The Benefits of Clay Bricks

For centuries, clay bricks have endured the forces of weathering and time. Today, durability is enhanced through modern brick making techniques. Since the arrival of van Riebeeck in the Cape in 1652, clay bricks have been used in an overwhelming majority of buildings, firmly establishing the clay brick tradition in Southern Africa.

Clay bricks are inexpensive – taking into account their immense durability and very low maintenance.

With face brick, there is no need for painting. Structural integrity is maintained even when plastered. Clay bricks and pavers thrive on the natural forces of the environment. They do not discolour or deteriorate but only enhance with age.

Clay brick walls are able to withstand fully developed fires longer than any other standard building material. Homeowners benefit from peace of mind and substantial savings on insurance over time.

Clay bricks offer maximum insulation against temperature and noise. They resist the transmission of heat, keeping a building cool in summer and warm in winter. Thermal properties generate the storage of heat energy, retaining heat during the day and releasing it at night, thereby regulating temperature fluctuations.

The clay brick is a timeless classic available in a wide range of shapes, colours and textures, providing endless creative opportunities for architectural designs. Its strength and durability ensures an ageless beauty.

The capillary pore system found in clay bricks allows for moisture to be absorbed and then released back into the atmosphere. A clay brick wall that has become damp will therefore dry out as quickly as it becomes moist.


Easy self-build
The wide availability of clay brick makes it a ready option wherever it’s needed. To relatively unskilled labour, it’s a forgiving medium to work with.

During construction beats any weather
To anyone who has ever arrived on a building site after overnight rain, the use of real clay brick can be the difference between starting work or sending the team home for the day. Clay brick seldom becomes too wet, simply working with a dryer mortar is often enough to ensure correct adhesion. What’s more its ability to dry out fast is remarkable, and can make a real difference to completing a project on time.


Cladding, filler, structure
Very few building materials come close to the versatility of clay brick. Most materials are individually good at only one thing: as a structural element for instance, or as a thermal or acoustic insulator which must be painted or paneled to look like anything. Real clay brick combines the lot.

It works both as a structural element that can be used on its own – even in multistoried buildings or in conjunction with reinforced concrete, as an aesthetically pleasing cladding material. As highly practical filler between concrete or steel structural members, its use is widespread.


Making South African proud
The desirability of real clay brick to the proud first-time house owner makes this the building material of choice in the creation of the new South Africa. Never can a building made with real clay brick be perceived as using second grade materials.

A real home
A real home is a lasting home, for only a home that will stand the test of time offers real security. Over centuries of use, real brick has proved its long lasting abilities. In the context of Africa, with a history of having to make do with inferior materials, the use of brick can go some way to restoring a nation’s pride in its home.

Source: The Clay Brick Association