As you may or may not already know, used brick is called used brick because it has been used in constructing another building and was salvaged after the building was demolished. This being said, used brick needs extra maintenance as opposed to new brick simply because of the stress that the brick has already been through. The brick has not only been subjected to the elements for an unknown amount of time, including water and freezing temperatures, it has also essentially been tumbled because when the building was demolished the brick tumbled on top of one another and other building materials as it fell to the ground.
Due to these factors, used brick requires maintenance above and beyond what new brick requires. Used brick usually has rounded edges and corners that aren’t sharp. You can identify used brick by the fact that it often has chips missing. Used brick is soft relative to new brick. If you scratch across the surface of a new brick with a metal tool you will not be able to perform any damage to the strong, sturdy brick. If you took a
tool and scratched the surface of a used brick, more likely than not you will be able to scratch the surface. If you are unsure whether the brick on your home are used or not you will want to try and scratch the surface. If they prove to be used brick, preventative measures must be taken to keep the weak brick from deteriorating.
Used brick must be waterproofed more frequently than new brick due to its weakened state. A water repellent that penetrates the brick and provides protection that is greater than merely a silicon coating on the surface is recommended. I recommend
ChimneySaver Water Base Water Repellent for waterproofing used brick. This water repellent has stood the test of time and provides your used brick with the best protection available because it penetrates the brick, entering through the pores, in order to prevent water from damaging the brick any further.
An interesting aspect that sets used brick apart from new brick is that, due to their irregular size and quality, they deteriorate brick by brick as opposed to in sections like new brick do. You will experience problems with an entire section of new brick but will have to walk around the home or business actively looking for deteriorating used brick because they will deteriorate as a single unit. Used brick provide a weathered, colonial feel to any home but must be maintained properly or you risk serious issues down the road.