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What is a brick?
A clay brick is made by combining kiln-fired shale and clay, then pressing it into a mold. Brick is the world’s earliest building material, with examples found in the ruins of almost every civilization throughout history. Its rugged durability under all types of conditions is one explanation for brick’s enduring popularity.

Why is choosing a brick finish so important for your new home?
Besides being fire-proof, brick offers timeless beauty and a sense of quality. You’ll really appreciate your choice of building materials if you decide to move. Many buyers look for brick-built homes, and you’ll experience a higher resale value.

When it comes to savings, does brick as a building material really stack up?
Choosing brick enables home and business owners to experience reduced maintenance costs, utility bills and insurance premiums. Brick never fades, peels, rots or dents, and it never needs to be painted or refinished. Its ability to insulate translates to a reduction in heating and cooling costs.

What is the white “chalky” look on the surface of my brick?
It is called efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when soluble salts located inside a brick veneer all are drawn to the wall’s surface. Bricks may temporarily whiten after construction and revert to their natural appearance after exposure to the elements. Efflorescence persisting over the course of years may indicate a problem with water seepage or excessive moisture due to a flaw in the design or construction of the wall. It can usually be corrected by caulking around doors and windows where they meet the brick. If it continues, an immediate investigation is in order to determine the cause and prevent further damage.

What causes damage to chimney bricks and piers?
Using the wrong kind of mortar or a too-soft type of brick can cause flaking and allow moisture to penetrate the brick. Failure to seal the brick is another possible culprit. When water seeps into bricks and freezes, damage can occur to the chimney and piers. Cracks and chips around the chimney or the presence of rainwater in the chimney may signal chimney and pier damage.

What causes damage to brick used for window sills?
Caulking between a window sill and the adjacent brick should be performed routinely in order to prevent water from seeping in. When moisture penetrates the brick, it can cause crumbling or chipping.

In what ways are construction aggregates used?
Gravel, sand, crushed stone and other construction aggregates are used to build foundations under parking lots and highways. In a residential setting, an aggregate often forms the base beneath a patio or walkway. Aggregates are also used to help with erosion control, as well as water purification and filtration.

Are pavers stronger than poured-in-place concrete?
Interlocking pavers are much stronger than their poured-concrete counterpart. While poured-in-place concrete is susceptible to cracks caused by the earth’s movement and temperature changes, flexible pavers resist cracking and other damage for a lifetime of reliable functionality.

Why mulch?
Mulching saves time, protects the integrity of your garden and gives it a consistent, tied-together look. Mulching your vegetable garden or flower bed prevents weed growth, helps ward off pests and conserves moisture for less-frequent watering. It protects plants from damage due to the freeze-thaw weather cycle by regulating soil temperature. Mulching also reduces slope erosion by stabilizing the soil.

What are some mulching tips?
Dryness is mulch’s enemy. Soak it before or just after applying to your garden bed. Water the garden before mulch application as well. Cover as much of the root zone as possible when mulching around a tree for maximum root protection. Mulch regularly to add valuable nutrients to your soil.

How, when, and how much should I mulch?
Clear the area of grass, weeds and leaves. Strip any sod, edge around the border and loosen any existing mulch. Spread mulch with hands, avoiding direct contact between the mulch and plants. Water the area for moisturize and hold the mulch in place.
Mulching can be done throughout the year. Use 1-5 inches of mulch depending on the season. Contact us for advice on layer thickness the next time you mulch.

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