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  1. #1
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Red bricks Vs AAC

    Thermal blocks - AAC - Superblock.

    What is the current thinking with these versus using Thai red bricks?

    The reason I ask is, my wife has found some negativity towards them on Thai-language forums / websites. She started out on pantip.com and has sent me this link: https://www.ihome108.com/อิฐมวลเบากับอิฐมอญ/

    I can argue my way round most of the negativity, but that site claims termites eat AAC bricks over time. Something about the blocks containing gypsum. Any thoughts on that? I don't know enough to say 'bullshit!' to her.

    They call them 'blue blocks' or bricks according to my wife, and the regular ones 'red'.
    Another common 'negative' was along the lines of 'red bricks are hot, but if you use ceiling insulation it is cooler, so why not use red bricks?' I just over that sort of 'logic'.

    Anyway, I don't know how it is with your Thai wives or maybe this is just a woman thing, but I can have been reading these forums for years and come to the conclusion that we will use AAC blocks. But if she has read one negative post about those blocks and I go ahead and use them anyway, if one tiny crack should ever appear my life will be made miserable. Over and over again. Like 'Groundhog day', but not in a fun "figure out how to seduce Andie MacDowell" kind of way.

    Fark, could you imagine how it would play out if we did develop a termite problem?

    I scanned the last couple of years worth of threads btw, could not find a 'stand alone' discussion on bricks.

  2. #2
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    not many hits on google about termites eating AAC blocks, infact quiet the opposite.

    https://www.google.co.th/search?q=te...CYuAvwT_l6T4Bw

  3. #3
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    I found this on a manufacturer's website:
    ===========
    Pest & Termite Resistance

    AAC Blocks do not allow spread of termites and growth of pests and hence provides longer life to expensive wooden interiors.
    AAC blocks are inorganic, insect resistant and solid wall construction material. Termites and ants do not eat or nest in AAC blocks.
    ===========
    Link: A Comparitive Analysys of AAC Blocks Vs Burnt Bricks

  4. #4
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Do termites tunnel through concrete/mortar/cement/cinder blocks etc.? - Dr Don's Termite Pages

    Autoclaved aerated concrete (those lightweight bubbly blocks) were readily penetrated in my field tests. Concrete (cinder) blocks sometimes have gaps in them big enough to interest termites (also observed in my field trials). Masonry is often built with lots of continuous gaps that termites can simply walk through, especially with extruded, hollow-core bricks.
    So not so much "eat" AAC blocks. Just "readily penetrate" AAC blocks.

    What's up with the forum colours btw? We've had a major revamp?

  5. #5
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    As with most building materials, pest control is required. With AAC blocks, adequate barriers are needed to deter termites from taking up residence, this should be done using termite proof grout and a form of flexible gel coat applied to all AAC blocks after placing, and before rendering. Rendering alone may not prevent termites, as there will inevitably be cracks due to shrinking and settling on any new build. I haven't heard nor seen of any such coating being used here in Thailand, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't get used.

    I considered using AAC blocks on my build , but my builder adamantly refused to use them. I'm sure that this was because he would rather use materials he was familiar with to avoid catastrophe and potential loss of face, but it could also be that he is aware that it's not as straightforward using these blocks as it would at first appear, possibly owing to availability of materials, extra care and processes required.

  6. #6
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog View Post
    over that sort of 'logic'.
    tell her that red bricks can burn

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat HuangLao's Avatar
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    Bricks made of termite mound mud are amazingly sought after.
    Solid and last forever - never breaking down.

    A bit pricey, though - because of the nature of the material and expert skill to produce.

  8. #8
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    I scanned the last couple of years worth of threads btw, could not find a 'stand alone' discussion on bricks.
    This may help.

    http://teakdoor.com/building-in-thai...ch-to-use.html (Bricks and Blocks, which to use)

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Bricks made of termite mound mud are amazingly sought after.
    Solid and last forever - never breaking down.

    A bit pricey, though - because of the nature of the material and expert skill to produce.
    FOJ. You're having a laugh.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    This really is a stupid thread. Just build the house and leave your windows and doors open during the day. With Upvc doors and windows it's possible to even leave them open at night if fitted with fly screens and a door security grill.

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    Click Norton's link above (I've changed the colour to blue as the recent forum upgrade doesn't change the colour) ^

    As an aside ... what do termites eat?

    We have a Thai Farmhouse, exposed everything, including some very neat cabling.

    In a dark corner they built a small mound over the electric wiring to the powerpoint which ran the fridge.

    They chewed through both layers of insulation till they struck bare wire and got themselves cremated and blew the fuse.

    Suckers will eat almost anything.
    Perspective is everything ... it's the difference between going through an ordeal or going through an adventure..

  12. #12
    CCBW
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    Man long debate on this one. I say use whatever you feel works. There are some that state AAC are far cooler(Data supports this) but they cost more and with some forward thinking like longer eaves, attic ventilation and large trees its a no issue. Of course if you build a 2 story McMansion and have no wall protection heat is a huge issue so AAC blocks would help.. I will say this. before we built I took a few AAC blocks and a few red blocks and drilled them. The ACC blocks turned into dust (Like a big dried sponge)and when you sink an insert to hang a picture or a wall mount TV bracket they can easily pull out. I would NEVER do it if I had AAC blocks. IMHO red blocks are far better. Others may argue the point.

    Save money, Use Red Brick.

  13. #13
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    Man long debate on this one. I say use whatever you feel works. There are some that state AAC are far cooler(Data supports this) but they cost more and with some forward thinking like longer eaves, attic ventilation and large trees its a no issue. Of course if you build a 2 story McMansion and have no wall protection heat is a huge issue so AAC blocks would help.. I will say this. before we built I took a few AAC blocks and a few red blocks and drilled them. The ACC blocks turned into dust (Like a big dried sponge)and when you sink an insert to hang a picture or a wall mount TV bracket they can easily pull out. I would NEVER do it if I had AAC blocks. IMHO red blocks are far better. Others may argue the point.

    Save money, Use Red Brick.
    Yeah, red brick would save the wife-grief. But I'd like to do without aircon, at least in the living space.

    Our single-story place in Sydney is built of clay brick walls / concrete tile roof. It can get warm here - 40c in summer. And after a hot day you can feel the heat radiating off the bricks and the tiles well into the night - it doesn't get dark until 9-ish mid-summer, so there's not much time for the house to cool before sleep time. You'd need some serious trees to shield the north and west walls from the sun, then you still have the roof tiles.

    When we were first married and unable to afford aircon we used to go across the road to the local cricket ground on particularly hot nights, sit on the astroturf pitch and star-gaze, just to get away from that radiating heat. And we'd wait for the 'southerly buster' to come thru and cool everything down. Haha, but I digress.

    So, I'd like to use the AAC blocks for our Isaan build but that strength issue is ... a potential issue. Will be looking into that. Don't want to turn this into yet another red Vs AAC debate though, plenty of those - guys up thread have pointed me at one, I'll go and have a read.

    Didn't mean to "abandon" the thread I started btw, just got a bit distracted with work.

  14. #14
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    This really is a stupid thread. Just build the house and leave your windows and doors open during the day. With Upvc doors and windows it's possible to even leave them open at night if fitted with fly screens and a door security grill.
    Why bother replying?

  15. #15
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post
    As with most building materials, pest control is required. With AAC blocks, adequate barriers are needed to deter termites from taking up residence, this should be done using termite proof grout and a form of flexible gel coat applied to all AAC blocks after placing, and before rendering. Rendering alone may not prevent termites, as there will inevitably be cracks due to shrinking and settling on any new build. I haven't heard nor seen of any such coating being used here in Thailand, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't get used.

    I considered using AAC blocks on my build , but my builder adamantly refused to use them. I'm sure that this was because he would rather use materials he was familiar with to avoid catastrophe and potential loss of face, but it could also be that he is aware that it's not as straightforward using these blocks as it would at first appear, possibly owing to availability of materials, extra care and processes required.
    Interesting post ... thought provoking. Thx. I'll copy 'n paste that to my little text file of wisdom.

    Ah, the joys of dealing with Thai builders - I read some of the building threads with interest. And I have that all in front of me!

  16. #16
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    Click Norton's link above (I've changed the colour to blue as the recent forum upgrade doesn't change the colour) ^

    As an aside ... what do termites eat?

    We have a Thai Farmhouse, exposed everything, including some very neat cabling.

    In a dark corner they built a small mound over the electric wiring to the powerpoint which ran the fridge.

    They chewed through both layers of insulation till they struck bare wire and got themselves cremated and blew the fuse.

    Suckers will eat almost anything.
    Thanks Norton / David for the link. I'm off to read the thread now. (2007 - no wonder I didn't spot it.)

    I've been wondering what's the harm in a few termites. We've had activity in our Sydney house that ruined some non-structural timbers before being detected, and an old double garage on the block was totally eaten out. We demolished that. But houses in Thailand are all brick and tiles - very little timber in them. But wiring, FFS! Now I know. Geez.

    We have our Sydney house inspected annually by our local pest guy - 'Rentokil' type of thing. Is that a service offered in Thailand? I could crawl about and do it myself here, but we live in Sydney funnel web territory and there's no farkin way I'm crawling around under the house! Gettin' too old anyway.

  17. #17
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog View Post
    Is that a service offered in Thailand?
    Tis indeed. Used on a couple houses I was envolved in. Works good.

    Rentokil Pest Control Thailand | Your Local Pest Control Expert

  18. #18
    Member bindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Tis indeed. Used on a couple houses I was envolved in. Works good.

    Rentokil Pest Control Thailand | Your Local Pest Control Expert
    Thank you - bookmarked.

    And there's a Rentokil branch at Korat.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    The ACC blocks turned into dust (Like a big dried sponge)and when you sink an insert to hang a picture or a wall mount TV bracket they can easily pull out. I would NEVER do it if I had AAC blocks.
    Used to think the same way, still do to a certain degree, but I've mounted AC compressors outside in AAC blocks with regular concrete anchor bolts.

    Same indoors hanging small stuff, smaller holes for the anchors than you would normally use for concrete/brick and no problems.

    Stuff is just as soft as drywall back home and we hang shit off it all day long.

    The cost is also semi negated by how uniform they are and how little mortar you use. They also go up way faster.

    Overall I would probably use AAC but a double wall with air-gap. Doing the same with red brick is heavy as fuuuuuk.

    As as far as the OP, think about where you are. If it sounds retarded then it probably is.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog View Post
    Thermal blocks - AAC - Superblock.

    What is the current thinking with these versus using Thai red bricks?


    They call them 'blue blocks' or bricks according to my wife, and the regular ones 'red'.



    .
    Are you SURE they are talking about AAC/Q-con ? All AAC blocks that I have seen are off-white, why would they be called "blue blocks" ? On the other hand, the concrete blocks that are sometimes called "superblocks" are a blue/grey sort of colour......but they are certainly not AAC ! There is sometimes confusion about those "superblocks", one person is talking the AAC type brand, another is talking about the bigger than usual concrete blocks.
    As for the termites, they will eventually chew through just about anything if there is food on the other side for them, AAC are no worse than other materials ..... and given the air holes and gaps I've seen in red brick construction I would think that they would be a prime target for termite invasion.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slick View Post
    Overall I would probably use AAC but a double wall with air-gap. Doing the same with red brick is heavy as fuuuuuk.

    As as far as the OP, think about where you are. If it sounds retarded then it probably is.
    You can do double wall with air gap 4 - 5 cm not only by red bricks but by cement (cinder) blocks 40x20x7cm.
    Then you do not need to erect columns (sau) - as every house in Thailand makes taking few months.

    With double blocks you are free to any layout, to any location of doors, windows. Blocks are available made in villages, quite cheap, laying fast going, with simple village chaang pun - no problem with wall mounting.

    In corners (or wherever decided) a vertical reinforcement can be created, fully embedded by concrete within the air gap - simialrly like a concrete column (sau). And on the top of the walls horizontal reinforcement - interconnected with the vertical ones - and have it prepared for welded connection with roof construction.

    The air gap can be used for inserting installations of water and electric.

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