In older buildings, common brick was used as a backup for face brick in masonry walls. Many of these common brick were not very durable and spalled. I noticed that ASTM C 62 for building brick or common brick is still in print. Are common brick units still used? If so, are they appropriate in northern environments?
Common brick units are still used today. Unlike older common brick, modern common brick are regulated by ASTM C 62. Modern common brick have three grades; SW, MW and NW. The requirements for grades SW and MW are the same as ASTM C 216 for face brick units. SW brick units should be used in areas exposed to weather as defined in this specification. MW units should be used in areas of exterior exposure where SW units are not required. Grade NW building brick must be used only where they are protected from water absorption and freezing. Common brick differ from face brick primarily in that limited emphasis is placed on aesthetics. Common brick may be leftover brick units from fabrication lots or brick units from different color lots used in areas where aesthetics are not important. The grade, however, must be selected based on the intended exposure.