"Environmentally Aware," "Eco-Friendly" and "Green" are words that come to mind when referring to facilities that care for the environment. One way that firms contribute towards environmental sustainability is through reclamation of bricks. While you can buy recycled bricks, you can source them from structures in your facility or premise. However, reclaiming blocks is not enough. Recycled blocks should remain usable for the purpose you intended. The strategies highlighted in this post are a guide to ensure reclaimed bricks are, for the most part, usable.
Dedicated Storage Space -- Space matters a great deal when dealing with reclaimed bricks. As such, you need to have a dedicated storage area with adequate space to guarantee that the bricks remain in usable condition while in storage. It is especially the case if the blocks are delicate and brittle, for instance, clay and aerated bricks. Dedicated storage space guarantees security from vandalism as well.
Planning During Design and Demolition Stages -- If you plan to reclaim bricks from existing structures, planning is critical during the design phase of construction. Planning ensures minimal cutting and breaking of bricks, which can be managed by using whole blocks. Careful planning is also necessary when reclaiming bricks from demolitions. Before you use demolition machines, a team can start off with hand tools. Hand demolition ensures gentle treatment of salvageable bricks. Notably, the objective should be to pull out as many whole blocks as possible before the big machines take over.
Use Lime-based Mortar -- When reclaiming bricks, the type of binder used on the blocks will determine the amount of force applied to separate them. Although cement-based mortar is the most commonly used type, it has a high compressive strength, which makes it hard to deal with during brick reclaiming. However, unlike cement-based mortar, lime-based mortar is porous and soft. The properties make it the right binder for recycling bricks. Additionally, lime-based mortar makes brick separation easy and with minimal effort and damage
Separate Waste from Bricks and Blocks – As mentioned earlier, recycled bricks need dedicated storage space for proper storage. However, contamination is a real risk that requires consideration when storing recyclable blocks. Part of such contamination comes from materials that were pulled out together with the bricks. The elements might include soggy papers, asbestos, or nylon that can easily contaminate recyclable blocks thereby rendering them useless. As such, make sure that you separate wastes bricks from reclaimed blocks before storage.