Bricks should be made in Spring

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Those made in Summer are defective, because the fierce heat of the sun bakes their surface and makes the brick seem dry while inside it is not dry. And so the shrinking, which follows as they dry, causes cracks in the parts which were dried before, and these cracks make the bricks weak. Bricks will be most serviceable if made two years before using; for they cannot dry thoroughly in less time. When fresh undried bricks are used in a wall, the stucco covering stiffens and hardens into a permanent mass, but the bricks settle and cannot keep the same height as the stucco; the motion caused by their shrinking prevents them from adhering to it, and they are separated from their union with it. Hence the stucco, no longer joined to the core of the wall, cannot stand by itself because it is so thin; it breaks off, and the walls themselves may perhaps be ruined by their settling. This is so true that at Utica in constructing walls they use brick only if it is dry and made five years previously, and approved as such by the authority of a magistrate.

With these bricks there are also half-bricks. When these are used in a wall, a course of bricks is laid on one face and a course of half-bricks on the other, and they are bedded to the line on each face. The walls are bonded by alternate courses of the two different kinds, and as the bricks are always laid so as to break joints, this lends strength and a not unattractive appearance to both sides of such walls.

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