In some cases, architects sometimes specify old, salvaged brick. Salvaged brick can create an authentic old-time appearance. But will recycled brick be durable and weathertight? USE WITH CAUTION The Brick Institute of America (BIA) raises several concerns about using salvaged brick. Manufacturing methods used 40 or more years ago produced brick that varied in character and durability, says BIA. As a result, some brick were lower in strength, softer, and more absorptive than others. In today's single- and double-wythe construction, all brick must be strong and durable. BIA also says that new mortar doesn't bond as well to salvaged brick as it does to new brick. BEFORE USING If salvaged brick is used in new construction, it should be removed from the old building undamaged and separated by type: face brick from common, for example. It also must be thoroughly cleaned. All old mortar, paint, efflorescence, dirt, and pollutants must be removed. ALLOWED BY CODE? The governing building code must be checked to see if salvaged brick is permitted, and if so, what specifications it must meet. PASSING THE TEST Any salvaged brick considered for reuse in exterior veneer or load-bearing construction should be tested. Following ASTM C 67 test methods, the absorption rate, coefficient of saturation, and compressive strength of the brick should be determined.