North Texas Homes Built With Imported Bricks Crumble - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

North Texas Homes Built With Imported Bricks Crumble

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    North Texas Homes Built With Imported Bricks Crumble
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    A Mansfield homeowner shows how easily the bricks on his home crumble. The bricks were imported from Mexico and can't withstand North Texas' severe climate changes.

    The walls are literally crumbling on some North Texas homes built with imported bricks that don't hold up in North Texas weather.

    Julian Ambriz said his 2 and 1/2 year old home is falling apart around him. On any given day, he can walk outside his Mansfield home and see that little chips of brick have fallen off his home.

    "The brick is real fragile and brittle," he said.

    When Ambriz picks up pieces of the fallen brick and pinches them in his fingers, the pieces turn to dust.

    North Texas Homes Crumble

    [DFW] North Texas Homes Crumble
    Some North Texas homeowners say their homes are crumbling around them because of imported bricks from Mexico that can't stand up to Texas weather.
    (Published Wednesday, July 29, 2009)

    "The brick just turns into powder. This is what the whole house would be," he said.

    The Brick Industry Association said the bricks on Ambriz's home were likely imported from Mexico a few years during a housing boom that caused a shortage of American bricks. But distributors of the bricks didn't know at the time that the bricks can't withstand North Texas' severe climate changes.

    "It freezes, moisture gets into the brick, and it thaws. As that occurs over and over again and over time, if it's not cured, the brick will weaken, and it will fall apart," said Greg Grase, an association spokesman.

    Francis Wylie said the bricks in her Mansfield home fell apart.

    "It started with just a few cracks here and there, but eventually, it was the whole house, and pieces started falling off," she said.

    Wylie had only been living in her home for seven months when she starting noticing cracks and chips in the brick.

    Her home had to be re-bricked, and the builder did the work free of charge.

    Graze said there is no way to tell if a home has the defective bricks. Homeowners will only know once the bricks start to fall apart.

    He estimated 400 to 600 homes in North Texas could have the bricks. Homeowners in Mansfield, Grand Prairie, Keller and McKinney have all reported homes with the Mexican bricks.