to the surface. Efflorescence can be difficult to remove and may require professional cleaning.
- Spalling: This is when the surface of the bricks begins to flake or peel away. It is often caused by freeze-thaw cycles or the use of deicing salts, which can damage the bricks.
- Cracking: Bricks can crack due to a variety of factors, including ground movement, improper installation, or the use of a substandard brick. Cracks can weaken the structure of the bricks and may require repair.
- Fading: Chicago bricks can fade over time due to exposure to sunlight and other elements. This can affect the overall appearance of the bricks and may require repainting or sealing.
To prevent these problems, it is important to properly maintain and care for Chicago bricks. This includes regularly cleaning and sealing the bricks, avoiding the use of deicing salts, and repairing any damage as soon as it is noticed.