Rustic Or Another Way To Describe Burnt Adobe Turning Into Dust?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate

Tucson, in Pima County Arizona, has about 15% of all the burnt adobe homes built in the US from the 1960s through the 80s.

Basically, burnt adobe homes are bricks made out of mud that are much thicker and larger than typical bricks.  The concept behind building with adobe is that adobe walls have enough thermal mass to absorb heat during the day and release it at night thus keeping the home at a fairly stable temperature year round.

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Older adobe homes are typically reddish in color while the ones made in the 80s are more of a yellow/tan-ish color.  Some people confuse slump block and/or red brick homes for adobe but neither material is nearly as thick as adobe.  Adobe homes are also very unique and beautiful with their natural "earth tone" colors.

Since these bricks are made of mud, natural elements (i.e., rain, wind and dirt that bricks are exposed to) can damage the adobe.   Although these bricks have a hard layer around the outside, over time the outer layer wears away and once that happens, the bricks can quickly erode - and turn to dust!  Left untreated, adobe homes tend to look very rustic - and that's a nice way for a real estate agent to describe the condition of the brick.

Although the bricks will outlast you or me - it is important to care for them just as you would a wood or stucco home.  Tucson has several companies that specialize in repairing adobe that is neglected and also those that treat and maintain the bricks with a special coating to maintain its beauty and keep the bricks intact.

If you happen to fall in love with one of the many burnt adobe homes currently for sale in Tucson make sure you have someone who knows adobe come and inspect the condition before you make your purchase!

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This blog is written with my opinions and my opinions are  presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Please talk to a professional before making any real estate, financial or agency decisions.    Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind - 2014. If you want to reprint parts of this - just email me for my permission: .



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Sharon Stevens
St Augustine Real Estate and Homes For Sale

Great post..... I learned a lot..... didn't know that you had to maintain the bricks.

Apr 20, 2010 07:08 AM #1
Pat O'Reilly
RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth - Irving, TX


Good information. Would not want my home to turn to dust....

Apr 20, 2010 07:11 AM #2
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Thanks for providing this information to us. Very interesting

Apr 20, 2010 07:39 AM #3
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Hi Gabrielle, good information. I learned something new this morning. Good tip about getting an inspection before purchasing. Thanks.

Apr 20, 2010 07:58 AM #4
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good Morning, Gabrielle....that was a very interesting article.....thanks....New Englanders do not know about this.

Apr 20, 2010 08:13 AM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good Morning, Gabrielle....that was a very interesting article.....thanks....New Englanders do not know about this.

Apr 20, 2010 08:13 AM #6
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, Broker, Tacoma Washington
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & area authority!

I must admit I needed to see the comparison...
Your Pal in Washington State,

Apr 20, 2010 01:30 PM #7
Gabe Sanders
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Interesting Gabrielle, thanks for the information.  Will they really disintegrate if left untreated for a long time?

Apr 21, 2010 06:21 AM #8
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING GABE!  If it's left long enough - it will - but experts say it will outlast you or I - in other words - it does take a lot of time.  What happens more often are that critical bricks disintegrate causing structural problems.  Great question! -- Gab

GOOD MORNING PAUL!  Glad I could help with your need! Gab

GOOD MORNING BARBARA! Tucson homes certainly have unique building materials not common anywhere else! --Gab

GOOD MORNING MICHAEL! Great!  Nice to see you here! -- Gab

GOOD MORNING PAT!  Me either!  I would treat and maintain for sure!  --Gab

GOOD MORNING SHARON!  Often Buyers don't know if the home is brick or adobe so it is good to discuss it with clients!  Thanks for the comment - Gabrielle

Apr 21, 2010 07:29 AM #9
Linda Landry
HomeSmart Realty - Tucson, AZ

Hi Gabrielle!  Interesting post as it is a topic rarely considered.  I own an adobe block house.  Yes they are 'rustic' and yes they do require special attention to avoid decay.  The same goes for salitillo tile but that's another blog!

Apr 25, 2010 06:10 PM #10
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