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Facts on Mud Brick Houses

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Todd Huffman

Mud brick is a building material that has been used throughout the world. Mud brick has many benefits, although it is not as durable as some other materials. According to Earth Architecture, half of the world's population uses buildings made from mud brick or other earthen materials.

Features

Mud brick is made of mud or clay that is mixed with straw and hardened by baking it in the sun or a kiln. These bricks are then used to build houses and other structures.

History

Mud brick has been historically used throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, India and North Africa.

Benefits

Mud brick is very inexpensive and environmentally friendly. It is also effective at keeping houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Disadvantages

Mud brick that is only baked in the sun, not fired in a kiln, may not be as durable as other building materials like concrete.

Fun Fact

Notable historical figures including Paul Revere, Chairman Mao, and Ronald Reagan each lived in a mud brick dwelling at some point in his life, according to Earth Architecture.

Disadvantages Of Using Brick To Build Houses

Brick as a primary home building material has a distinctive look that some homeowners find appealing. But the rate of brick home building has been dropping steadily since the 1970s. In 1973, 421,000 new brick houses were built in the United States compared to 113,000 new brick houses in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau website. Brick is unable to sustain years of extreme changes in temperature and can start cracking. Snow and water can get into the pores in brick and mortar and then expand when it freezes. Brick is treated for weather protection after the walls of the home are built. Home foundations in some U.S. locales are built on land that shifts slightly but regularly. Brick homes are extremely sensitive to shifts in the home's foundation and can be a bad building material to use in areas that do not offer a solid rock foundation. Brick homes are built by hand, one brick at a time. The construction of a brick home requires more laborers working longer hours and that can raise the price of construction.

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