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  1. #1
    KevinODonnell's Avatar
    KevinODonnell Guest

    Default Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    Anyone know why this stuff is used? (red clay type brick and mortor)

    I've seen this every now and then but not normally in the North East. This photo was taken from a house that was built in 1980 in Putnam County NY. It is installed between the studs on the exterior walls all the way up to the top of the second floor. It is also in several interior walls.

    Any input would be appreciated.2013-03-24 09.46.12_800x600.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    It looks like you have found what are called "telephone tile" or structural clay tiles. It is cheap and was very plentiful in certain parts of the country. It is not a really good building product.

    Are you sure the house was built in 1980? Clay tile blocks are normally seen in pre 1930 homes, not in homes from the 1980's.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-26-2013 at 07:02 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    Scott you took the words off my keyboard. That house is way older than 1980. Just look at the rafters and sill plate.

    They are also called Terra Cotta tiles and are a similar material to flower pots. They should never be laid up on their sides.

    There are a few 100 year old buildings that I know that were built from those blocks and are still standing. One of them has had extensive reinforcement added with thru bolts and big steel plates.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    KevinODonnell's Avatar
    KevinODonnell Guest

    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    [QUOTE=Scott Patterson;223264]It looks like you have found what are called "telephone tile" or structural clay tiles.

    Thank you Scott for the positive ID. I just googled that and it is definitely what it is. And yes i have verified the original build date as 1980. There are many strange things going on at this house. My guess is that they may have put this stuff in exterior walls as bullet proofing! There are many other signs that the builder may have been a ' Prep-er ' There are also rooms underground that may have been intended as bunkers... bomb shelters... awaiting dooms day. Now the house is falling apart and has two feet of water in the basement.


  5. #5
    KevinODonnell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    That house is way older than 1980.
    The build date is definitely 1980. That "sill plate" is the top plate on the top of the second floor. There is lots of water damage here.
    2013-03-24 09.54.13_800x600.jpg


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    I've got to agree with Scott and John on this one. No way that was from 1980. 1880 maybe

    I'd bet there was a major remodel done in 1980 where they now claim it's the build date. But the original structure is much older.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinODonnell View Post
    The build date is definitely 1980. That "sill plate" is the top plate on the top of the second floor. There is lots of water damage here.
    Thanks, Kevin. You are correct of course. And I meant to say top plate (tough day at the salt mines). I see red lettering on the edge of lumber. Not as old as it looked in pic one. The question is where did he find terra cotta blocks? It would be old stock or recycled, I think.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    I've never heard that referred to as "telephone tile" ... it is structural terracotta tile and was used for decades in schools, courthouses, and other governmental structures. When laid up properly (with cells vertical) and mortared fully as it should be, those tiles created excellent fire rated walls.

    I agree with the other who say that is a lot older than 1980, it may have been 'gutted and rebuilt' in 1980, and maybe the local city/county revised its 'construction date' to reflect that gutted and rebuilt date.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    Some MLS sheets will have a space where they list "effective year built". That might be where the year info came from. What that means I have no idea nor do I have any idea how you would calculate that date.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone know why this stuff is used.?

    Defiantly write up the exposed Kraft faced insulation.


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